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Immune System Genes May Change With the Seasons: Study

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 12, 2015 – When the seasons change, your immune system response may also change, British researchers report. These findings might explain why conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease are worse in the winter than in the summer, the new study finds. The researchers from the University of Cambridge analyzed genes from more than 16,000 people worldwide, including those from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. They found that the activity of nearly one-quarter of the genes differed according to the time of the year. Some are more active in winter and some are more active in summer, the research revealed. Seasons also affect our immune cells, and the composition of our blood and fat, according to the study. Findings were published May 12 in the journal Nature Communications. It's been known that there are seasonal variations in a number of conditions, ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Heart Disease, Psychiatric Disorders, Immunosuppression

Gene Discoveries Could Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Posted 28 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 – Genetic variations may hold clues to rheumatoid arthritis – suggesting not only who will develop the painful condition, but also predicting its severity and even who might die from it, a new study says. "Genetic factors predisposing to disease, to disease severity, and response to treatment will allow tailoring treatment to individual patients' needs," said lead researcher Dr. Sebastien Viatte, a research fellow at the University of Manchester in England. Using data from several sources on thousands of patients in the United Kingdom, researchers found that gene mutations at a location on a chromosome called HLA-DRBl were associated with rheumatoid arthritis severity and the response to treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor drugs. This study, Viatte said, is a potentially important first step toward personalized medicine for patients with the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Plaquenil, Rituxan, Hydroxychloroquine, Imuran, Cimzia, Orencia, Azathioprine, Leflunomide, Arava, Simponi, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rituximab, Xeljanz, Infliximab, Otezla

Some Arthritis Meds Cost Seniors Thousands Annually

Posted 21 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 21, 2015 – Arthritis medications known as biologic disease-modifying drugs can cost Medicare patients more than $2,700 in co-payments a year, a new report finds. Researchers say the tab is an immense burden on patients with disabling conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disorder that affects an estimated 1.3 million Americans. Biologic anti-rheumatic medications – which include drugs such as adalimumab (Humira), anakinra (Kineret) and etanercept (Enbrel) – have allowed patients to gain better control of rheumatoid arthritis when taken early in the course of disease, the researchers explained. But some of the new drugs top $20,000 annually, according to the April 21 online report in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. "Many patients face a growing and unacceptable financial burden for access to treatment," said study lead author Dr. Jinoos Yazdany of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Plaquenil, Rituxan, Hydroxychloroquine, Imuran, Orencia, Azathioprine, Leflunomide, Arava, Rituximab, Xeljanz, Infliximab, Otezla, Etanercept, Kineret, Adalimumab

'Ground Zero' Workers at Risk of Autoimmune Diseases: Study

Posted 19 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 – Recovery workers who toiled at the World Trade Center disaster site may face a heightened risk of rheumatoid arthritis and similar autoimmune diseases, a new study suggests. The findings, reported online March 16 in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, add to the list of potential health effects seen among responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City. Past studies have found increased rates of respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, as well as some forms of cancer. The new study is the first to find an increased risk of certain autoimmune disorders, the researchers say. Autoimmune diseases arise when the immune system launches an abnormal attack on the body's own tissue. The conditions seen in this study – which also included lupus and systemic sclerosis – affect joints, muscles and connective tissue throughout the body. ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Autoimmune Disorders

Tropical Virus Symptoms Can Mimic Rheumatoid Arthritis: Study

Posted 20 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 – The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus causes joint pain and swelling similar to rheumatoid arthritis, which can make diagnosis difficult, a new study says. Chikungunya has spread in parts of the Caribbean and Central and South America. Though still rare, the virus is increasingly being seen in the United States, according to the researchers. Adding to the potential confusion in making a diagnosis, the researchers also found that blood tests of patients with chikungunya can have similar results to people with rheumatoid arthritis. In many people, chikungunya infection causes fever, rash, and joint pain in the hands, feet, knees, neck and elbows. The fever and rash typically ease in seven to 10 days. But joint pain lasts for 12 to 15 months in up to 60 percent of patients. In some patients, joint pain lasts for up to three years, according to the researchers. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chikungunya Virus Infection

Mercury in Seafood May Raise Risk of Autoimmune Diseases in Women: Study

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – The mercury found in some seafood may be linked to autoimmune disorders among women of childbearing age, new research suggests. Autoimmune diseases develop when the body's immune response goes awry and starts to attack healthy cells. Such diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and "Sjogren's syndrome." All told, these diseases affect roughly 50 million Americans, most of whom are women, the University of Michigan researchers said. "We don't have a very good sense of why people develop autoimmune disorders," study author Emily Somers said in a university news release. "A large number of cases are not explained by genetics," she added, "so we believe studying environmental factors will help us understand why autoimmunity happens and how we may be able to intervene to improve health outcomes. In our study, ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Disorders, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Sjogren's Syndrome, Lupus Erythematosus, Mercury Poisoning

Smokers May Get Less Benefit From Drugs for Arthritic Back Pain

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – Smoking may hamper the effects of certain drugs used to treat inflammatory arthritis in the lower back, a new study from Switzerland says. Researchers from University Hospital Zurich looked at how 700 people with this type of arthritis responded to treatment with a class of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. About two-thirds of the patients were smokers. After one to two years of treatment, the drugs were significantly less effective in smokers. The difference was particularly apparent among patients who had higher levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein at the start of the study. Former smokers did not experience reduced effectiveness from the drugs, according to the study. The research only saw an association between smoking and the drugs' benefits, not a cause-and-effect relationship. The results were published online ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Smoking, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Cimzia, Simponi, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Certain Infections Linked to Reduced Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted 5 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 – People with recent gut, urinary tract or genital infections may be less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, new research says. The findings are "particularly interesting" in light of recent research suggesting that digestive system bacteria may play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, said. The study included almost 6,500 people from Sweden. Their average age was 52. About 70 percent were women. More than 2,800 people in the group were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis between 1996 and 2009. According to the study, having a gut infection within the preceding two years was associated with a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis by 29 percent. A urinary tract infection was associated with a 22 percent lower risk, while a genital infection was associated with a 20 percent lower risk. ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Bacterial Infection

