Inflammatory rheumatic diseases predominantly affect women. This also includes many young women who would like to have children or who have not yet completed their family planning when they are first diagnosed. These women do not need to give up on their desire to have children forever. Women with rheumatic disease tend to have fewer children than other women, and it often takes them longer to achieve a desired pregnancy. Today, carefully monitored medical treatment and close collaboration between the rheumatologist and the gynaecologist give these women the opportunity to bring a healthy child into the world.
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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…)
ACPA in rheumatism diagnostics: new and highly promising biomarkers for rheumatoid arthritis
The diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have made tremendous progress in the last few years. Experts are even suggesting that a paradigm shift has occurred in the field of rheumatology.
According to rheumatologists, this radical change can be seen in the completely new rheumatoid arthritis medications that have resulted in entirely new treatment options. Again and again, the paradigm shift in rheumatology is attributed to the new possibilities in rheumatoid arthritis diagnostics. Modern RA diagnostics are said to make it increasingly possible for rheumatologists to objectively determine the activity level of RA and thus to predict the progression of this autoimmune disease. (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…)
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…)
New ACR/EULAR 2010 Classification Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
European and American rheumatologists have established new criteria for the classification of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The Revised Classification Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis will appear in the September issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism; they can also be viewed online or as a free download at the ACR homepage (accessed 23/08/2010). (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…)
Recommendations on the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) with DMARDs
A cure for rheumatoid arthritis is not yet possible, that’s fact. However, remission is within one’s reach today.
RA treatment has undergone dramatic changes the last ten years.
Concerning this, an EULAR task force (EULAR is The European League Against Rheumatism) has recently developed and released new RA guidelines for the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), based on an systematic literature review.
In these brand new RA recommendations the dramatic developments in therapeutic options in recent years have been recognized as well as the difficulties this has created in defining simple treatment algorithms. The EULAR guidelines can be downloaded free from the EULAR journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases free of charge. (more…)
There is a Connection between Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Smoking – what are the Reasons?
Smoking might be a trigger for rheumatoid arthritis.
That smoking is unhealthy really isn’t a secret any more. However, it may be less well known that smoking is especially damaging to patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or people with a genetic predisposition towards this autoimmune disease.
Until a few years ago, a coherent explanation of how smoking triggers the break in immunotolerance and why tobacco smoke promotes the onset of autoimmune disease was still missing. A group of Swedish researchers has found one of the missing links in the pathogenic chain between tobacco smoke and rheumatoid arthritis (Makrygiannakis et al., 2008). The scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm showed that cigarette smoke is directly involved in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. (more…)