Nieuws artritis


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Kan kippensoep artritis genezen ? Dr Eric Berg


Blootstelling aan antibiotica zou de kans op jeugdartritis kunnen vergroten

De bevindingen zouden aanleiding kunnen geven tot prudent voorschrijven van antibiotica aan kinderen. Antibioticagebruik kan leiden tot vermeerderd risico van jeugdartritis, volgens een studie van de Rutgers University, University of Pennsylvania en het Nemours A.I. du Pont Hostital for Children die gepubliceerd is in het tijdschrift Pediatrics.

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Nieuw natuurlijk supplement verlicht artritis bij honden

Artritispijn bij honden kan worden verlicht, zonder bijwerkingen, door een nieuw product op basis van geneeskrachtige planten en voedingssupplementen dat werd ontwikkeld aan de Universiteit van Montreal faculteit Diergeneeskunde. "Terwijl acupunctuur en elektrische stimulatie twee benaderingen zijn waarvan is aangetoond positieve effecten te hebben op honden, zijn tot nu toe in een aantal studies plantaardige therapiŽn onderzocht," aldus professor …ric Troncy, hoofdauteur van de studie. Zijn bevindingen werden gepubliceerd in Research in Veterinary Science.

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Video - Wat ze je niet vertellen over artritis


Chinees kruidenmiddel zo goed als methotrexaat voor de behandeling van reumatoÔde artritis
Onderzoek online gepubliceerd in de Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases onthult dat een traditioneel Chinees kruidenmiddel gebruikt om gewrichtspijnen en ontstekingen te verlichten even goede resultaten geeft als methotrexaat, een standaard geneesmiddel dat vaak wordt voorgeschreven om de symptomen van actieve reumatoÔde artritis onder controle te houden. Bovendien is het combineren van het kruidenmiddel met methotrexaat - het meest gebruikte geneesmiddel (DMARD) voor de behandeling van reumatoÔde artritis - effectiever dan de behandeling met alleen methotrexaat.

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Volgens een nieuwe studie is borstvoeding geassocieerd met een lager risico op reumatoÔde artritis

In een nieuwe studie van meer dan 7000 oudere Chinese vrouwen online gepubliceerd in het tijdschrift 'Rheumatology' is borstvoeding - zeker voor een langere duur - geassocieerd met een lager risico op reumatoÔde artritis (RA) . Specifiek toonde de studie aan dat vrouwen die hun kinderen borstvoeding hadden gegeven ongeveer half zoveel kans op RA hebben in vergelijking met vrouwen die nooit borstvoeding hadden gegeven.

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Onderzoek toont aan dat vet reumatoÔde artritis kan veroorzaken

Dit inzicht stelt de weg open naar nieuwe therapieŽn, nieuwe behandelmethoden.

Wetenschappers hebben ontdekt dat vetcellen in de knie een bepaald soort proteÔne afscheiden, dat gelieerd is aan artritis. Een ontdekking die de weg opent naar nieuwe gen therapieŽn die voor miljoenen mensen in de wereld verlichting en mobiliteit zou kunnen betekenen. ďWij ontdekten dat vet in de knie gewrichten een proteÔne aanmaakt genaamd pro-factor D, wat vervolgens een ander proteÔne, wat gelinked is aan artritis, aanmaakt nl. factor DĒ, zegt ďNirmal Banda, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Zonder factor D kunnen muizen geen reumatoÔde artritis krijgen.

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Lage testosteron niveaus kunnen reumatoÔde artritis veroorzaken bij mannen

Hormonale veranderingen kunnen de ontwikkeling van de aandoening voorafgaan, zeggen de auteurs.

Lage testosteron niveaus kunnen de verdere ontwikkeling van reumatoÔde artritis bij mannen beinvloeden, suggereert een onderzoek online gepubliceerd in de Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Van geslachtshormonen wordt verondersteld dat ze een ​​rol spelen in de ontwikkeling van reumatoÔde artritis, en zowel mannen als vrouwen met de aandoening hebben de neiging om lagere niveaus van testosteron in hun bloed te heben dan gezonde mensen. Maar het is niet duidelijk of dit een oorzaak of een gevolg is van de ziekte.

De onderzoekers baseren hun bevindingen op de deelnemers aan het Zweedse MalmŲ Preventive Medicine Program (MPMP) dat begon in 1974 en de gezondheid volgde van meer dan 33.000 personen geboren tussen 1921 en 1949.

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Te veel of te weinig activiteit slecht voor de knieŽn

CHICAGO - Zeer hoge en zeer lage niveaus van lichamelijke activiteit kan de afbraak van kraakbeen in de knie bij volwassenen van middelbare leeftijd versnellen, volgens een nieuwe studie gepresenteerd op de jaarlijkse bijeenkomst van de Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Bijna ťťn op de twee mensen in de VS kunnen knieartrose ontwikkelen op 85-jarige leeftijd, volgens Centers for Disease Control en Prevention. Tegen 2030 wordt verwacht dat naar schatting 67 miljoen Amerikanen boven de leeftijd van 18 jaar de diagnose artritis zullen krijgen. Onderzoekers aan de Universiteit van CaliforniŽ in San Francisco (UCSF) vonden eerder al een verband tussen fysieke activiteit en kraakbeendegeneratie. Maar dat onderzoek richtte zich op ťťn punt in de tijd. Voor de nieuwe studie, hebben de UCSF onderzoekers gekeken naar veranderingen in het kniekraakbeen onder een groep volwassenen van middelbare leeftijd over een periode van vier jaar. Ze gebruikten "magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)" gebaseerd op T2 relaxatietijd om de ontwikkeling van vroege degeneratieve veranderingen in het kniekraakbeen te volgen.

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Gewrichten en voeding

Volgens het Reumafonds is Ďnog weinig bekendí over het effect van voeding op reuma. Niets is minder waar, schrijft dr. Gert Schuitemaker in zijn nieuwe boek Gewrichten en voeding. Gewrichtsklachten zijn niet uitsluitend een Ďlokaalí probleem. De conditie van het gehele lichaam telt. En daarvoor leggen voeding ťn voedingssupplementen mede de basis. In dit nieuwe millennium vond een doorbraak plaats in de wetenschap met de ontdekking van de Ďstille ontstekingí. We kunnen ons gezond voelen, terwijl de stille ontsteking als een soort veenbrand langzaam onze lichamen teistert en de ontwikkeling van chronische ziekten bevordert. Oůk gewrichtsziekten. Stille ontsteking, veroudering en ontregeling van de stofwisseling gaan hand in hand.

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Verzuringsreuma of allergische reuma

Er bestaan namelijk twee reumavormen: 1. De z.g. verzuringsreuma (in ongeveer 35% van de gevallen) die ontstaat door een te hoog zuurgehalte van ons lichaam (vooral urinezuur). De oorzaak van lichaamsverzuring kan liggen in: het teveel gebruiken van zuurvormend voedsel (veel dierlijke eiwitten, veel witmeelprodukten en weinig groenten of fruit); of kan liggen aan een verminderd zuuruitscheidend vermogen van de nieren. 2. Naast deze verzuringsreuma bestaat er nog een allergische reuma (in ongeveer 65% van de gevallen). In die gevallen wordt niet gereageerd op de ontzuringstherapie. Zelfs is er geen enkele verbetering bij streng vegetarisch voedsel. Kenmerkend voor de allergische reuma, is dat wanneer 2 dagen lang niets anders dan water wordt gedronken, het lichaam totaal pijnvrij is. Gaan we dan weer normaal eten, dan keert de pijn binnen enkele uren weer terug. De oorzaak van allergische reuma is een overgevoeligheid voor bepaalde voedingsbestanddelen.

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Kan een oeroude oosterse geneeswijze voor reumapatiŽnten nog
van betekenis zijn?

Ayurveda, een Indiase geneeskunde, is een van de oudste gezondheidssystemen ter wereld. In India en de omringende landen is het nog altijd de belangrijkste vorm van geneeskunde. Maar ook in West-Europa komt er naast de reguliere geneeskunde steeds meer belangstelling voor oosterse geneeswijzen als ayurveda. In de jaren tachtig kwam de ayurveda naar Nederland, maar vooral de laatste jaren neemt de interesse voor ayurveda sterk toe, ook onder reumapatiŽnten.

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Marjan Reuvers


Osteoarthritis: Remarkable Advances in Joint Replacement

Kevin Bozic MD, MBA, discusses the latest non-operative and surgical treatments for common joint concerns.


Alcohol drinken vermindert risico op reumatische aandoening

Regelmatig alcohol drinken kan de kans op reumatoÔde polyartritis (RP), een pijnlijke reumatische aandoening, verminderen.

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Sex leven van patiŽnten wordt negatief beÔnvloed door RA en SLE

Systemische lupus erythematosus patiŽnten uit BraziliŽ en reumatoÔde artritis (RA) patiŽnten uit Frankrijk melden dat hun reumatische aandoeningen een negatieve invloed hebben op hun emotionele relaties en seksleven. Dit blijkt uit een onderzoek dat vandaag is gepresenteerd op EULAR 2010, de Jaarlijkse congres van de European League Against Rheumatism in Rome, ItaliŽ. Bovendien bleek uit de bevindingen van de Franse studie dat er een specifiek sterke correlatie tussen de ernst van de ziekte RA en het effect op het seksleve is.

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Eric van Staalduinen


Vrouwen die grote hoeveelheden thee consumeren hebben een verhoogd
risico op reumatoÔde artritis

Vrouwen die veel thee drinken, in vergelijking met degenen die geen thee drinken, hebben een verhoogd risico op het ontwikkelen van reumatoÔde artritis (RA). Dit blijkt uit de resultaten welke vandaag gepresenteerd zijn op EULAR 2010, het jaarlijkse congres van de European League Against Rheumatism in Rome, ItaliŽ.

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Eric van Staalduinen


Vitamine D tekort aangetoond bij reumatische condities

Twee verschillende onderzoeken hebben laten zien dat vitamine D tekort een normaal verschijnsel is bij mensen met een reumatische aandoening. Meer dan de helft van patiŽnten zitten onder de "normale" waarde van vitamine D (48-145 nmol/L). Een ander onderzoek toonde aan, dat de dagelijks aanbevolen dosering niet in staat bleek om het lichaamstekort te normaliseren bij mensen met reuma.

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Ignit Bekken


Reumatische artritis en Sle hebben een negatieve invloed op het seksleven van patiŽnten met deze aandoeningen

Braziliaanse SLE patiŽnten en patiŽnten met reumatische artrtitis uit Frankrijk vinden dat hun emotionele relatie en hun seksleven negatief beÔnvloed worden door hun reumatische aandoening. Het onderzoek werd gepresenteerd in Rome tijdens de EULAR 2010, het jaarlijkse congres van de Europese League Tegen Reuma. Verder bleek uit het Franse onderzoek dat er een sterk verband is tussen de ernst van de ziekte en de invloed op het seksleven.

