Recently, a new study has identified a couple of biomarkers that may predict disease progression in patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis (or: AS for short), an autoimmune disease also called Morbus Bechterew.
The German study describes key inter-group differences between different types of AS patients, which may predict the progression of structural damage in the spine. In the future awareness of such differences will help physicians to stratify patients due to risk. Hence, the results may pave the way for developing specific treatment options for this autoimmune disorder.
New treatment options on the horizon
In the more recent past, several biomarkers have been described to be associated with radiographic spinal progression and syndesmophyte formation in Bechterew’s disease. However, it is not clear, whether these biomarkers are also able to predict new bone formation in AS patients.
No matter if it’s rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or multiple sclerosis (MS): most autoimmune diseases affect women significantly more often than men. It is possible that this could be at least partially explained by the occurrence of age-associated B cells (ABCs), as described in an article recently published in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology. (more…)
Research Update: Prognosis of Outcomes for Rheumatoid Arthritis – What are the Risk Factors?
In the past, it has only been possible to explain some of the joint damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA) based on known risk factors. In order to improve treatment for RA, future approaches to treatment will increasingly need to be tailored to individual patients and individually configured.
Personalized medicine in RA treatment
The goal is to develop individual treatments tailored to the needs of the individual patient, “personalized medicine” for rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and treament (for more on the subject of personalized medicine, refer to the background article Early Detection and Personalised Medicine – What Biomarkers Tell Us on our rheumachec homepage). (more…)
Found last Week on the Internet, part 1: Up-to-date Articles on Autoimmunity and Autoimmune Diseases
Duroux-Richard I, Jorgensen C, Apparailly F. miRNAs and rheumatoid arthritis – promising novel biomarkers. Swiss Med Wkly. 2011 Mar 18;141:w13175 – doi: 10.4414/smw.2011.13175 – Free full text available! – Today, the most challenging issue in the field of rheumatoid arthritis is the identification of biomarkers for early disease diagnosis and for prediction drug response. micro(mi)-RNAs certainly represent an realistic option for optimal diagnosis an disease treatment.
Roux CH, Breuil V, Valerio L, Amoretti N, Brocq O, Albert C, Grisot C, Allam Y, Chevalier P, Pradier C, Euller-Ziegler L. Etanercept Compared to Intraarticular Corticosteroid Injection in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Double-blind, Randomized Pilot Study. J Rheumatol. 2011 Mar 16. [Epub ahead of print]. – Patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had persistent (more…)
Our Point-of-Care-Test rheumachec for Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis – a Highly Accessed Research Article in Arthritis Research & Therapy!
Several days ago, a colleague pointed out to me a publication in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy that came about largely through collaboration with scientists at ORGENTEC Diagnostika. Needless to say that this article was already familiar to me – already before its initial online publication in the summer of this year, I had read excerpts from it and extensively discussed the work and the results of this evaluation study with co-workers and clients. (more…)
The EIRA Study: Vaccinations and RA Risk – no Association found!
“Common adult immunizations are not associated with an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis” – that is the result of research published in the October issue of The Annals of the Rheumatic Disease, the EULAR journal. Last week that data were also presented at the American College of Rheumatology ACR Annual Scientific Meeting (took place from 6th to 11th November).
Common adult vaccinations don’t increase the risk of developing RA, recent results of the Swedish EIRA Study Group say.
“Vaccinations are among the events which have long been postulated as inciting agents for rheumatoid arthritis, as well as for many other chronic inflammatory diseases of unknown origin,” lead investigator in the study, Camilla Bengtsson, PhD, stated in her lecture last Monday at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, USA.
No increased RA risk following immunizations
“In our case-control study including incident cases of newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis, no increased risk of RA following immunization was observed, at least not in the five years prior to disease onset”, the epidemiologist at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, explained in more detail, noting that the study is still ongoing. From Dr. Bengtsson’s point of view these results are indicating that immunological provocation with commonly used vaccines in their present form do not carry a risk of rheumatoid arthritis in adults. (more…)
Recent Publications: Genetic Basis of Psoriasis
It is the nature of things: on days of action like World Psoriasis Day on October 29th of every year) reports about the topic in question and new articles and scientific studies start to pile up.
For example, several research reports on the subject of psoriasis have appeared in the journal Nature Genetics in the last few weeks; as usual, they first appeared online. Whether the approach of World Psoriasis Day was the trigger for this advance publication remains an open question. The results of a Chinese study, a study from the USA and Canada, and a very comprehensive German study all presented in Nature Genetics, which I have linked to below, are generally interesting and newsworthy. (more…)
Rheumatism affects more than just the joints: the heart and circulatory system are also at risk!The knowledge gradually sinks in, even for patients: inflammatory rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) not only damage the joints, but also the blood vessels. Patients with rheumatism thus have an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Why is this the case? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) not only causes inflammation of the musculoskeletal system; it also affects the walls of blood vessels. In addition, RA patients have an increased incidence of hardening of the arteries, arteriosclerosis. “These patients have a 30 to 60 % higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.”
These figures are given by Professor Dr. med. Jürgen Braun, Medical Director of the Ruhr Centre for Rheumatism in Herne, Germany (Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet). (These figures and excerpts, and those that follow, were published by the German Society of Rheumatology- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Rheumatologie, DGRh, in the run-up to the 38th Congress of the DGRh (38. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Rheumatologie e.V.), which is currently underway in Hamburg.) Prof. Jürgen Braun adds, “The danger increases further when patients have elevated lipid levels, high blood pressure or diabetes, or are overweight.” (more…)
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Some Facts and Figures about this Autoimmune Disorder – and quite a few Weblinks
By posting this article on rheumatoid arthritis, I start building up a glossary on the different types of autoimmune disorders. It will be quite a lot of work creating such an glossary, I’m fully aware of this, and this work has been done many times before by others on other websites and on other blogs.
Not a disease of the elderly: RA often starts between the age of 25 and 55!
But what I have in mind with this “autoimmune disease glossary project” is to exploit you the several mines of information I am using in my job routine, and the abundance of websites I am frequently visiting. In doing so, I start with rheumatoid arthritis, also called RA, as this autoimmune disease is the most common one and the most common inflammatory disease of the joints ever. As a matter of fact 0.5 to 1 percent of the population is affect in “The West” and in other industrialized countries. This means that in Germany about 800,000 individuals are suffering from this autoimmune disorder!
Rheumatoid arthritis, RA, is a form of arthritis. Main symptoms are pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in the joints. The disease can affect any joint but it is common in the wrist and fingers. (more…)
Is the Incidence of Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising?
Is rheumatoid arthritis (RA) actually on the rise? Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota say “yes”, and they presented data from a study, published in the June issue of the Arthritis & Rheumatism magazine – even though the authors themselves can only speculate about the reasons why.
Rheumatoid arthritis is on the rise, they found – is increased use of some lower dose birth control pills a factor?
In that recently published Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Study Elena Myasoedova, Cynthia S. Crowson, Hilal Maradit Kremers, Terry M. Therneau, and Sherine E. Gabriel from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, expanded a previous research from 1955 to 1994, looking at the years 1995 to 2007. To augment the pre-existing study they now focused on the medical records of more than 1,700 residents of Olmstedt County, Minnesota, aged 18 years or older, who had received at least one diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Yes, RA is on the rise!
What did they find out? – From 1955 to 1994, the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis had continually been on the decline. That apparently changed beginning in the mid-1990s. When the researchers analyzed patient data from early 1995 to the start of 2005, they found that both the incidence and the prevalence of the condition were rising. (more…)