Weight Could Influence Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief

Posted 26 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 26, 2014 – People with rheumatoid arthritis may be more likely to achieve remission if they maintain a healthy body weight, according to new research. The study found that those who were heaviest had almost 65 percent reduced odds of disease remission. Being underweight also lowered the odds of remission. "Medication for rheumatoid arthritis is not as effective on the overweight population," said Dr. Susan Goodman, the study's lead author and a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Findings from the new research were presented earlier this month at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting in Boston. Studies presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until they've been published in a peer-reviewed journal. It's also important to note that while this study found a link between weight and rheumatoid arthritis ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Exercise, Physical Therapy May Help Ease Pain of Arthritis

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Nov. 15, 2014 – Regular exercise and physical therapy may benefit people with hip and knee arthritis, new research suggests. The study included 206 people with hip and knee osteoarthritis, average age 66, who were divided into two groups. One group received usual care, while the other group had regular exercise, physical therapy or both added to their standard care. After two years, those who did exercise and/or physical therapy had greater improvements in pain, stiffness and physical function than those who received usual medical care alone, the investigators found. The study findings are scheduled for presentation Saturday at the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting in Boston. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. The results show that adding exercise and/or physical therapy to usual medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis in Moms-to-Be Linked to Premature Births

Posted 13 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 13, 2014 – Pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis are at increased risk for giving birth prematurely, a new study suggests. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic joint inflammation. For the study, researchers looked at data from almost 2 million single-baby births in Denmark between 1977 and 2008. They found that more than 13,500 of the mothers had rheumatoid arthritis or were diagnosed with the disease after giving birth ("preclinical" rheumatoid arthritis). The odds that women with the disease would have a premature baby were 1.5 times higher than for those without the condition, the study found. For women with preclinical rheumatoid arthritis, the odds of a premature delivery were 1.3 times higher. The researchers also linked slightly lower birth weights to infants born to mothers with either diagnosed or preclinical disease than those ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Premature Labor

Lower Doses of Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs May Work for Some

Posted 5 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 5, 2014 – Some people in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis may be able to safely lower their medication doses once their symptoms are well under control, a new study suggests. In a clinical trial, British researchers found that many patients were able to remain in remission for months after their doctors lowered their doses of the drugs methotrexate and Enbrel (etanercept). What's more, some continued to do well when they were taken off the drugs altogether, the researchers said in the Nov. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings suggest it's "reasonable" to lower, or even stop, certain patients' medication doses, wrote the researchers, led by Dr. Paul Emery of the University of Leeds. But experts not involved in the study stressed that there are some big unknowns. For one, it's not clear which patients would likely do well if their drug ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Enbrel, Etanercept, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Trexall, Folex PFS, Rheumatrex Dose Pack, Rasuvo, Otrexup

Certain Autoimmune Drugs in Pregnancy May Up Newborn Infection Risk: Study

Posted 3 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 3, 2014 – When given to pregnant women, a common treatment for ulcerative colitis may inadvertently lower their baby's ability to fight off infections at birth, new French research suggests. The treatment, called anti-TNF therapy, is an injected, artificial antibody. This type of medication is widely seen as a safe and effective way to tackle a wide range of autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions that include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. It's not unusual for pregnant women to receive the treatment, given that inflammatory bowel diseases often strike women of childbearing age. However, this type of drug can cross the placenta and reach the fetus, the study authors said. And four French cases – all involving babies born to women exposed to Remicade (infliximab) during pregnancy – suggest the therapy may cause newborn ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Humira, Enbrel, Crohn's Disease, Remicade, Ulcerative Colitis, Cimzia, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Simponi, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Certolizumab

Salty Foods May Double Smokers' Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted 12 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 12, 2014 – Consuming too much salt may more than double a smoker's risk of developing the painful inflammatory disease known as rheumatoid arthritis, a new study finds. Researchers in Sweden said the interaction between smoking and eating too much salt could have implications for how diet is viewed in rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other inflammatory conditions. The study, published online Sept. 10 in the journal Rheumatology, involved 386 people who reported their eating habits for about eight years before they developed symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers examined health-screening data on the study participants, including physical activity levels, whether or not they smoked, and blood samples. This data was compared to a "control group" of nearly 1,900 similar people. The investigators found no significant link between salt intake alone and the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Many Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients May Skip Meds: Study

Posted 3 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3, 2014 – Many patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis don't take their expensive medications as prescribed, a new British study finds. Failure to take the drugs correctly reduces their effectiveness and may lead to a worsening of symptoms, warned researchers from the University of Manchester. Rheumatoid arthritis develops when your immune system begins to attack itself, and symptoms include inflammation, pain and swelling in the joints and internal organs. The study included 286 patients who had rheumatoid arthritis for seven years and had been prescribed anti-TNF drugs, which cost about $13,000 to $20,000 a year per patient. Anti-TNF drugs include etanercept (Enbrel), adalimumab (Humira) and golimumab (Simponi). Twenty-seven percent of the patients said they didn't take the medications as directed at least once over the first six months after being prescribed the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Humira, Enbrel, Simponi, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab

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