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Ignit Bekken


Reuma olie recept

Ik vul een pot van 500 gr voor 2/3 met biologische olijfolie en 1/3 lijnzaad olie. …ťn eetlepel kurkuma - …ťn eetlepel zwarte peper - …ťn eetlepel chayenne peper. Uit geperst vier tenen knoflook een stuk van 3 centimeter gemberwortel en een halve rode peper - Uit mijn tuin twee eetlepels fijn gehakte rozemarijn en ťťn eetlepel tijm - Goed schudden en enkele dagen laten intrekken.

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Ben Verkerk / Henk Mutsaers


Onderzoek naar BUSPH legt een verband tussen reumatoide artritis en een tekort aan vitamine D

Volgens nieuw onderzoek door een onderzoeker van de Boston University School of Public Health hebben vrouwen die in het noordoosten van de Verenigde Staten wonen een grotere kans om reaumatoide artritis (RA) te ontwikkelen, wat een verband suggereert tussen deze autoimmuunziekte en gebrek aan
vitamine D. Het artikel, dat online in de "Journal Environmental Health Perspectives" verscheen, liet een ruimtelijke analyse zien van Dr. Veronica Vieira (MS, DSc, professor in de milieu gezondheid) dat vrouwen in staten zoals Vermont, New Hampshire en het zuidelijke Maine een grotere kans hebben op de diagnose RA. "Er is een groter risico in de noordelijke geografische breedtes", zegt Dr. Vieira. " Dit zou gerelateerd kunnen zijn aan het feit dat er weinig zonlicht in deze gebieden is, dat resulteert in een tekort aan vitamine D". Het onderzoek maakt gebruik van data van een lange termijn cohort onderzoek onder vrouwelijke verplegers uit de US. Onderzoekers baseerden hun uitspraken op woonadressen, gezondheidsresultaten en risicovolle gedragsfactoren van deelnemers tussen 1988 en 2002, resulterend in 461 vrouwen met RA vergeleken met een grote controle groep van 9220 vrouwen.

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Cindy Oppers


ReumatoÔde Artritis gelinkt aan zwangerschapscomplicaties

Zwangere vrouwen met reumatoÔde artritis kunnen een verhoogde kans op hoge bloeddruk, een baby met een te laag geboortegewicht of de noodzaak van een keizersnede hebben, suggereert een nieuw onderzoek.

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Brainiacs


Reumafonds wil landelijke cijfers over chronisch ziek en werk

Het Reumafonds pleit ervoor de positie van chronisch zieken op de arbeidsmarkt in kaart te brengen en na te gaan of zij sneller ontslagen worden vanwege hun beperking. Het Reumafonds signaleert een sterke toename van het aantal chronisch zieke werknemers in outplacement trajecten. De versoepeling van het ontslagrecht vorig jaar lijkt daar debet aan te zijn. De jaarlijkse Support Award van het Reumafonds laat zien dat chronisch zieke werknemers heel goed in staat zijn hun functie uit te oefenen met hulp van de werkgever. Vandaag is tijdens het RondReuma Congres de Support Award 2010 door jurylid Loek Hermans (MKB Nederland) uitgereikt aan de collega's van Sjaak Deurloo (38), werkvoorbereider bij de TechTron Groep, een elektrotechnisch bedrijf in Veenendaal.

Lodewijk Ridderbos, algemeen directeur van het Reumafonds: "In 2009 hebben wij opgeroepen chronisch zieken niet buiten spel te zetten in tijden van economische teruggang. Juist voor hen is het van economisch en sociaal belang dat zij aan het werk kunnen blijven. Nu, een jaar later, signaleren wij dat de bemiddeling voor werknemers met reuma of artrose en hun werkgevers weliswaar succesvol verloopt, maar we moeten niet te vroeg juichen. Uit het Project Chronisch Ziek en Werk blijkt dat het aantal outplacementtrajecten van chronisch zieken is toegenomen sinds de versoepeling van het ontslagrecht in 2009. Dat is een zeer zorgelijke ontwikkeling".

De CG Raad (Raad voor Chronisch zieken en Gehandicapten) en Boaborea (de brancheorganisatie voor reÔntegratiebureau's) bevestigen dat er geen duidelijke, landelijke cijfers zijn over de positie van chronisch zieken op de arbeidsmarkt. Het Reumafonds vindt het van groot belang dat snel duidelijk wordt of de cijfers afkomstig uit voornoemd Project een landelijke tendens vertegenwoordigen.

Daarnaast roept het Reumafonds werkgevers op om meer moeite te doen om chronisch zieken voor hun bedrijf te behouden. De Support Award juryleden Alexander Rinnooy Kan (voorzitter SER), Loek Hermans (voorzitter MKB Nederland) en Hans Wiegel (voorzitter Zorgverzekeraars Nederland) sluiten zich hierbij aan: "Laten we er voor zorgen dat een chronische ziekte geen reden is en mag zijn voor ontslag, maar dat we ons richten op wat er binnen het bedrijf wťl mogelijk is. De Support Award van het Reumafonds laat zien dat er met begrip en ondersteuning een hoop bereikt kan worden bij de eigen werkgever, tot tevredenheid van beide partijen."


Vroegtijdig en intensief behandelen van reumatoÔde artritis voorkomt definitieve gewrichtsbeschadiging

ReumatoÔde artritis is een gevreesde chronische inflammatoire gewrichtsaandoening. Er zijn vandaag doeltreffende therapeutische opties die reumatoÔde artritis onder controle kunnen houden en zelfs volledig tot rust kunnen brengen. Maar - zo blijkt uit uitgebreid onderzoek in UZ Leuven - voor goede resultaten moet de behandeling intensief starten vůůr de eerste gewrichtsletsels optreden.

Bij reumatoÔde artritis (RA), een chronische inflammatoire gewrichtsaandoening die gepaard gaat met pijn en functieverlies van de gewrichten, kan de ontsteking op termijn leiden tot gewrichtsmisvorming. “Reumatologen hebben de mogelijkheid om de evolutie van RA te vertragen, maar het succes van de behandeling wordt sterk bepaald door de manier waarop de behandeling tijdens de eerste maanden van de ziekte wordt toegepast”, zegt prof. dr. Rene Westhovens van de dienst reumatologie van UZ Leuven.

De dienst reumatologie van UZ Leuven doet onderzoek naar de optimale behandelingsstrategie voor beginnende (RA). Voor dit onderzoek - de CareRA studie - werkt de dienst samen met twaalf reumatologiepraktijken in Vlaanderen. De studie heeft als doel de meest optimale combinatie en dosis van antireumatica en glucocorticoÔden te bepalen met het oog op een succesvolle inductie van remissie bij beginnende RA. Daarenboven wordt gestreefd naar een betere implementatie van intensieve behandelingsstrategieŽn in Vlaanderen.

“Met de CareRA studie willen we niet alleen de efficiŽntie van de verschillende behandelingsarmen vergelijken, maar ook aan de hand van vragenlijsten de percepties en ervaringen van patiŽnten en artsen omtrent dergelijke intensieve behandelingen bestuderen. Zo kunnen we inzicht verwerven in de determinanten van hun effectiviteit in de dagelijkse praktijk”, zegt prof. dr. Patrick Verschueren. “Verder is het de bedoeling om via deze studie de deelnemende centra vertrouwd te maken met de meer intensieve behandelingsstrategieŽn voor beginnende RA”.

Eind jaren negentig werd het principe van remissie inductie volgens de zogenaamde ‘step down’ strategie voor beginnende RA geÔntroduceerd. Het snel tot rust brengen van de ziekte met een combinatie van antireumatica, tijdelijk aangevuld met glucocorticoÔden ter overbrugging van de periode waarbinnen het effect van de traag werkende antireumatica op zich laat wachten, bleek duidelijk efficiŽnter dan een therapie met ťťn antireumaticum. Een dergelijke aanpak is echter niet in trek in de dagelijkse praktijk. Nog te veel wordt gekozen voor de ‘step up’ behandeling waarbij de arts start met een monotherapie en in functie van de respons van de patiŽnt, een of meerdere antireumatica en /of glucocorticoÔden toevoegt.

De ervaring leert dat een intensieve behandeling bij patiŽnten met beginnende RA in belangrijke mate de kansen op een succesvolle controle van de ziekteactiviteit bepaalt. Een snelle beheersing van gewrichtsontsteking zal bovendien de psychosociale en professionele gevolgen voor de patiŽnt beperken.


Video - Dr Hilary Jones explains how we are eating ourselves sick
Food intolerance is a delayed food allergy and can affect long term health and quality of life with symptoms such as IBS, bloating, tiredness, migraines and digestive complaints. Up to 45% of the UK population suffer from food intolerance and a new study shows that it could be what we are eating that is makng us sick. Dr Hilary Jones,resident Doctor on GMTV beleives that the resuts of this research offers a chance to get to the root of these conditions such as IBS and arthritis by tackling the possible cause, rather than relying on long-term treatments for chronic conditions.


Invloed van leeftijd en geslacht op reuma

Mede door de vergrijzing neemt het aantal patiŽnten met chronische aandoeningen, waaronder reumatoÔde artritis (reuma), toe. BeŠta Radovits deed onderzoek naar de invloed van leeftijd en geslacht op reuma. Ze keek hierbij naar de behandeling, het verloop en het resultaat van de behandeling. Uit dit onderzoek komt naar voren dat ook oudere patiŽnten (65+) behandeld dienen te worden met intensieve anti-reumatische medicatie, zoals de relatief nieuwe anti-TNFa middelen. Ondanks een goede klinische conditie en het ontbreken van bijkomende ziekten, hebben oudere reumapatiŽnten veel minder kans om met deze nieuwe, effectieve therapieŽn behandeld te worden. Bij diegenen die wel behandeld zijn, is er een forse verbetering in ziekteactiviteit en kwaliteit van leven merkbaar. Ondanks de revolutie in de behandeling van reuma is de levensverwachting voor reumapatiŽnten nog steeds lager dan gemiddeld. Intensievere behandeling van oudere patiŽnten, met aandacht voor bijkomende ziekten en risicofactoren, kan hier in de toekomst verbetering in brengen


Werknemer met reuma durft niet voor ziekte uit te komen

Ruim tweederde van de werknemers met reuma verzwijgt hun aandoening op het werk. De voornaamste reden daarvoor is dat zij verwachten nadelen te ondervinden als ze wŤl openhartig zijn. Zo is 31% bang om hun baan te verliezen als de werkgever weet dat ze reuma hebben. Op de vraag welke andere redenen werknemers hebben om hun reuma te verzwijgen, antwoordt ruim 10%: "Ik wil mijn collega's niet met meer werk belasten". "Omdat de ziekte grillig is; geen dag is hetzelfde", antwoordt 25%. Dit blijkt uit onderzoek van het Reumafonds, dat is uitgevoerd ter gelegenheid van WereldReumaDag, aanstaande maandag 12 oktober. Het thema dit jaar is 'werk en reuma'. In Nederland hebben 2,3 miljoen mensen reuma of artrose. Tweederde van hen is jonger dan 65 jaar en arbeidsproductief. Het Reumafonds vindt het belangrijk dat mensen met reuma aan het werk kunnen blijven. "Dat is van belang voor hun eigenwaarde, sociale netwerk en economische situatie," stelt Lodewijk Ridderbos, algemeen directeur van het Reumafonds. "Juist nu we in een economische recessie zitten, is het nodig aandacht te vragen voor dit onderwerp. Mensen met een chronische ziekte worden meestal het snelst buiten spel gezet en dat is een slechte zaak." Het Reumafonds beseft dat het ook voor werkgevers moeilijk is als ťťn van hun werknemers een chronische ziekte zoals reuma blijkt te hebben. Daarom vraagt het Reumafonds minister Donner van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid om steun. Ridderbos: "Wij willen graag samen met de overheid de drempel verlagen voor werknemers en werkgevers, zodat reuma goed bespreekbaar wordt op de werkvloer. Dit kan uitval van werknemers voorkomen en levert daardoor het bedrijf Ťn de samenleving een besparing op. Bovendien blijft zo arbeidskracht en ervaring van werknemers behouden." Op maandag 12 oktober zal Lodewijk Ridderbos minister Donner het eerste exemplaar overhandigen van 'Plan de Dag', een dagplanner voor werkgevers, werknemers met reuma en hun behandelaars. In deze planner biedt het Reumafonds dagelijks praktische informatie over reuma in de werkomgeving.


