Health

Serum IL-35 levels tied to bone loss with rheumatoid arthritis

Serum interleukin (IL)-35 levels are associated with bone loss and may represent a novel therapeutic target for postmenopausal women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online Aug. 26 in Mediators ...

Cardiology

Antibody 'road block' enables fine-tuning for cardiac recovery

More than one million Americans per year experience myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, as well as the healing and rebuilding phase that begins shortly thereafter—a complicated process which involves ...

Inflammatory disorders

How to fight hidden causes of inflammation

(HealthDay)—Tamping down inflammation is a must for people with a chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. But you can be exposed to damaging inflammation without having a specific medical condition.

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Ultrasonography helps differentiate arthritis types

(HealthDay)—Ultrasound is effective for differentiating between the major types of arthritis when combined with a physical exam and patient history, according to a review recently published in The Open Medical Imaging Journal.

Immunology

Researchers discover new biomarker for rare autoimmune disease

University of Alberta researchers have identified a unique biological marker that can be used to identify the presence of the rare autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis, predict the course of the disease and identify new, ...

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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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA