Arthritis & Rheumatism

Autoimmune disorders may up risk for carpal tunnel syndrome

(HealthDay)—Common autoimmune disorders are associated with an increased risk for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Academic Physiatrists, held from ...

Medications

FDA: Pulmonary embolism risk up with tofacitinib 10 mg for RA

(HealthDay)—A safety clinical trial has revealed that tofacitinib (Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR) 10 mg twice daily is associated with an increased risk for pulmonary embolism (PE) and death among patients with rheumatoid arthritis ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

MRI-guided Tx strategy not superior for rheumatoid arthritis

(HealthDay)—A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided treat-to-target strategy is not associated with improved disease activity remission rates for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in clinical remission, according ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Tofacitinib benefits sustained for two years in patients with RA

(HealthDay)—The clinical benefits of tofacitinib in combination with methotrexate are sustained over two years among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online Jan. 22 in Arthritis & ...

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Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic and serious inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks the joints producing an inflammatory synovitis that often progresses to destruction of the articular cartilage and ankylosis of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also produce diffuse inflammation in the lungs, pericardium, pleura, and sclera, and also nodular lesions, most common in subcutaneous tissue under the skin. Although the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, autoimmunity plays a pivotal role in its chronicity and progression.

About 1% of the world's population is afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis, women three times more often than men. Onset is most frequent between the ages of 40 and 50, but no age is immune. It can be a disabling and painful condition, which can lead to substantial loss of functioning and mobility. It is diagnosed chiefly on symptoms and signs, but also with blood tests (especially a test called rheumatoid factor) and X-rays. Diagnosis and long-term management are typically performed by a rheumatologist, an expert in the diseases of joints and connective tissues.

Various treatments are available. Non-pharmacological treatment includes physical therapy and occupational therapy. Analgesia (painkillers) and anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as steroids, are used to suppress the symptoms, while disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are often required to inhibit or halt the underlying immune process and prevent long-term damage. In recent times, the newer group of biologics has increased treatment options.

The name is based on the term "rheumatic fever", an illness which includes joint pain and is derived from the Greek word rheumatos ("flowing"). The suffix -oid ("resembling") gives the translation as joint inflammation that resembles rheumatic fever. The first recognized description of rheumatoid arthritis was made in 1800 by Dr Augustin Jacob Landré-Beauvais (1772-1840) of Paris.

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