Blueberries may help prevent diabetes and arthritis

Toss some wild blueberries onto your cereal, a salad, or into the blender for a smoothie — they're a powerhouse for good health, says Marva Irene Sweeney-Nixon, Ph.D., an associate biology professor at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

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Rheumatoid arthritis breakthrough

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful, inflammatory type of arthritis that occurs when the body's immune system attacks itself. A new paper, published in this week's issue of PLoS Biology, reports a breakthrough in the understanding of how autoimmune responses can be controlled, offering a promising new strategy for therapy development for rheumatoid arthritis. Normally, immune cells develop to recognise foreign material – antigens; including bacteria - so that they can activate a response against them. Immune cells that would respond to 'self' and therefore attack the body's own cells are usually destroyed during development. If any persist, they are held in check by special regulatory cells that provide a sort of autoimmune checkpoint. A key player in these regulatory cells is a molecule called Foxp3. People who lack or have mutated versions of the Foxp3 gene lack or have dysfunctional immune regulation, which causes dramatic autoimmune disease. Scientists at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, and funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign, have genetically engineered a drug-inducible form of Foxp3. Using this, scientists can 'switch' developing immune cells into regulatory cells that are then capable of suppressing the immune response.

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Jefferson scientists uncover key pathway, potential drug targets in autoinflammatory disease

Molecular biologists at Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia have detailed the cascade of cellular events behind some potentially dangerous autoinflammatory diseases. In doing so, they not only have gained a greater understanding of the disease process, but have also identified new potential drug targets for diseases ranging from arthritis to cancer.

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Bromelain can work wonders for arthritis

Bromelain helps with arthritis because it is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories in nature. It can be used for virtually any inflammatory condition from rheumatoid or osteoarthritis to strains, sprains and back pains. All of this also makes bromelain a very useful natural pain killer.

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The revolutionary jab that could cure arthritic pain

A revolutionary therapy using the body's own defence system could repair the damage caused by osteoarthritis. Orthokine treatment involves injections of the patient's own blood protein into the affected area.

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Blood clotting protein linked to rheumatoid arthritis

Researchers at Cincinnati Children's have issued the first study showing that a protein involved in blood clotting (fibrin), also plays an important role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammatory joint disease appears to be driven by the engagement of inflammatory cells with fibrin matrices through a specific integrin receptor, aMD2. Researchers suggest that therapies designed to interrupt the localized interaction of inflammatory cells and fibrin may help arthritis patients.

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Research proves tai chi benefits for arthritis

A new study by The George Institute for International Health has found Tai Chi to have positive health benefits for musculoskeletal pain. The results of the first comprehensive analysis of Tai Chi suggest that it produces positive effects for improving pain and disability among arthritis sufferers. The researchers are now embarking on a new trial to establish if similar benefits can be seen among people with chronic low back pain. "This is the first robust evidence to support the beneficial effects of Tai Chi. Our study proves that Tai Chi relieves pain and disability among people with arthritis and shows a positive trend towards effects for overall physical health. We now want to see if these benefits are the same for people suffering from low back pain", said author Dr Chris Maher at The George Institute. Musculoskeletal pain, such as that experienced by people with arthritis, places a severe burden on the patient and community and is recognised as an international health priority. Arthritis is the major cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia, with 3.85million Australians affected. Low back pain is the most prevalent and costly musculoskeletal condition in Australia, estimated to cost up to $1billion per annum with indirect costs exceeding $8billion.

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Researchers discover how rheumatoid arthritis causes bone loss

Researchers have discovered key details of how rheumatoid arthritis (RA) destroys bone, according to a study published in the Aug. 22 edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The findings are already guiding attempts to design new drugs to reverse RA-related bone loss and may also address more common forms of osteoporosis with a few adjustments. Two million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which causes swelling, pain and deformity in joints and also lead to the thinning of bone. In autoimmune diseases like RA, the body's disease-fighting immune cells mistakenly identify parts of a person's body as foreign invaders, akin to bacteria, and produce chemicals to destroy them. Among the immune chemicals known to play a central in autoimmune disease is tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha), which ramps up the production of immune cells and chemicals as part of the body's response to disease. When overproduced in RA patients, TNF alpha signals for the destruction of cartilage and bone. Beyond its control over immune cells, TNF alpha also influences bone mass. Human bone is continually regenerated to maintain strength. Under the control of signaling molecules which include TNF alpha, two cell types, balanced against each other, make bone recycling possible. Osteoclasts break down aging bone to make way for new bone, while osteoblasts build new bone at the sites where osteoclasts have removed it. Going into the study, the field understood that TNF alpha decreases the number of bone-building osteoblasts, but not how. The current study provides the first direct proof that the TNF alpha affects osteoblasts through an enzyme called Smad Ubiquitin Regulatory Factor 1 (Smurf1), which in turn shuts down two proteins that would otherwise drive bone-building. While traditional RA drugs like NSAIDs and steroids treat symptoms, a newer class of best-selling drugs (e.g. Humira, Remicade and Enbrel) reverses the disease process by shutting down TNF alpha activity. While the new drugs are effective for many patients, others experience infections and even lymphoma in a few cases. The new drugs are based on bioengineered versions of proteins made by human immune cells called antibodies, and are very expensive to make. Thus, the field has been searching for smaller, simpler chemicals that would be effective, but with lower costs and fewer side effects.

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Disclosing your feelings may help the course of rheumatoid arthritis

The health and physiological effects of an intervention which facilitates the opening of feelings are described in a paper published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. The efficacy of emotional disclosure in alleviating psychological and physical stress has been well documented in controlled laboratory studies. A next step is to evaluate its clinical utility in 'real world' settings. A group of Dutch investigators adapted the emotional disclosure intervention for use in home-based settings by stimulating the suggested effective ingredients of cognitive-emotional processing, and evaluated its psychological and clinical effectiveness. Reviews indicated the need to examine the physiological changes brought about by emotional disclosure, which may be particularly relevant in immune-mediated diseases. This study was the first to examine neuroendocrine and immune changes after emotional disclosure in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Sixty-eight patients were randomly assigned to four weekly oral emotional disclosure or time management sessions.

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New test to diagnose osteoarthritis early

A newly developed medical imaging technology may provide doctors with a long-awaited test for early diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA), scientists from New York reported today at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. By far the most common form of arthritis, OA is a bane of the Baby Boom generation, causing joint pain and disability for more than half of those over 65 – nearly 21 million people in the United States.

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Tai Chi may help ease arthritis

Researchers in Australia conducted a systematic review of Tai Chi studies and found it produces positive effects in those suffering from arthritis.

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Researchers identify genes that increase rheumatoid arthritis risk

Researchers in the United States and Sweden have identified a genetic region associated with increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic and debilitating inflammatory disease of the joints that affects an estimated 2.1 million Americans. The US arm of the study involved a long-time collaboration between intramural researchers of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and other organizations. NIAMS is one of 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health.

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Study shows pine bark naturally reduces knee osteoarthritis

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, is on the rise. A new study published in the August journal of Phytotherapy Research, reveals Pycnogenol, bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, reduced overall knee osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms by 20.9 percent and lowered pain by 40.3 percent. To date, this is the third clinical trial on osteoarthritis treatment with Pycnogenol. This study investigated what happens to joint symptoms after treatment with Pycnogenol is terminated and the results show that no relapse occurred after two weeks. Pycnogenol acts as potent anti-inflammatory and the lasting effects found in this study suggest that Pycnogenol may help the joints to recover.With osteoarthritis cases on the rise, many are seeking non-traditional medication to help ease the pain and reduce the amount of traditional medication taken. The CDC estimates osteoarthritis affects 34 percent of all adults over the age of 65. In 2005, an estimated 26.9 million adults in the U.S. had osteoarthritis, which was up from 21 million in 1990. While there's no known cure for osteoarthritis, treatments such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or analgesics can help reduce pain and also maintain joint movement, to help the quality of life for people living with the disease. In more severe cases, cortisone shots and joint replacement surgery are used to treat OA.

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1 in 2 adults at risk for painful knee arthritis

A landmark government study suggests nearly one in two people (46 percent) will develop painful knee osteoarthritis over their lifetime, with the highest risk among those who are obese. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the study underscores the immediate need for the public to understand what they can do to reduce the tremendous pain, disability and cost associated with arthritis.

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Researchers Offer First Direct Proof of How Arthritis Destroys Cartilage

A team of orthopaedic researchers has found definitive, genetic proof of how the most common form of arthritis destroys joint cartilage in nearly 21 million aging Americans, according to a study published today onlinein the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. The findings serve as an important foundation for the design of new treatments for osteoarthritis (OA), researchers said. OA gradually destroys all cartilage in joints while forming scar tissue and painful bony growths. Advanced cases bring deformity and severe pain as patients loose the protective cushion between bones in weight-bearing joints like knees and hips. Until the late 1980s, OA was regarded as part of growing old. Since then, studies have revealed that biochemical changes contribute to the disease that might be reversed by drugs. Current medications, NSAIDs and Cox 2 inhibitors, are used to reduce symptoms in patients with mild cases, and joint replacement surgery for severe cases. Few options exist for those in between. Going into the current study, little was known about the cellular and molecular events that cause cartilage to break down in osteoarthritic joints. Past studies had suggested that higher levels of a key signaling protein, beta-catenin, were connected to osteoarthritis, but there was no direct evidence to confirm it, or to suggest its role. The current study provides both.

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Doctors should watch for depression in arthritis patients

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are twice as likely to experience depression but are unlikely to talk to a doctor about it, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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An anti-inflammatory response to the vegan diet

Rheumatoid arthritis patients who eat a gluten-free vegan diet could be better protected against heart attacks and stroke. RA is a major risk factor for these cardiovascular diseases, but a gluten-free vegan diet was shown to lower cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein and oxidizedLDL, as well as raising the levels of natural antibodies against the damaging compounds in the body that cause symptoms of the chronic inflammatory disease rheumatoid arthritis, such as phosphorylcholine.

