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Early rheumatoid arthritis detection could lead to cure

Published on 16/09/2010
People suffering from signs of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) should seek to establish a healthcare plan as soon as possible as early treatment could make a huge difference to the prognosis.

New research from scientists at the University of Birmingham have found that treatment delivered during the first three months of the onset of symptoms could slow the progress of the disease or even stop it completely.

Those with RA suffer inflammation of the joints that can eventually lead to painful and debilitating bone and cartilage destruction.

But the researchers found that during the earliest stages of the disease, it exhibits different processes than it does when more advanced.

This means treatment administered at this time could be more effective.

Dr Karim Raza, lead author of the study, said: "Early diagnosis of RA is essential as we have shown that the processes occurring in the joints of patients in the earliest clinically apparent stage of the disease are different from those occurring later.

"This raises the possibility that the early phases may be more responsive to treatment and that the disease, if caught in time, could be switched off."

Around 0.8 per cent of the UK adult population suffer from RA, with women approximately three times more likely to be affected than men.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


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