29th February 02:36
Arthritis Advances of 2004 Provide Hope for Future Treatment (diabetes antibiotic rheumatoid arthritis autoimmune lupus)
Thanks to one of our readers for sending the following article...Myrl
Arthritis Advances of 2004 Provide Hope for Future Treatment
12/7/2004 8:01:00 AM
Contact: Lynne Unglo of the Arthritis Foundation, 404-965-7661 or
ATLANTA, Dec. 7 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Second-generation biologic therapies
and a predictive marker for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are among the top
10 arthritis advances of 2004, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Exciting discoveries of the past year also include a novel treatment
that slows bone erosion and a common genetic link to autoimmune
disorders such as RA, lupus, diabetes and thyroid disease.
Arthritis advocates also scored successes in 2004 with the introduction
of the first arthritis-specific legislation in more than 30 years and
the implementation of a Medicare pilot program allowing thousands of
Americans with RA and psoriatic arthritis to obtain life-changing
biologic medications at a reduced cost.
"As the number of people with arthritis reaches epidemic proportions,
advances in research, public health and public policy are more
important than ever to preventing, controlling and eventually curing
the nation's number one cause of disability," said John H. Klippel,
M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "Breakthrough
advances in 2004 offer hope to people with arthritis and provide a
glimpse of what is possible in the future."
Other advances include:
-- Effectiveness of Weight Loss and Physical Activity Confirmed
-- First-Ever Set of Quality Indicators for Arthritis Developed
-- Measures to Prevent Wrong-Site Surgery Mandated
-- Antibiotic Shown to Slow Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)
To develop its annual list of the top 10 arthritis advances, the
Arthritis Foundation sought input from clinicians with expertise in
different forms of arthritis, scientists from various research
disciplines, as well as from the American College of Rheumatology, the
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
2004 Advances: A Glimpse of the Future
Advances in 2004 showed that in the near future, people might benefit
from therapies targeted at the root causes of serious forms of
arthritis rather than those aimed at treating disease symptoms. It also
could become routine to screen patients to determine who is at risk for
severe disease progression and, therefore, who is most likely to
benefit from early and aggressive treatment.
The foreseeable future also promises a greater quality of life for
patients with arthritis and related diseases through increased
government funding for research and public health activities, advances
in quality care standards for people with arthritis, and improved
preoperative processes in joint surgery. An increased understanding of
the benefits of weight loss and exercise in reducing pain and improving
physical function, as well as promising research into antibiotic
treatment to slow disease progression, will lead to relief for millions
of Americans suffering from debilitating knee OA.
With one in every two Americans over 50 facing fractures from
osteoporosis or low bone mass by 2020, advances made in slowing the
progressive loss of bone and increasing bone mass have never been more
important. Research conducted in 2004 will serve as the launching pad
for bone health advances in the coming year, with researchers poised
for even more breakthroughs in 2005 and beyond.
How the Arthritis Foundation Helps
The Arthritis Foundation is the single largest non-profit contributor
to arthritis research in the world and the only nationwide, nonprofit
health organization helping people take greater control of arthritis by
leading efforts to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related
diseases -- the nation's number one cause of disability. For free
arthritis information, contact the Arthritis Foundation at 800-283-7800
or on the Web at http://www.arthritis.org.