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Scientists shine new light on inflammatory diseases

Investigators at Hospital for Special Surgery have identified a new mechanism involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The mechanism may also shed some light on why gene therapy experiments that use adenoviruses to deliver genes to humans have run into problems.

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Bad mix of bacterial remnants and genetics leads to arthritis

Here's another reason to hate leftovers. A research study appearing in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology (http://www.jleukbio.org) sheds light on one cause of arthritis: bacteria. In the study, scientists from the United States and The Netherlands show that a specific gene called NOD2 triggers arthritis or makes it worse when leftover remnants of bacteria cell walls, called muramyl dipeptide or MDP, are present. This discovery offers an important first step toward new treatments to prevent or lessen the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis."Despite recent advances in the treatment of arthritis, none target its cause," said Michael Davey, Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the Portland Oregon Veteran's Affairs Medical Center and one of the researchers involved in the study. "Our work with MDP and NOD2 is a step toward understanding the root cause of arthritis which one day may allow certain forms of arthritis to be prevented altogether." Davey and colleagues made this discovery through experiments using two groups of mice, one group was normal and the other had been genetically modified so that their NOD2 gene was deactivated (commonly referred to as "knocked out"). Then they administered MDP to the joints of mice in each group, and unlike the normal group of mice, the mice with the deactivated NOD2 gene did not experience signs of arthritis. This may also be an important advance in the understanding and treatment of Blau Syndrome, a rare genetic disease characterized by granulomatous arthritis (arthritis caused by bacteria), uveitis (inflammation in the middle layer of the eye), skin rash and cranial neuropathy (a disorder affecting nerves that control sight, eye movement, hearing, and taste). "Now that we know that bacterial products can activate this NOD2 pathway and that this signal contributes to arthritis," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, "the next step is to find treatments that either rid the body of this inflammatory signal or mask it. Either way, the net effect would be the same: people would be spared from a very crippling disease. "

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Fight arthritis with these foods

When it comes to specific foods you should eat, an anti-inflammatory diet involves avoiding foods that make inflammation worse (saturated fat, trans fat and simple refined carbohydrate) and eating plenty of foods that reduce inflammation.

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Arthritis Trust of America

You've been told that rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis are not curable. That's false! I had "galloping" rheumatoid arthritis in the late 70's and early 80's. My doctor said I would soon be crippled. I recovered with the use of recommended treatments and the grace of God and have been well since! Are you filled with pain day and night, and want relief? Do you view the future as a cripple, suffering from constantly decreasing abilities? Do you want to stop this crippling? Do you or your child live pain free for but minutes each day and then only at the will of a drug, a doctor, or by courtesy of a fat pocketbook? Especially are you a person who wants relief from this centuries-long scourge?

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Working environment is one cause of rheumatoid arthritis

It has long been known that environmental factors play a part in the development of rheumatoid arthritis; smoking and drinking alcohol, along with heredity, are particularly instrumental in increasing the risk of the disease. Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have now produced results that suggest that working environment factors can also increase the chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis.This is especially true of psychosocial workload, in particular what is called "low decision latitude", according to the results of a study in progress due to be published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. The project is being led by Professor Lars Alfredsson of the Department of Environmental Medicine and Professor Lars Klareskog of the Department of Medicine. "We've uncovered clear correlations between the disease and jobs in which one cannot control one's own situation," says Professor Alfredsson.

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Study links arthritis, work limitations

About a third of U.S. adults with arthritis say the chronic condition — the nation‘s leading cause of disability — has limited their ability to work, the government said Thursday.

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Gene expression findings a step toward better classification and treatment of juvenile arthritis

Scientists have discovered gene expression differences that could lead to better ways to classify, predict outcome, and treat juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Eventually such findings could enable doctors to target more aggressive treatment to children at risk of more severe arthritis, while those likely to have milder disease could be spared the stronger treatments that carry a greater risk of side effects. The researchers were supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health. JIA is an inflammatory and sometimes disabling joint disease that affects an estimated 294,000 children in the United States. At present, making a diagnosis of JIA is imprecise and based largely on the presence of joint inflammation persisting for at least six weeks, for which no other cause can be determined, says Robert A. Colbert, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the NIAMS Pediatric Translational Research Branch. Based on the number of joints involved and other clinical features (fever and rash, for example), doctors classify patients into one of four or five major subtypes of JIA, which helps them predict a patient's most likely outcome and guide appropriate treatments. "But, recent research suggests there is more variability in JIA than the four or five major subtypes we currently recognize," Dr. Colbert says. In the first of two such NIAMS-supported studies to be published in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, scientists led by Michael Barnes, Ph.D., of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center used a large data set to compare a number of children newly diagnosed with one of four major subtypes of JIA – persistent oligoarthritis (affecting four or fewer joints), polyarthritis (affecting five or more joints), systemic arthritis (with fever and rash and inflammation throughout the body) and enthesitis-related arthritis (affecting the junctions between tendons and bones). Using gene expression technology – a method by which scientists can determine the relative levels of expression of thousands of different genes at the same time and compare a pattern from one subject with another – the researchers looked for differences in the children's blood samples that corresponded with the different forms of JIA. "We analyzed gene expression patterns in blood cells and found that we could indeed distinguish the major subtypes of JIA," says Dr. Colbert, who was a leader of this research program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center before coming to NIAMS. "Many of the genes whose expression is altered function in the immune system. This means that not only is there immune activation, but it differs depending on the subtype of JIA that is present."

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UT rheumatologists discover 2 genes related to disabling form of arthritis

Work done in part by researchers at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston has led to the discovery of two genes that cause ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory and potentially disabling disease. The findings are published in the Oct. 21 online edition of Nature Genetics, a journal that emphasizes research on the genetic basis for common and complex diseases.

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New trigger for chronic inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis discovered

A signal molecule made by the human body that triggers the immune system into action may be important in rheumatoid arthritis, according to new research published today in Nature Medicine. The authors of the study, from Imperial College London, say that if scientists could block this signal, it may be possible to develop more effective arthritis treatments. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common autoimmune disease, affecting around 1 in 100 people. It causes painful and persistent swelling in the joints that can result in damage to the bone and cartilage. Around half of all patients do not respond to one or more of the treatments currently available, and even these can become less successful over time. The researchers behind the new study say stopping the disease closer to the root of the problem could be the best way to treat it, and their results suggest a new target for therapies. When a microbe infects the body, the body responds by turning on a molecular switch to set the immune system into action and protect the body from disease. Today's findings show that a signal molecule called tenascin-C can trigger the same molecular switch and also activate the immune system. High levels of tenascin-C present in joints therefore may cause the activated immune system to attack the joint leading to the persistent inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. The molecular switch is called TLR4, and is found on the surface of immune cells. Previous research has shown that mice without TLR4 do not show chronic joint inflammation. The researchers hope scientists can develop new treatments that target the interaction between tenascin-C and TLR4, which may help to combat rheumatoid arthritis.Dr Kim Midwood, lead author of the study from the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at Imperial College London, said: "Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating and painful disease and, unfortunately, there is no cure. Furthermore, current treatments are not effective for many patients." "We have uncovered one way that the immune system may be triggered to attack the joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. We hope our new findings can be used to develop new therapies that interfere with tenascin-C activation of the immune system and that these will reduce the painful inflammation that is a hallmark of this condition," added Dr Midwood.

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Cod liver oil 'can help arthritis sufferers cut reliance on drugs'

SCIENTISTS have uncovered further evidence that cod liver oil can benefit people suffering rheumatoid arthritis. A study published today in the journal Rheumatology showed that people taking a cod liver oil supplement could cut their reliance on anti-inflammatory drugs by more than 30 per cent.

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Scientists discover how gold eases pain of arthritis

Scientists at Duke University Medical Center may have solved the mystery surrounding the healing properties of gold -- a discovery they say may renew interest in gold salts as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

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Genes and smoking play role in rheumatoid arthritis

Recent genetic studies have revealed several new sites of genes that are risk factors for developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The strongest association with anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-positive RA (ACPAs are autoantibodies detected in RA that are used as a major diagnostic tool) has been found for the HLA-DRB1 gene, and this site seems to play a central role in susceptibility to the disease in Caucasian populations. Previous studies have shown a high increase in the risk of ACPA-positive RA associated with smoking in those who have certain variations of the HLA-DRB1 gene. There are several types of such alleles related to a particular amino acid sequence known as shared epitope (SE). ACPAs occur in about 60 percent of RA patients and are closely linked to the presence of SE alleles. In fact, SE alleles are the strongest genetic risk factor for ACPA-positive RA. Of several environmental factors that predispose people toward developing RA, smoking has been found to be the main risk factor and a strong gene-environment interaction between smoking and SE alleles for ACPA-positive patients has been shown in previous studies in Europe. Results in North America have not been as conclusive, however. A new large population-based study examined the gene-environment interaction between smoking and SE alleles in RA and found that all SE alleles strongly interact with smoking in conferring an increased risk of ACPA-positive RA. T

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Study examines relationship between bone density and erosion in arthritis

Up to 50 percent of RA patients show evidence of focal erosions, and RA doubles the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, affects almost three percent of people over age 65. RA patients experience pain, functional limitations and two forms of disabling bone disease: focal erosions and osteoporosis. After five years of disease, up to 50 percent of RA patients show evidence of focal erosions and RA doubles the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. A new study examined the relationship between these two RA-related processes, in the hopes of providing insight into the underlying pathophysiology of RA-related bone disease. The study was published in the June issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism. Led by Daniel H. Solomon of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston , the study involved 163 postmenopausal women with RA, none of whom were taking osteoporosis medications. Participants underwent bone density scans of the hip and spine, as well as X-rays of the hand to determine if they had bone erosions. The results showed that hip bone mineral density (BMD) correlated with bone erosion, but the relationship was not statistically significant after adjusting for clinical factors such as age, BMI and use of oral glucocorticoids used to treat RA. The relationship did appear stronger, however, in patients with early RA. "Our findings suggest that the relationship between focal erosions and generalized osteoporosis is complicated and modifed by many aspects of RA and other factors," the authors state. They point out that with longer disease duration, other variables such as the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), disease activity and markers of inflammation may dilute the relationship between focal erosions and hip BMD. As to why there was a stronger relationship between hip BMD and erosions than with spine BMD, there are several possible explanations. It's possible that the inflammation underlying RA affects the hip more than the spine or that the effects are more apparent at the hip, which may more closely relate to joint mobility and overall functional status.

