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Doctors and patients judge rheumatoid arthritis by different criteria
Date: 2012-08-27 21:26:42

A lab test can easily determine whether an individual has rheumatoid arthritis. However, judging the progress of the disease may be a different matter altogether because doctors and patients may have different standards, as evidenced by new research from the Medical University of Vienna.

This conclusion is based on a study of 646 subjects who had rheumatoid arthritis. Results showed that on the patient side, 75 percent of one's perception of his or her disease can be explained by the experience of pain. However, when it came to physicians, the number of swollen joints in a patient accounted for 60 percent of their perception.

Furthermore, doctors where more likely than patients to take into consideration the future disease course when making treatment decisions. The latter group usually only thinks about their present day experiences.

The researchers hope their study will promote better communication between doctors and patients.

"The key concept here is 'shared decision-making'. The objective must be to create greater proximity between the doctor and the patient," said study co-author Daniel Aletaha.

A lab test to measure levels of rheumatoid arthritis factor is usually the first step to finding the best treatment.

... Full Story

Study finds genes that may be responsible for rheumatoid arthritis
Date: 2012-11-30 04:09:29

A recent study at the Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit at the University of Manchester, which utilized DNA samples from more than 27,000 patients, has found 14 genes that may be the cause of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There have already been 32 other genes discovered that contribute to the development of the condition.

The research, which was published in Nature and Genetics, also found that the gene is specifically linked to the X-chromosome, which may explain why more women suffer from the ailment than men. The researchers noted that the recent discoveries have vast implications for potential arthritis treatment.

"This work will have a great impact on the clinical treatment of arthritis - we have already found three genes that are targets for drugs, leaving a further 43 genes with the potential for drug development, helping the third of patients who fail to respond well to current medications," said research author Stephen Eyre, M.D.

RA facts... Full Story

Many autoimmune disease patients do not take medications
Date: 2012-12-19 16:47:28

A recent study conducted by the Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), published in "The 3-Second Adherence Factor" kit, found that only 50 percent of patients who had an autoimmune condition took their prescribed medications, while 20 to 30 percent of these patients did not fill their prescriptions.

The AARDA kit is used to help patients make informed decisions about their treatments by giving them information and providing them with options such as alternative treatments or further research on their prescribed drugs throug online resources such as Google or WebMD.

The research also found that helping patients understand the benefits of their medications and what their therapies are trying to accomplish made them more likely to follow through with their treatments. During the research, a sample group of patients who witnessed several fictional scenarios of a doctor giving medication to a patient noted that if the physician had taken 30 more seconds to explain how the treatment would affect the condition, they would be more apt to take the medication if they were the patient.

"Patients receive a lot of information about the side effects of their treatment through advertising and inserts that are attached to their prescriptions," said study author Virginia T. Ladd, executive director of AARDA. "They need a way to balance that information with the benefits offered to them through therapeutic treatments. This way they can decide if they want to adhere to the treatment plan prescribed by their healthcare professional."

Autoimmune disease information... Full Story

Vitamin D may be beneficial for Multiple Sclerosis
Date: 2012-11-12 10:03:53
A new study published in the Annals of Neurology, led by Ellen Mowry, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University, found that lower levels of vitamin D may be linked to an increased risk of developing lesions associated with multiple sclerosis (MS).... Full Story

Review date of multiple sclerosis drug pushed back
Date: 2012-10-22 19:13:01
Reuters has reported that a new drug, BG-12, which will be used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), will have its review from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pushed back by three months.... Full Story

Bacterial protein may be linked to lupus
Date: 2012-08-09 14:16:24
A lab test that screens patients for autoimmune diseases can potentially identify a number of different illnesses, including lupus. Recently, a team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic discovered that constant exposure to a protein found in Staph bacteria may induce lupus among individuals who are genetically inclined to have the disease.... Full Story

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