Dr. Shiel, Editor of the Arthritis Center, Gives Perspectives Of Interest On Topics From 2001 Annual Scientific Meeting Of The American College Of Rheumatology (held November 11-15, 2001)
Overall, this was an extremely important meeting with brilliant research presented in hundreds of reports. The meeting lasted six days and was attended by a record 10,000 doctors from across the nation and throughout the world!
It is critical to the health of patients with arthritis that such important research is occurring. Arthritis alone currently affects 15% of all Americans and the number affected will grow to 18.2% by the year 2020. It has dramatic effects on the function and well-being of hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
The themes that were reported at the meeting ranged from basic bench science to reports of exciting new treatments and tests available for rheumatic diseases. I want to highlight for you many of the reports, papers, and personal discussions that led to my own excitement as they clearly are going to have an impact on the general public health.
Here, I will summarize reports on a variety of arthritis and rheumatism topics that I know you will find interesting. Click on each item from the Disease Index below for the summary of my coverage for that particular arthritis or rheumatism topic.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Summaries of new treatments (Remicade, Enbrel, Kineret, Arava, combination therapies, and more), associated conditions, Sjogren's Syndrome, smoking and diet risks, patient education, and complications, which were reported on this form of arthritis that affects 1% of all Americans.
Osteoarthritis - New treatments around the corner, old treatment warnings, glucosamine studies, drug complications, inheritance, and classic symptoms defined for a disease affecting 21.1% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 75 years.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus) - Issues of estrogen replacement complications, cancer risks, cigarette smoking, male vs. female lupus, birth order risks, cardiolipin antibodies, exercise, eggs and alfalfa sprouts, effects of stress reduction, and more!
Psoriatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis - Powerful new treatments documented (Remicade, Enbrel, and others), bowel disease, treating psoriasis--Finally, research emphasizing these potentially devastating forms of arthritis affecting 0.21% of Americans over age 15.
Fibromyalgia - Medications that can work, acupuncture, DHEA, muscle strengthening vs. flexibility exercising--Helpful tips for the 0.5% of men and 3.4% of women affected, representing 2% of Americans overall.
Gout & Pseudogout - Real diet research data, the presence of both together, mortal dangers of intravenous colchicine, risk factors--Eye-opening information about a condition that causes suffering to 0.84% of all Americans.
Scleroderma - Lung disease challenges, tamoxifen failure, L-carnitine treatment, treatment for stomach and bowel disease, stem cell transplantation-more studies are needed. People with this rare disease await so much more.
Juvenile Arthritis (Childhood Arthritis) - New treatments (Remicade, Enbrel, Arava, and others), exercise-what form best?, education of affected children with video vs. computer--50,000 American children suffer from arthritis.
Vasculitis - Wegener's Granulomatosis, Behcet's Disease, Kawasaki's Disease, Henoch-Schonlein Purpura, Takayasu's Arteritis, Polyarteritis Nodosa, Churg-Strauss Syndrome--Rare diseases that can be devastating.
- Actonel treatment once a
week, Vitamin D and calcium treatment, effect of body weight, parathyroid
hormone (PTH) treatment. In the United States, more than 10 million people have
osteoporosis of the hip and almost 19 million more have low hip bone density.
Rare Rheumatic Conditions - Myositis, Eosinophilic Fasciitis, Macro CPK blood levels, Adult Onset Still's Disease, others.
Arthritis Drugs & New Medications - What's new, what's old, what's safe, what's not, what's coming, as well as real research using complementary and alternative medicines.