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New Study Proves that Pain is Not a Symptom of Arthritis, Pain Causes Arthritis

Pain is more than a symptom of osteoarthritis, it is an inherent and damaging part of the disease itself, according to a study published today in journal Arthritis and Rheumatism. More specifically, the study revealed that pain signals originating in arthritic joints, and the biochemical processing of those signals as they reach the spinal cord, worsen and expand arthritis. In addition, researchers found that nerve pathways carrying pain signals transfer inflammation from arthritic joints to the spine and back again, causing disease at both ends. Technically, pain is a patient’s conscious realization of discomfort. Before that can happen, however, information must be carried along nerve cell pathways from say an injured knee to the pain processing centers in dorsal horns of the spinal cord, a process called nociception. The current study provides strong evidence that two-way, nociceptive “crosstalk” may first enable joint arthritis to transmit inflammation into the spinal cord and brain, and then to spread through the central nervous system (CNS) from one joint to another. Furthermore, if joint arthritis can cause neuro-inflammation, it could have a role in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and multiple sclerosis. Armed with the results, researchers have identified likely drug targets that could interfere with key inflammatory receptors on sensory nerve cells as a new way to treat osteoarthritis (OA), which destroys joint cartilage in 21 million Americans. The most common form of arthritis, OA eventually brings deformity and severe pain as patients loose the protective cushion between bones in weight-bearing joints like knees and hips. “Until relatively recently, osteoarthritis was believed to be due solely to wear and tear, and inevitable part of aging,” said Stephanos Kyrkanides, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate professor of Dentistry within the Eastman Dental Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Recent studies have revealed, however, that specific biochemical changes contribute to the disease, changes that might be reversed by precision-designed drugs. Our study provides the first solid proof that some of those changes are related to pain processing, and suggests the mechanisms behind the effect,” said Kyrkanides, whose work on genetics in dentistry led to broader applications. The common ground between arthritis and dentistry: the jaw joint is a common site of arthritic pain.

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Occupational therapy gets people with osteoarthritis moving

Physical activity is the cornerstone of any healthy lifestyle – and especially for people with osteoarthritis as exercise helps maintain good joint health, manage their symptoms, and prevent functional decline. Osteoarthritis, however, often makes physical activity, such as exercise, and even performing daily activities, a challenge. But an occupational therapist-led approach – called activity strategy training – could provide patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis the opportunity to lead more active lives and even improve their overall health, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System. In the pilot study, the researchers found that patients who engaged in activity strategy training along with regular exercise increased their physical activity, more so than those patients who only took part in exercise and health education sessions. Study results are now online and are set to appear in the October issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Tai chi improves pain in arthritis sufferers

The results of a new analysis have provided good evidence to suggest that Tai Chi is beneficial for arthritis. Specifically, it was shown to decrease pain with trends towards improving overall physical health, level of tension and satisfaction with health status. Musculoskeletal pain, such as that experienced by people with arthritis, places a severe burden on the patient and community and is recognized as an international health priority. Exercise therapy including such as strengthening, stretching and aerobic programs, have been shown to be effective for arthritic pain. Tai Chi, is a form of exercise that is regularly practiced in China to improve overall health and well-being. It is usually preformed in a group but is also practiced individually at one's leisure, which differs from traditional exercise therapy approaches used in the clinic. Recently, a new study examined the effectiveness of Tai Chi in decreasing pain and disability and improving physical function and quality of life in people with chronic musculoskeletal pain. The study is published in the June issue of Arthritis Care & Research. Led by Amanda Hall of The George Institute in Sydney, Australia, researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. They analyzed seven eligible randomized controlled trials that used Tai Chi as the main intervention for patients with musculoskeletal pain. The results demonstrate that Tai Chi improves pain and disability in patients suffering arthritis.

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Statins Impair Antitumor Effects of Rituximab by Inducing Conformational Changes of CD20

Statins were shown to interfere with both detection of CD20 and antilymphoma activity of rituximab. These studies have significant clinical implications, as impaired binding of mAbs to conformational epitopes of CD20 elicited by statins could delay diagnosis, postpone effective treatment, or impair anti-lymphoma activity of rituximab.

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Risk of tuberculosis from arthritis medication examined

Treatment with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents is recognized as a risk factor for tuberculosis (TB) in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn's disease, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. Most TB cases develop as a result of reactivation of a latent TB infection, and health authorities worldwide recommend screening for latent TB and treating patients before initiating anti-TNF treatment. A new study examined cases of TB associated with anti-TNF therapy and found that the risk of TB is higher for patients receiving anti-TNF monoclonal antibody therapy (infliximab or adalimumab) than for those receiving soluble TNF receptor therapy (etanercept). The study is published in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/76509746/home). Led by Xavier Mariette of the Universitť Paris-Sud, researchers set up a national registry in France to collect all cases of TB occurring during a three-year period in patients receiving anti-TNF therapy for any reason. Researchers collected data on 69 cases of TB, assessing risk factors for TB before anti-TNF therapy began and anti-TNF treatment history.

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The Potential Effect of Statins on Rituximab Immunotherapy

Assuming long-term statin treatment does indeed substantially reduce CD20 detection in vivo, two obvious changes to clinical management should be made. First, extensive use of statins for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia should be a contraindication for the use of CD20 as a diagnostic marker for mature B cells. Second, statins should be removed from the treatment of patients with either malignant or autoimmune disease who are required to undergo CD20-specific therapy.

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Chondroitin Slows Progression and Relieves Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) causes disability and is a major public health problem. A new study examined the effect of chondroitins 4 and 6 sulfate (CS) on OA progression and symptoms. CS, unlike other chondroitin sulfate products sold as dietary supplements in the U.S., has been approved as a prescription symptomatic slow acting drug for OA in many European countries. The study was published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/76509746/home). Led by Andre Kahan of the University of Paris Descartes in Paris, the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involved 622 patients with OA from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and the U.S. Patients had knee X-rays at the time of enrollment and at 12, 18 and 24 months. The X-rays were evaluated for joint space loss and patients were also assessed for OA symptoms and pain.

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Exposure to Traffic and Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Consistent associations between cigarette smoking and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be mediated by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Hart et al. (p. 1065) studied 90,297 U.S. women in the Nurses’ Health Study to determine whether particulate air pollution, another potential cause of systemic inflammation, might also be a risk factor for RA. The authors used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate the association between incident RA (between 1976 and 2004) and residential proximity to roads, a proxy measure of exposure to traffic-related air pollution. Women living within 50 m of a road had an increased risk of RA compared with women living ? 200 m from a road [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 1.31; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.98–1.74], with a somewhat stronger association estimated for nonsmokers [HR = 1.62 (95% CI, 1.04–2.52)]. However, women living 50–200 m from a road did not appear to have an increased risk of RA relative to other women. The authors conclude that results were consistent with an effect of traffic-related air pollution on RA, but recommend that more specific measures of exposure be used in future research.

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Mediterranean diet may benefit arthritis sufferers

The traditional diets of people in the Mediterranean region tend to be high in fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil, and comparatively low in red meat. A number of studies have linked this style of eating to alower risk of heart disease, but there has also been some evidence that it's beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis, or RA.

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'Bee sting honey' for arthritis

A New Zealand company is seeking EU approval to market honeybee venom to help people with arthritis ease their pain.

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Childhood Arthritis - Common but Preventable Consequence of Lyme Disease

When left untreated, children infected with Lyme disease can experience many severe complications as a result including arthritis, problems with the heart or central nervous system. Early detection is the key to preventing the lasting complications seen frequently at Hospital for Special Surgery.Lyme disease in children is often overlooked in its earliest stages, leading to these complications later on, according to Emma Jane MacDermott, M.D., pediatric rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. This problem is particularly common in the Northeast: the ticks that carry the disease are found in this area and up to 90 percent of the cases occur here. After the initial exposure, which occurs when a tick bites an infected animal — usually a deer or a mouse — and then feeds on a child, the disease is considered to be in its early stage. Lyme disease first presents with a rash occurring at the site of the tick bite. “This rash may be completely red, but usually develops a pale area in the center that makes it look like a bull’s eye,” said Dr. MacDermott. “Symptoms of early disease occur within days or weeks of the bite and resemble the flu. In fact, early disease is often dismissed as a viral infection in children and therefore not treated.” Children can progress to ‘late disease’ if their illness is not recognized and treated, often many months later. “This can involve the heart, nervous system and very commonly the joints,” explained Dr. MacDermott. “More than half of untreated patients may develop arthritis and Lyme arthritis can affect any joint. Arthritis often involves one large joint, usually the knee, which rapidly becomes markedly swollen and painful, but symptoms may be more subtle.”

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Study finds reduced vitamin B6 and elevated homocysteine levels more prevalent in rheumatoid arthritis patients

The March, 2008 edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association published a report by Kathleen Woolf, PhD, RD of Arizona State University in Mesa, and Melinda M. Manore, PhD, RD of Oregon State University in Corvallis which revealed that women with rheumatoid arthritis have higher homocysteine levels and lower vitamin B6 levels than women without the disease.

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Considering Anemia when Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

“Since anemia afflicts such a large proportion of patients with RA, it should be an important consideration in clinical assessment and management,” stated Dr. Daniel Furst, a rheumatologist and Professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

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A natural mineral supplement provides relief from knee osteoarthritis symptoms

This small preliminary study suggested that a multi mineral supplement (Aquamin) may reduce the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis of the knee over 12 weeks of treatment and warrants further study. Aquamin is composed of multiple minerals and the 'active ingredient' for the complex is difficult to determine. A number of the minerals in Aquamin may have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties which might directly and/or indirectly influence the efficacy of this unique complex. While the prominent mineral present in Aquamin is calcium (dosage = 80% Ca U.S RDA), its role in joint health is unclear. Magnesium however, was given at the daily dosage providing 14% (male) to 18% (female) U.S. RDA [12] and over the course of this study, this increased consumption of magnesium may have influenced OA symptoms by affecting the utilization of calcium or by potentially reducing inflammation around the affected joint. Both manganese and selenium were given at the daily dosage providing up to 16% and 4% of their RDA respectfully. Both of these trace minerals have been reported to reduce the appearance of osteoarthritic lesions and reduce the severity of symptoms in OA.

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Comparison of glucosamine sulfate and a polyherbal supplement for the relief of osteoarthritis of the knee

Both reparagen and glucosamine sulfate produced substantial improvements in pain, stiffness and function in subjects with osteoarthritis. Response rates were high and the safety profile was excellent, with significantly less rescue medication use with reparagen. Reparagen represents a new natural productive alternative in the management of joint health.

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Rheumatoid arthritis as a modifier of periodontitis

Periodontitis is a chronic tissue-destructive condition in which the tooth-supporting collagen fibers of ligament and bone are broken down mainly by the host’s overreactive immune inflammatory response. The relation between periodontitis and other chronic inflammatory destructive diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), has been dealt with in some studies because, in spite of their different etiologies, similar mechanisms of tissue destruction have been described in these conditions. The findings concerning the periodontal conditions of adults with RA are disputed. Some studies have shown no association between the two conditions while others have supported a worse periodontal status in these patients. Little is known about the oral conditions of individuals with the forms of arthritis that affect children and adolescents, i.e. juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), except for a higher caries prevalence. Information regarding periodontitis in JIA subjects is lacking and thus is needed.In conclusion, this thesis shows that adolescents with JIA, especially those more systemically affected, have a worse periodontal condition than controls. However, longitudinally, the effects of disease remission and anti-rheumatic treatment are potentially able to modulate the inflammatory process in the periodontium.

