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Potential New Treatment for Osteoarthritis

Potential New Treatment for Osteoarthritis

Traditionally, treatment for osteoarthritis has been limited to relieving pain. Scientists have found hope that drugs used to treat osteoporosis may be useful in treating not only osteoarthritis (OA) pain, but cartilage damage as well. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone tissue breaks down faster than it is replaced, causing the bones to become brittle and prone to fracture. Bisphosphonates, a class of drugs commonly prescribed for osteoporosis, work by inhibiting cells called osteoclasts that break down bone. Researchers believe they may work similarly for OA, by inhibiting the activity of osteoclasts in the bone beneath the cartilage in affected joints. In ...more
Stopping Osteoarthritis with Statins?

Stopping Osteoarthritis with Statins?

Recent research shows that statins -- the drugs people take to lower their cholesterol -- may also lower their chances of getting osteoarthritis or delay its progression. Traditionally, treatment for osteoarthritis (OA) has been limited to relieving symptoms and replacing joints with prostheses once they become irreparably damaged. However, researchers are actively looking for treatments that will not only ease OA’s pain and stiffness, but will slow, stop – or even prevent – the progression of joint damage. Statins may be one possible answer. Proof That Statins May Work Against OA  Several studies have found that all other things being equal (age, weight, ...more
The Emotional Toll of Psoriatic Arthritis

The Emotional Toll of Psoriatic Arthritis

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are usually quite visible – painful, swollen joints, skin reactions and fatigue. Less apparent, but just as impactful, is the emotional toll the disease can take. “They tell me that it’s taxing,” Julie Nelligan, PhD, a Portland Oregon-based psychologist, says of her psoriatic arthritis patients. “They may say things like, ‘Nobody understands me, I feel like I’m not contributing. I’m lonely, I’m anxious because I don’t know when I can get things done and I can’t commit to doing things,’” she adds. Living with a disease that has both subtle and obvious symptoms can be a ...more
Can Chondroitin Slow Knee Osteoarthritis?

Can Chondroitin Slow Knee Osteoarthritis?

A popular dietary supplement appears to slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA) and is as effective at controlling pain as a widely used prescription medication, according to a study presented at the 2015 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting. A team of Canadian researchers found that, over a span of two years, patients with knee OA who took chondroitin sulfate, which is sold over the counter (OTC), lost less knee cartilage than a second group of patients treated with the prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) celecoxib (Celebrex). This new study fuels an ongoing debate over whether OA patients can ...more
5 Psoriatic Arthritis Myths Debunked

5 Psoriatic Arthritis Myths Debunked

Between appointments with your healthcare provider and online research, you feel confident in your knowledge of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). You might be surprised to learn that some popular beliefs about the disease, which affects up to 30% of the 7.5 million Americans living with psoriasis, are not true at all. “There is a lack of understanding about the nature of this disease,” explains Eric L. Matteson MD, professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Learn the truth behind five popular psoriatic arthritis myths. Myth: If you have psoriasis, you will get psoriatic arthritis. Fact: Fewer than one-third ...more
Vitamin D May Slow Osteoarthritis Progression

Vitamin D May Slow Osteoarthritis Progression

Can Vitamin D help prevent the onset of osteoarthritis (OA) or slow joint damage if you already have OA? While study results have been mixed, in general, they suggest that Vitamin D may be protective in OA. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption by the body to enable bone growth and repair. Because osteoarthritis has a bone growth component, researchers have been examining the potential role of vitamin D in osteoarthritis development and progression. What the Studies Show Two studies published in 2014 looked at vitamin D levels in the blood of people with or at risk of OA. A study published in The ...more
Psoriatic Arthritis and Eye Complications

Psoriatic Arthritis and Eye Complications

Research shows that the same arthritic inflammation that causes joint problems might also cause damage in other areas of your body, including your vision. One Arthritis Today reader asked us how psoriatic arthritis can lead to potential vision problems. Read on to find out more about what causes these complications and how to treat them, with answers from an expert rheumatologist in Toronto Question From a Reader: I have psoriatic arthritis and often hear that it can lead to eye and vision problems. What are these problems and is there anything I can do to avoid them? Answer From Dafna D. Gladman, MD, ...more
Skin Protection Tips for Psoriatic Arthritis

Skin Protection Tips for Psoriatic Arthritis

Keeping disease activity under control with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologics is an important part of managing the skin symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. But many lifestyle habits can help or worsen psoriasis.  Here are 9 self-care tips that can relieve symptoms and promote healthier skin. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. One of the best remedies for scaling skin is moisture.  Applying moisturizers frequently can relieve dryness and itching and promote healing, particularly in cold, dry weather. The best one for you will depend on how dry your skin is – the thicker the product the more moisture it will hold in, says Steven R. ...more
Smoking Increases the Risk of Psoriatic Arthritis

Smoking Increases the Risk of Psoriatic Arthritis

Smoking can have harmful effects on your skin and joints, increasing the risk and severity of the scaling skin disease psoriasis, and the arthritis that often accompanies it – psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Several studies have found an association between smoking and psoriatic arthritis, but further research is needed to gain a better understanding of cause and effect. In a 2014 study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, researchers in Denmark investigated the smoking-psoriatic arthritis connection in 1,388 psoriatic arthritis patients from a nationwide registry. They found that compared with non-smoking psoriatic arthritis patients, smoking PsA patients had worse self-reported disease. ...more

How Common is Psoriatic Arthritis in People with Psoriasis?

The prevalence of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) among psoriasis patients is higher than previously thought, according to several international studies published between 2013 and 2015. In North America and Europe, between 18 and 42 percent of people with psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease, also have psoriatic arthritis. In the United States, psoriasis affects about 2.2 percent of the population (7.5 million people), making it the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the US. In addition to skin problems associated with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis affects the joints and other parts of the body. Psoriatic Arthritis Prevalence Around the World In a study published in 2013 ...more