Did You Know? – Rheumatoid Arthritis
Did you know Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is three times more likely to look in women than men?
First of all… What is RA? Well here’s a definition directly from Wikipedia:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints, where it causes inflammation (arthritis) and destruction. (Remember you can always search Google for Certain definitions on the top right-hand side of this page)
So that seems smart, and I’m sure if you said it when having coffee with your friends they’d be impressed. But what does all that mumbo-jumbo mean? Well, let’s break it down. Acute is the opposite of acute, which is brief. So Chronic means long or prolonged. OK, let’s have a peek at what’s next; Systemic autoimmune disorder. I’m guessing this is what lost most of us. This pretty much means that our bodies’ immune systems may sometime attack its cells thinking they are a danger to the body. So if we put all that together what is a better definition?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term disease that involves the body attacking its cells, especially in the joints. This causes them to swell and degrade.
Great! Now that we understand what RA is let’s take a look at a random fact of RA and then enter a wacky treatment!
Did you know that we don’t understand the specific factors that cause RA? However, we do know that is related to genes.
So how is RA likely to be treated?
Well, first we may want to use a fast acting med such as an NSAID, Prednisone, or Aspirin. This is principal because the “main” treatments can take up to 6months to operate!!
What are the primary treatments I speak of?
These treatments generally involve stopping or inhibiting (click me!) cellular immunity.
The drug classes include:
Тhеrе аrе quіtе а fеw оthеr trеаtmеnts thаt are successful, but I thought these two were the most interesting.
Wait! Can you say antimalarials?!?! And what about GOLD salts?!? You may think I’m crazy, but it’s true…. Anti-malarials and Gold salts are used for RA regularly.
An example of an Anti-malarial is Chloroquine. This seems to work within a few months following the treatment is started.
Gold… This one surprised me too. But it’s not really what you think. Gold Salts is actually what is used for RA. Gold Salts have their highest effect start at 3-4 months. They also stop the progression of bone and joint damage also. However, gold isn’t used too frequently as there are a few serious side effects.
What’s the “gold standard” or generally first treatment people get? Methotrexate. This is a first line immunosuppressive agent that is very reliable in RA.
Almost done! I wanted to mention one more drug used for RA. This med appeared to be sparked by some pretty ingenious people, and I believed you’d love to hear about it. Infliximab.
Infliximab Reduces the symptoms of RA and has good Synergism (Try looking that up in the search box!) with Methotrexate. This reduces TNF-alpha levels in the body. TNF-alpha is a part of the body’s inflammation process. If these levels are reduced, then there won’t be as much inflammation in your joints! That’s great… but why is this drug so interesting again? Well, I’ll let you know! This drug is what’s called a Chimeric Monoclonal antibody.