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Gender bias may affect care of people with osteoarthritis, study finds

Unconscious prejudices among doctors may explain why women complaining of knee pain are less likely than men to be recommended for total knee replacement surgery, a study in today's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests.

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Potassium Supplementation May Reduce Pain in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

The results of this study suggest that in hypokalemic patients with active RA, supplementation with potassium may be a safe and effective way of alleviating pain.

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Health Salon - arthritis

Your Source for Cutting Edge Information in Alternative Health Care thats hard to find.

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Nitric oxide in inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis

he role played by NO in the function of normal and pathological joints is still incompletely understood. Although it is clear that NO and RNOS both play a role in the OA disease process, as well as in the perception of pain, studies analyzing the effects of NO-donating agents in both chondrocytes and other cell types are providing insights that suggest that there are also protective functions for NO and its redox derivatives in individual cell types. Future research into the role played by NO in OA and the utility of NO-donating agents may provide a new therapeutic option for the treatment of OA with an improved risk profile compared with currently available therapies.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients do Worse After a Heart Attack

Following a heart attack, people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) suffer greater heart-related complications, including an increased risk for dying, when compared to other heart attack patients, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco. Mayo Clinic researchers determined that patients with RA do suffer higher mortality and are at higher risk of heart failure after a heart attack, but reasons for the increase are still unknown. The results of this study emphasize the need for better strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks in these patients.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among Women

After four decades on the decline, rheumatoid arthritis is on the upswing among women in the United States. That's the finding presented by Mayo Clinic investigators at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals in San Francisco."This is a significant finding and an indicator that more research needs to be done to better understand the causes and treatment of this devastating disease," says Sherine Gabriel, M.D., Mayo Clinic rheumatologist and lead investigator on the study.>From 1955 to 1994, the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis had continually been on the decline. That apparently changed beginning in the mid-1990s. When Mayo researchers analyzed patient data from early 1995 to the start of 2005, they found that both the incidence and prevalence (percentage) of the condition were rising.

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Chlamydia May Play Role In a Type of Arthritis

Spondylarthritis (SpA) represents a group of arthritidies that share clinical features such as inflammatory back pain and inflammation at sites where tendons attach to bone. It includes ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel-disease-related arthritis, reactive arthritis (ReA) and undifferentiated spondylarthritides (uSpA). Since Chlamydia trachomatis or Chlamydia pneumoniae (which are often asymptomatic) frequently cause ReA, a new study examined whether there was a connection between these two infections and uSpA. The study was published in the May issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/76509746/home). Led by John D. Carter of theUniversity of South Florida, the study involved blood and synovial tissue analysis from 26 patients who had chronic uSpA or Chlamydia-induced ReA. Synovial tissue samples from 167 osteoarthritis patients were used as controls. Samples were analyzed to assess chlamydial DNA and the 26 subjects were asked if they had any known exposure to Chlamydia trachomatis or Chlamydia pneumoniae and if so, the infection was documented in relation to the onset of their uSpA. They also underwent a physical exam that included evaluation of swollen and tender joints and other symptoms of SpA. The results showed that the rate of Chlamydia infection was 62 percent in uSpA patients, significantly higher than the 12 percent seen in control subjects.

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Researchers identify new risk factor gene for rheumatoid arthritis

Scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and a team of collaborators from across the country have identified a new risk factor gene for rheumatoid arthritis. The paper will be published in Nature Genetics and the finding brings light to the nature of the disease. The gene, dubbed REL, is a member of the NF-?B family, important transcription factors that have many roles in the body. The NF-?B family seems to have a big hand in regulating the body's immune response as well. "The NF-?B is a key switching point for many cellular activities," said Peter K. Gregersen, MD, head of the Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics at the Feinstein Institute and lead author of the study. Dr. Gregersen is part of a nationwide consortium of investigators seeking to identify risk genes for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The hope is to figure out the genetic triggers and identify treatments that block this autoimmune process. In theory, such advances can point the way to understanding other autoimmune disorders. About one percent of the population will develop rheumatoid arthritis, which can be crippling. REL is a key regulator of CD40, which works through the NF-?B pathway. "This paper represents the latest in a series of important publications chronicling an exceptionally productive collaboration between extramural and intramural scientists through the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium," said Daniel Kastner, MD, PhD, clinical director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. "In describing yet another gene in the CD40 signaling pathway that is involved in rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility, this paper reinforces the possibility of targeting this pathway in selected patients with this debilitating illness." The consortium has helped identify many genes involved in rheumatoid arthritis but this genetic finding is significant because of its key role in immune system regulation. It did not reveal itself in previous genetic studies because the sample size was just not large enough. In previous studies, genetic samples from about 2,000 patients were used to identify markers associated with risk for RA. In the latest study, the scientists analyzed samples from 4,000 RA patients and controls. According to Dr. Gregersen, this particular genetic variant is rather common, found in about a third of people in North America. That means that it must confer an important survival advantage. That said, scientists need to figure out its role in increasing the risk for RA. Next on the research agenda is to see if they can measure how the gene is regulated under specific conditions that set the stage for RA. "There are a huge number of unknowns," said Dr. Gregersen. "These findings are clear – this pathway is involved – but there is a lot of work to be done." Genetic differences between individuals help scientists understand many diseases. But this is just the beginning, added Dr. Gregersen. Today, most markers that are used to identify genes represent variants that occur in more than five percent of the population. The next wave in genetic screening will have to include the variants that occur in less than one percent of the population.

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$1.4M Grant to UMDNJ to Study Impact of Massage on Osteoarthritis

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) has received a $1.4 million federal grant for a two-year study to determine the optimal dosing regimen of massage that benefits patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Dr. Adam Perlman, MD, M.P.H., executive director of the Institute for Complementary & Alternative Medicine at the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions, is the study’s principal investigator. Perlman led a 2006 pilot study which demonstrated that a course of Swedish massage was safe, and decreased pain and increased function, for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Pilot study results were published in Annals of Internal Medicine in December 2006. The new study will build upon that pilot study. “Safe and effective adjunct treatments for osteoarthritis are extremely important,” Perlman said, “in light of the pain and disability caused by this condition, the prevalence (more than 21 million Americans), and the high rates of undesirable side effects associated with current drug treatments.” Perlman is the UMDNJ Endowed Professor of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Chair of the Department of Primary Care at the UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions.According to Perlman, a total of 125 participants will be enrolled in this study. Subjects will be randomly assigned to one of five groups – a usual care group or one of four different massage groups. Among the massage groups, massages will vary by length (one hour versus 30 minutes) and frequency (once a week versus twice a week) over a two-month period.

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Natural Therapeutic Treatments for Arthritis

New natural treatments may help improve the quality of life for more than 21 million osteoarthritis (OA) sufferers, according to new research presented at the 2009 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expoģ. Studies show that a novel, natural chicken derivative is more effective and longer-lasting than traditional chondroitin and glucosamine treatments. OA causes localized joint inflammation, often with crippling effects. Conventional medicines used to treat OA include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, which can cause gastric injury. Alternatives such as rofecoxib and valdecoxib increase the rise of cardiovascular dysfunctions, including stroke. The new natural arthritis treatments do not have these side effects, making them more appealing to those with arthritis symptoms. Studies show that UC-II, a novel undenatured type II collagen derived from chicken sternum cartilage, decreased arthritis pain scores by 33 percent, compared to 14 percent in groups treated with glucosamine and chondroitin. "In addition, the UC-II continued to work even after the glucosamine-chondroitin results plateaued, making it more effective over time," said Manashi Bagchi, Ph.D., of Interhealth Nutraceuticals, Inc., Benicia, CA. In studies with arthritic dogs and horses, daily treatment with UC-II markedly alleviated arthritis symptom as well. The natural supplements were tolerated well with no adverse effects.

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Inhibiting Proteins May Prevent Cartilage Breakdown in Arthritis Patients

Current arthritis medications can ease the pain, but stopping the progression of the disease requires more aggressive treatments: use of very limited available drugs or surgical intervention. University of Missouri researchers hope to find new therapeutic targets for arthritis by studying the interaction between two proteins that, if interrupted, may prevent arthritis pain caused by joint damage. In a new study, researchers have found potential evidence that blocking the proteins responsible for inducing inflammation prevents cartilage breakdown. “We are looking to intervene in specific molecular events to prevent the depletion of cartilage in arthritis,” said Bimal K. Ray, professor of veterinary pathobiology in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. “Certain proteins play a major role in the development of arthritis. When we understand how these proteins interact, we will have a better idea of how to slow or even reverse the progression of the disease.” When the human body develops arthritis, specific protein functions are altered and inflammation is triggered, leading to pain. In the MU study, Ray examined the interaction between the proteins AP-1 and SAF-1 and found that the interaction of these proteins plays a significant role in inducing inflammation. SAF-1 and AP-1 can partner to work together to induce activation of the MMP-1 gene causing breakdown of collagen (the proteins that constitute cartilage). Arthritis patients start to experience pain when cartilage starts to erode.

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Genetic pathway responsible for link between body clock disturbance and worsening arthritis

The genes that regulate human circadian rhythm, or 'the body clock', are significantly disturbed in individuals with arthritis, according to the results of a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark. Notably, a specific genetic pathway has been identified as responsible for interactions between the genes that regulate the body clock and those that may worsen symptoms of arthritis. In a sample of 200 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, sleep was determined to be significantly disturbed in over 61%, as determined by a Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) score of >5 (the PSQI global score was 8.55 Ī4.69). These values were shown to correlate with several measures of arthritis disease activity, including levels of c-reactive protein, swollen joint count and DAS28*. A further element of the study looked into the expression patterns of certain genes in mice with arthritis. Here, researchers identified a novel biochemical pathway in which the circadian regulatory gene CRY was found to up-regulate expression of a gene which promotes the activation of TNF-alpha (tumour necrosis factor-alpha, a pro-inflammatory cytokine used by the body to boost the immune system) by two fold, when comparing mice with the CRY gene removed to those with a normal copy of the gene. Professor Shunichi Shiozawa of Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine and University Hospital, Japan, who led the research said: "Our study has shown that arthritis interferes with the genetics behind an individual's circadian rhythm and, specifically, that certain body clock genes may play a part in the activation of TNF-alpha, a signaling molecule that has an important role in the inflammation commonly seen in a number of rheumatologic conditions. The identification of this curious pathway may help to explain the 24-hour symptom cycle seen by many patients who experience worsening of joint pain and stiffness in the mornings, and lead to further research into new approaches for improving daily quality of life."

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New imaging technique ensures rapid profiling autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis

Using a new imaging technique, a fast and accurate profile of auto-antibodies present in the blood serum of rheumatic patients can be made. This profile can give valuable information about the progress of the disease. A unique feature of this so-called Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) technique is that it directly tests on blood serum, without complex preprocessing. A special chip will enable many parallel tests. Scientists from the University of Twente and the Radboud University Nijmegen, both in The Netherlands, will publish about the new imaging technique in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).

