Ankylosing Spondylitis (cont.)

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Can ankylosing spondylitis be prevented?

There is no prevention for this inherited (genetic) disease. Prevention measures are directed toward preventing complications of the disease with optimal treatments and monitoring for side effects of the treatments.

What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with ankylosing spondylitis?

The outlook for patients with ankylosing spondylitis is very much dependent upon the location and severity of its manifestations. The prognosis is best for those who maintain close monitoring with the treating doctors and who incorporate physical activities designed to maintain mobility. Quitting smoking is essential for the best long-term outcome.

What is in the future for patients with ankylosing spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis and each of the spondyloarthropathies are areas of active research. The relationship between infectious agents and the triggering of chronic inflammation is vigorously being pursued. Factors that perpetuate "autoimmunity" are being identified. The characteristics of the gene marker HLA-B27 are being further defined. In fact, there are now known to be seven different subtypes of HLA-B27.

The impact of the recent discovery of the two additional genes, ARTS1 and IL23R, associated with ankylosing spondylitis (described above under "Causes") cannot be overstated. These genes seem to play a role in influencing immune function. It is anticipated that by understanding the effects of each of these known genes researchers will make significant progress in discovering a cure for ankylosing spondylitis.

As more about the precise mechanisms these genes use to influence the immune system is understood, the discovery of a cure will be possible. Moreover, results of ongoing research will lead to a better understanding and optimal treatment options of the entire group of diseases collectively known as spondyloarthropathies.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/20/2014

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Ankylosing Spondylitis - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Ankylosing Spondylitis - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your ankylosing spondylitis?
Ankylosing Spondylitis - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with ankylosing spondylitis.
Ankylosing Spondylitis - Severity and Progression Question: Do you or a relative have ankylosing spondylitis? Please share its progression, along with treatments.
Ankylosing Spondylitis - Diagnosis Question: What tests led to a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis?

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