What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints and the surrounding tissues. It is an autoimmune disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, but is more common in middle age. Women are more prone to the disease than men.
The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. Infection, genes and hormonal changes may be linked to the disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis leads to pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in the joints. Being a systemic disease, it tends to affect other organs in the body as well.
Rheumatoid arthritis progresses in 3 stages:
- Stage 1- Swelling of the synovial lining; causing pain, warmth, stiffness, redness and swelling around the joint.
- Stage 2- Rapid division and growth of cells, or pannus; which causes the synovium to thicken.
- Stage 3- The inflamed cells release enzymes that might damage bone and cartilage; often causing the involved joint to lose its shape and alignment, causing more pain and loss of movement.
As there is no specific laboratory test to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, the diagnosis is based on patient’s medical history and physical examination. The rheumatoid factor (RF) is found in the blood and synovial fluid of 80% of people with rheumatoid arthritis and can aid in diagnosis.
Rheumatoid arthritis requires lifelong treatment with medications, physical therapy, exercise, education and surgery. Early, aggressive treatment can delay joint destruction.
What is New in Rheumatoid arthritis?
Anti-inflammatory drug loaded hydrogel started releasing the drug when the inflammation was triggered by arthritis-related enzymes which usually occurs in patients with arthritis, finds a new study. The findings of this study are published in the journal of APL Bioengineering. The drug-loaded hydrogel is designed in such a way that drug release is triggered by the activity of arthritis-related enzymes that are increased during arthritis flare episodes and when it is more severe, the locally injected hydrogel degrades more rapidly corresponding to increased effective drug release.
Latest Publications and Research on Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Characteristics and Symptom Severity of Patients Reporting Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in the PatientsLikeMe Online Health Community: A Retrospective Observational Study. - Published by PubMed
- Autoantibodies against P29ING4 are associated with complex regional pain syndrome. - Published by PubMed
- microRNA-21 Aggravates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammation in MH7A Cells Through Targeting SNF5. - Published by PubMed
- Experience of musculoskeletal ultrasound scanning improves physicians' physical examination skills in assessment of synovitis. - Published by PubMed
- Biologic therapy use and pregnancy outcomes in women with immune-mediated inflammatory rheumatic diseases. - Published by PubMed