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New insights into inflammation in osteoarthritis

The most common degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis (OA) is marked by the breakdown of articular cartilage, which is the type of cartilage that lines the ends of most limb bones. It can afflict any joint—fingers, toes, wrists, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and the spine, as well as the weight-bearing knees and hips. As OA progresses, sufferers often experience inflammation around the affected joint. This inflammation has been attributed to bits of cartilage breaking off and aggravating the synovium, the thin, smooth membrane lining a joint. Yet, MRI detection of prominent synovitis in early OA—when joint cartilage appears normal—suggests that other joint structures may be involved in triggering this inflammation. Recent studies of inflammation in spinal arthritis implicate the enthesis, which is the attachment site of ligament or tendon to bone as being a potential driving factor in joint inflammation.

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New clues to healing arthritis caused by traumatic injury

A strain of laboratory mice that has "superhealing" powers has been found to resist inflammation after a knee injury, and also to avoid developing arthritis at the injury site in the long term, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center. Their findings illuminate the mechanisms of post-traumatic arthritis and could point to therapies for this condition, which commonly afflicts younger people who lose productivity during their prime working years. "After a patient's traumatic injury, orthopaedic surgeons realign the joint surface as anatomically as possible and then hope for the best," said Steven A. Olson, MD, FACS, principal investigator of the post-traumatic arthritis project and chief of the Duke orthopaedic trauma section. "They haven't been thinking about why patients with injuries are subsequently getting arthritis. Our research examines how we could possibly prevent arthritis development with growth factors and anti-inflammatory therapies after a fracture, either before or at the time of the surgery to fix it." Olson said 10 percent of all arthritis cases - about 4.6 million - are post-traumatic arthritis patients, many of whom suffer for years and are too young for joint replacement surgeries. The economic cost thus is about $12.8 billion annually for this group, according to Arthritis Foundation statistics. The scientists examined the differences in inflammatory response between two types of mice: one type known as superhealers (or MRL/MpJ) versus a strain of control mice (C57BL/6). Previously, scientists discovered that the superhealer mice had such regenerative powers that holes made in their ears for lab identification purposes grew over completely with no sign of scar tissue. Earlier work done at Duke showed no differences between healthy and fractured limbs when the superhealers healed from a fracture of the knee joint.

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Meditation therapy for rheumatoid arthritis patients

Mindfulness-based stress reduction shows promise for easing psychological distress associated with disease symptoms.

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Fruit may help joint problems

People who reported consuming the highest amounts of vitamin C, primarily from eating fruit, were the least likely to have developed bone changes associated with osteoarthritis.

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The Hidden Cause of Many Inflammatory Disorders

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the estimated cases of arthritis alone will be 21.4 million by end of 2005. However, because of the influx of aging baby boomers, those figures are expected to rise to 41.1 million by 2030 in North America alone - not taking into account all other forms of inflammatory disorders, including heart disease.

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Modulation of immune function by dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis

Despite the almost universal clinical observation that inflammation of the gut is frequently associated with inflammation of the joints and vice versa, the nature of this relationship remains elusive. In the present review, we provide evidence for how the interaction of dietary lectins with enterocytes and lymphocytes may facilitate the translocation of both dietary and gut-derived pathogenic antigens to peripheral tissues, which in turn causes persistent peripheral antigenic stimulation. In genetically susceptible individuals, this antigenic stimulation may ultimately result in the expression of overt rheumatoid arthritis (RA) via molecular mimicry, a process whereby foreign peptides, similar in structure to endogenous peptides, may cause antibodies or Tlymphocytes to cross-react with both foreign and endogenous peptides and thereby break immunological tolerance. By eliminating dietary elements, particularly lectins, which adversely influence both enterocyte and lymphocyte structure and function, it is proposed that the peripheral antigenic stimulus (both pathogenic and dietary) will be reduced and thereby result in a diminution of disease symptoms in certain patients with RA.

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Diagnosis of arthritis 5 years earlier in childless women compared to those with children

Nulliparous women (those who have not given birth to children) are diagnosed with chronic arthritides (including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) an average of 5.2 years before parous women (those who have given birth to children), according to a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark. Previous studies have highlighted that pregnancy may be a protective factor against the development of RA, whereas this is the first study to assess the effect of pregnancy and having children on the development of chronic arthritic conditions in premenopausal women. Within the study, the mean age at time of diagnosis for nulliparous women was 26 years, compared with 31.2 years for parous women (p<0.001). Rheumatoid factor (an autoantibody sometimes found in the immune systems of people with RA) was also present in 37.1% of the nulliparous women compared with 41.1% of the parous women (p="0.21)," which, although not statistically significant, may indicate that the parous women studied may possess a higher disposition to developing arthritis than the nulliparous women. Dr Marianne Wallenius, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway, who led the study, said: "Arthritic conditions tend to occur more commonly in women, particularly those of childbearing age. Some symptoms of RA, for example, can improve during pregnancy, but our study indicates that the processes of pregnancy and childbearing could delay the onset of arthritic conditions. Continued examination of the complex interactions between the female reproductive processes and the epidemiology of RA could yield further interesting insights." The retrospective study analysed 557 women aged 18-45 years from the Norwegian Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drug (NOR-DMARD) study, who were all diagnosed with chronic arthritides before the age of 45 years. Information about parous status was confirmed through linking the NOR-DMARD patient cohort with the Medical Birth Registry of Norway (MBRN).

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Arthritis is Built-Up Toxicity in the Joints

According the Associated Press, patients, particularly arthritis patients, are "fretting" over reduced access to acetaminophen, a drug that's known to cause liver damage. One patient claims the lack of access to this known poison might encourage those in pain to turn to street drugs for relief. While no one wants to be in pain, the real shame is that it's not common knowledge that arthritis is often simply a build up of toxic matter in the joints - toxic matter that can be removed by deeply cleansing the body internally. The inflammation of the surrounding tissues occurs as a result of the proximity to these acidic toxins hidden in the joints.

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Manchester researchers identify gene behind rheumatoid arthritis

University of Manchester researchers have identified a genetic variant in a region on chromosome 6 that is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, the most common inflammatory arthritis affecting 387,000 people in the UK.

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Seaweed supplement may aid knee arthritis

A mineral supplement derived from seaweed may help people with knee arthritis cut down on painkillers, a preliminary study suggests.

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Two faces for TNF-alpha in antiviral and antitumor immunity

Antagonists of the soluble factor TNF-alpha are used to treat individuals with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases mediated by immune cells known as T cells, e.g. rheumatoid arthritis. Despite this there are contradictory reports as to the effects of TNF-alpha on T cell responses. New research in mice by Pamela Ohashi and colleagues at the Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, has provided a potential explanation for these contradictory reports by demonstrating that the inflammatory milieu is a critical factor in determining the importance of TNF-alpha to the T cell response.

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Tracking levels of key biomarkers reflects disease activity and progression of rheumatoid arthritis

New research has identified biomarkers associated with inflammation and progression in joint erosion in individuals with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to the results of a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark. The researchers suggest a potential role for these biomarkers in the monitoring of ongoing disease activity through assessing inflammation and joint destruction, two important targets for the treatment of early RA.Over the 12-month study period, levels of the serological biomarkers sYKL-40 and sMMP3 were consistently associated with three measures of disease activity: MRI (RAMRIS (RA MRI score) synovitis score and RAMRIS bone marrow oedema score) and clinical scores (DAS28*) of inflammation (p<0.05), when the analyses were corrected for age, gender, c-reactive protein (CRP, a marker for inflammation) levels and treatment type. The bone marker sCTX1 and the cartilage marker uCTXII were also shown to be predictors of erosive progression (RAMRIS erosion score; beta 2.42 (95%CI 0.48-4.36)). Dr Silje Syversen of Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Norway, who led the study, said: "Disease monitoring in RA can be problematic and patients 'at-risk' of future irreversible joint destruction can go undetected. Current predictors of joint destruction such as radiographic abnormalities are signs of later-stage disease development. Biomarkers could offer a novel, more sensitive, rapid and reliable approach to disease monitoring and prediction, and importantly could be useful predictors of bone and cartilage damage before such abnormalities have occurred." In the study, 84 patients with early RA (disease duration <1 year, mean age 58.4 years, 73.9% females, 55% anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA) positive) were assessed at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months including clinical examination, conventional radiographs (CR) of the hands and MRI scans of the dominant wrist. RAMRIS score (erosions range 0-150, synovitis range 0-9 and bone marrow oedema range 0-45) was used to evaluate MRI images and the van der Heijde modified Sharp score (vdHSS) was used for for the CRs.

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Increased levels of certain cytokines and chemokines predict onset of rheumatoid arthritis

Up-regulation of certain cytokines and chemokines (signaling molecules involved in the functioning of the immune system) can predict the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) three years before the onset of symptoms, according to the results of a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark. The results of the study showed that up-regulation of certain cytokines (specifically Th1, Th2 and Treg) involved in the growth and proliferation of various cells integral to the immune system, predicted which individuals go on to develop RA. Interestingly, post-disease onset, chemokines, stromal cell and angiogenic-related markers were important in differentiating up-regulation in those who had developed RA compared to findings in the same individual before symptoms of RA. Cytokines and chemokines are small signalling molecules which are integral to the immune system, as they mediate and regulate immunity, inflammation, and the development of blood cells (haematopoiesis). In this study, several of these molecules, as well as some cytokine receptors, showed significantly increased levels before disease onset compared with controls (median 3.3 years before symptoms), indicating general immune activation (p<0.05-0.001)* and therefore a progression of disease activity. The levels were seen to be particularly elevated in individuals identified as being ACPA- (anti-citrullinated peptide antibody) and RF- (rheumatoid factor) positive (both known risk factors for RA), and most of the concentrations increased further after disease onset. Notably, the concentration of interleukin 17 (IL-17, a cytokine which acts as a regulator of multiple immune functions) was found to be significantly higher before onset compared with post-diagnosis (p>0.01). Prof Solbritt Rantapšš Dahlqvist, of the University Hospital UmeŚ, Sweden, who led the study said: "Our findings add another important piece to the complex puzzle of pathophysiological processes responsible for the occurrence of RA. Understanding more about what happens in the body, to precipitate the onset of RA, could potentially contribute to the development of new strategies for the treatment and even prevention of this debilitating disease."

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Immune cells from patients with rheumatoid arthritis have prematurely aged chromosomes

Telomeres, structures that cap the ends of cells' chromosomes, grow shorter with each round of cell division unless a specialized enzyme replenishes them. Maintaining telomeres is thought to be important for healthy aging and cancer prevention. By this measure, T cells, or white blood cells, from patients with the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis are worn out and prematurely aged, scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have discovered. Compared with cells from healthy people, T cells from patients with rheumatoid arthritis have trouble turning on the enzyme that replenishes telomeres, they found. Reversing this defect could possibly help people prone to the disease maintain a balanced immune system.The results are published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In rheumatoid arthritis, T cells are chronically over-stimulated, invading the tissue of the joints and causing painful inflammation. This derangement can be seen as a result of the loss of the immune system's ability to discriminate friend from foe, says senior author Cornelia Weyand, MD, PhD, co-director of the Kathleen B. and Mason I. Lowance Center for Human Immunology at Emory University. In childhood, new T cells are continually produced in the thymus, she says. But after about age 40, the thymus "involutes" – or shrinks and ceases to function. After that, the immune system has to make do with the pool of T cells it already has. "What we see in rheumatoid arthritis is an aged and more restricted T cell repertoire," she says. "This biases the immune system toward autoimmunity." Weyand, postdoctoral fellow Hiroshi Fujii, MD, PhD, and their colleagues were interested in mechanisms of T cells' premature aging, because scientists had previously observed that in rheumatoid arthritis, T cells tend to shift the molecules on their surface and function differently. They found the answer in telomerase, the enzyme that renews telomeres and is necessary to prevent loss of genetic information after repeated cell division.

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artritis
Arthritis trust of America articles

Fighting Back Against Arthritis, useful articles.

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artritis
Avoid Pills in 7 Common Ills

In the April 2008 issue of the Harvard Health Letter, researchers highlight how to manage seven common conditions without taking medication. While no one should stop taking prescribed medication without talking to a doctor, the researchers write that with discipline, the nonpharmacological approach can do as much as pills in many cases.

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artritis
Natural product discovery by Cleveland medical researchers blocks tissue destruction

Scientists at Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine have published in the Journal of Inflammation a remarkable discovery with a natural product derived from the Amazon rainforest. The discovery's unique actions suggest a broad set of applications in various joint, skin and gastrointestinal diseases, including osteoarthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.

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artritis
Knee arthritis link to lung cancer

Arthritis of the knee may be the first sign of a type of lung cancer that is hard to treat in heavy smokers, suggests research published ahead of print in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The researchers reviewed the case notes of all patients with rheumatic disorders, diagnosed at one tertiary referral centre over six years.

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artritis
Protein discovery brings hope of new treatments for arthritis and osteoporosis

British researchers have identified a protein that could lead to the development of new treatments for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

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artritis
Study identifies genetic risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus

A genetic variation has been identified that increases the risk of two chronic, autoimmune inflammatory diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). These research findings result from a long-time collaboration between the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and other organizations.

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New Study Shows Seaweed Supplement Can Ease Your Arthritis Pain

A new study reveals that a supplement derived from seaweed can lead to a reduction of inflammation in knee arthritis.

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Groundbreaking, inexpensive, pocket-sized ultrasound device can help treat cancer, relieve arthritis

A prototype of a therapeutic ultrasound device, developed by a Cornell graduate student, fits in the palm of a hand, is battery-powered and packs enough punch to stabilize a gunshot wound or deliver drugs to brain cancer patients. It is wired to a ceramic probe, called a transducer, and it creates sound waves so strong they instantly cause water to bubble, spray and turn into steam.

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Pediatric researchers find possible 'master switch' gene in juvenile arthritis

Researchers have found that a gene region known to play a role in some varieties of adult rheumatoid arthritis is also present in all types of childhood arthritis. The researchers say the responsible gene may be a "master switch" that helps turn on the debilitating disease.

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Heavy birthweight increases risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis

People who have a birthweight over 10 pounds are twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis when they are adults compared to individuals born with an average birthweight, according to a study published by researchers from Hospital for Special Surgery online in advance of print in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. While the mechanism for this association is unclear, the study identifies a potentially modifiable risk factor and highlights a potential way to decrease the incidence of the disease.

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Antibodies produced within joints in rheumatoid arthritis

Studying joint biopsies from people with rheumatoid arthritis, Costantino Pitzalis of Barts and the London School of Medicine and colleagues found that tiny structures in the joint lining mimic key functions of antibody-producing lymph nodes, and can support the production of specific antibodies that may play a role in joint destruction. They found that these processes continued after joint tissue bearing the lymphoid structures was transplanted into mice without immune systems of their own, indicating that potentially destructive antibody production within joints can proceed independently of the body's lymph nodes.

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Biologic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and the risk of cancer

Findings of various clinical trials and observational studies conflict over the risk of malignancy related to the use of tumor necrosis factor alpha blockers.

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Scripps research scientists find cause of cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritis

The scientists describe their work in this week's Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the study, the team shows how the loss of the protein HMGB2, found in the surface layer of joint cartilage, leads to the progressive deterioration of the cartilage that is the hallmark of osteoarthritis."We have found the mechanism that begins to explain how and why aging leads to deterioration of articular cartilage," says Scripps Research Professor Martin Lotz, M.D., a world-renowned arthritis researcher who led the study with Noboru Taniguchi, M.D., Ph.D., a senior research associate in his lab. "Our findings demonstrate a direct link between the loss of this protein and osteoarthritis."Osteoarthritis typically begins with a disruption of the surface layer of cartilage. The cartilage surface layer, called the superficial zone, is the most important functionally of the four layers of cartilage present in joints. In normal joints the cartilage surface is perfectly smooth, enabling joints to slide across one another without friction. Once the cartilage of the superficial zone starts to deteriorate, though, osteoarthritis sets in, triggering an irreversible process that eventually leads to the loss of underlying layers of cartilage until bone begins to grind painfully against bone. Osteoarthritis most commonly affects the spine, temporomandibular joints, shoulders, hands, hips and knees."We knew that the first phase of osteoarthritis is the destruction of cartilage in the superficial zone," says Lotz, who has spent the past five years studying the role of HMGB2 in osteoarthritis. "Now we know that before this layer is destroyed, there is loss of the critical DNA binding protein HMGB2 and that this loss is directly related to aging."

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Could arthritis wonder drugs provide clues for all disease?

Drugs that have helped treat millions of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers may hold the key to many more medical conditions, including atherosclerosis – a leading cause of heart disease – says the researcher who jointly invented and developed them. Professor Marc Feldmann will tell scientists attending the 2008 Congress of European Pharmacological Societies (EPHAR) – hosted by the British Pharmacological Society – that drugs he and colleagues helped develop have already proved successful against other autoimmune diseases. The drugs target proteins called cytokines, which are protein messaging molecules released by immune cells to alert the immune and other systems that the body is under attack from a pathogen and to initiate a protective counter-response against the infection. "In autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, we discovered that cytokines are over-produced causing the immune system to fight itself, resulting in inflammation and tissue destruction," said Professor Feldmann, from Imperial College London, who is speaking at the EPHAR 2008 conference at The University of Manchester this week. "We further found that by blocking just one cytokine – Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) alpha – we were able to block all the cytokines involved in the inflammation, with remarkable clinical results."

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Scientists Find Cause of Cartilage Degeneration in Osteoarthritis

A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has found an important link between a protein that declines with age and the development of osteoarthritis, the most common disease of aging affecting nearly 27 million Americans. The finding opens the door to developing effective new treatments for osteoarthritis. Currently, no treatment for this degenerative disease exists apart from palliative drugs for pain and inflammation. The scientists describe their work in the January 12, 2009, Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the study, the team shows how the loss of the protein HMGB2, found in the surface layer of joint cartilage, leads to the progressive deterioration of the cartilage that is the hallmark of osteoarthritis. "We have found the mechanism that begins to explain how and why aging leads to deterioration of articular cartilage," says Scripps Research Professor Martin Lotz, a world-renowned arthritis researcher who led the study with Noboru Taniguchi, a senior research associate in his lab. "Our findings demonstrate a direct link between the loss of this protein and osteoarthritis."

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Frankincense 'can ease arthritis'

A herb known as "Indian Frankincense" can reduce the symptoms of arthritis, US researchers have suggested.

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U of M researchers discover a pathway to turn off immune system cells

University of Minnesota researchers have discovered a new way to turn genes off in human T cells, a type of white blood cell that helps the immune system fight infections. Turning off genes, through a process known as mRNA decay, is important for regulating the body's immune response after fighting infection. This research could lead to development of new drugs that turn off the immune system in patients with autoimmune diseases -- such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

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Chinese suffer aches and pains too

The study also shows that elderly people in the north of China suffer the most from these painful and chronic joint complaints including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in mainland China ranged from 0.2% to 0.37%, a prevalence similar to most Asian and South American countries, but lower than that in Caucasians. “Interestingly, we found that the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in urban and suburban parts of Taiwan was closer to the Caucasians rate,” says Dr Qing Yu Zeng who led the study. “These areas are more developed than mainland China. Apart from genetic factors, it looks as if environmental and socio-economic factors might be important risk factors for RA. That’s something we'd certainly like to investigate further.”

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Osteoarthritis risk linked to finger length ratio

People whose index finger is shorter than their ring finger are at higher risk of osteoarthritis, a new University of Nottingham study has found.

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NYU, Tel Aviv University create non-invasive imaging method for diagnosing osteoarthritis

Researchers at New York University and Tel Aviv University have developed a non-invasive imaging method that can be used to diagnose and monitor a number of diseases, including osteoarthritis and inter-vertebral disc degeneration, in their early stages. Their work appears in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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Protein's new role discovered in autoimmune disease

A chemical messenger has been shown to have a previously unknown major role in autoimmune diseases like arthritis and lupus. Investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found interleukin 17 plays a major role on shaping B cells' ability to create more and more disease-causing antibodies, which may generate new ideas in the ongoing search for better drug targets.

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Krill Oil Dramatically Lowers C-Reactive Protein

Canadian researchers published the findings of a randomized, double blind study designed to assess the effects of Neptune Krill Oil (NKO) on levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients with chronic inflammation. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

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Researchers identify cell group key to Lyme disease arthritis

A research team led by the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and Albany Medical College has illuminated the important role of natural killer (NK) T cells in Lyme disease, demonstrating that the once little understood white blood cells are central to clearing the bacterial infection and reducing the intensity and duration of arthritis associated with Lyme disease. "Our findings are that the NK T cells are critical to preventing the chronic inflammatory infection that causes Lyme arthritis and they participate in clearing the bacteria which cause it," said Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D., the La Jolla Institute's president & scientific director and co-senior author on the study, which used a mouse model of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a bacterium transmitted to humans by the bite of infected deer ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and sometimes skin rashes. If left untreated, it can spread to the joints, the heart and the nervous system, and it can lead to serious health problems. Lyme disease currently is the most common vector (insect)-borne disease in the United States. "What this study demonstrates is that NK T cells are an important part of our defense against Lyme disease," said Timothy J. Sellati, Ph.D., an associate professor at Albany Medical College and co-senior author on the study. "This offers the possibility that we can exploit that knowledge therapeutically and potentially develop immunological agents that can trigger more NK T cells to aide in fighting this disease." Sellati added that "NK T cells alone cannot clear Lyme disease, but are a key part of a collective immune defense." The study's findings are outlined in a paper, "NKT cells prevent chronic joint inflammation after infection with Borrelia burgdorferi," published this week in the online version of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Novel proteins could potentially treat arthritis

Our study shows that unique ASV derived from receptors which play key roles in angiogenesis - namely VEGFR1 and, for the first time, Tie1 - can markedly reduce arthritis severity. More broadly, our results demonstrate that ASV are a source of novel proteins with therapeutic potential, in diseases in which angiogenesis and cellular hyperplasia play a central role, such as RA.

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