Static Image
RA Research Briefs: Tofacitinib, Fish, Remission

RA Research Briefs: Tofacitinib, Fish, Remission

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries. Tofacitinib Plus Methotrexate May Work As Well As Biologic If methotrexate (MTX) alone fails to control RA, adding the oral Janus kinase (JAX) inhibitor tofacitinib (Xeljanz) may be as effective as the standard practice of adding a biologic. The JAX inhibitor belongs to the third category of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) called targeted DMARDs. In a study of 1,146 patients with rheumatoid arthritis that had not adequately responded to MTX alone, approximately a third were switched to tofacitinib, while the others received either tofacitinib or the biologic adalimumab ...more
Study Ranks Treatments for Knee OA

Study Ranks Treatments for Knee OA

A new study takes a look at which approaches are best to bring relief to people with knee osteoarthritis (OA), a condition that affects approximately 20 percent of people over the age of 45 in the United States. Knee OA can be extremely painful and limit a person’s ability to function. Although there is no cure, numerous treatments are available to reduce symptoms, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Exercising and losing weight if a patient is overweight or obese also can help. Total knee replacement surgery is effective but is done only in cases where the disease is advanced and it’s ...more
Hyaluronic Acid for Osteoarthritis

Hyaluronic Acid for Osteoarthritis

If you have osteoarthritis (OA), you know all about joint pain and stiffness. One cause of these symptoms is the fact that hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring joint lubricant, breaks down in people with OA. To help alleviate the pain, your doctor might recommend treatment with hyaluronic acid injections – sometimes known as gel injections. What are HA injections? HA injections replace missing joint lubricant and are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the knees. However, some doctors may use the injections in shoulders and hips as well. The treatments will most likely take place in ...more
You Said It: PsA Skin Moisturizers

You Said It: PsA Skin Moisturizers

We asked our readers and followers “How do you keep your skin moisturized?” Here are their answers. I use Eucerin Intensive Repair Very Dry Skin Lotion and Eucerin in the jar. I also add oils like Pangea. — Suzanne McCue via Facebook I use Aveeno Eczema Therapy and argan oil after showers. — Claudia R. Hodak, Arundel, Maine I use CeraVe and humidifier with essential oils. — Donna Dixson, Atlanta, Georgia I use Cetaphil and sometimes Bag Balm for really cracked and inflamed spots. — Jodi Lynn Wilson Ruiz, El Paso, Texas For 30 years, I have only used Dove soap or Oil of Olay. In the past ...more
Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares: The Ups and Downs of Pregnancy

Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares: The Ups and Downs of Pregnancy

For some women with RA, pregnancy brings on an unexpected bonus: improved symptoms. Approximately 70% of women with RA experience improved symptoms in the second trimester that can last through the first 6 weeks after delivery, says J. Bruce Smith, MD, assistant compliance officer for research at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and a rheumatologist whose research has focused largely on autoimmune disease and pregnancy. There are several theories why disease symptoms improve, including increased anti-inflammatory cytokine levels and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Exactly why some women with RA improve while others don’t is unknown, but a study out ...more
RA Research Briefs: Remission, Biologics, Exercise

RA Research Briefs: Remission, Biologics, Exercise

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries. Smoking, Obesity Make RA Harder to Control Remission in RA patients can be harder to achieve in those who are overweight or smoke, according to a recent study. American and Canadian researchers who collected data on more than 1,100 patients receiving standard treatment for RA found that sex (being female), excess weight and smoking were not significantly associated with symptom severity early on. However, all three factors influenced how much symptoms improved over time. The most dramatic differences in symptoms were seen in patients who were overweight or ...more
Psoriatic Arthritis Research Briefs: Nail Changes, New Biologic, Biosimilar

Psoriatic Arthritis Research Briefs: Nail Changes, New Biologic, Biosimilar

Keep up-to-date on the latest psoriatic arthritis (PsA) research with our brief research summaries. Nail Changes May Indi­cate Psoriatic Arthritis Certain nail features can help doc­tors distinguish between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and possibly lead to earlier or improved treatment for PsA, a new study suggests. In the analysis of 1,092 patients with either PsA or psoriasis only, researchers found that nail changes were more common among those with PsA than psoriasis only. Transverse (side-to-side) grooves, splinter hemorrhages (small broken blood vessels under the nails) and onycholysis (separation of the nail from the nail bed) were associated with arthritis. Transverse grooves were ...more
RA Research Briefs: Remission, Surgery, Green Tea

RA Research Briefs: Remission, Surgery, Green Tea

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries. Obesity Reduces Odds of RA Remission Research suggests weight may be a factor in whether people with RA will achieve disease remission. A review of studies screened a total 3,368 patient records. Canadian researchers found obese patients with RA were less likely to achieve remission or sustain remission compared to healthy-weight patients. Obesity, they reported, negatively impacts disease activity and patient-reported outcomes during therapy. Therefore, they say, interventions to reduce BMI should be investigated for the ability to improve disease outcomes. Source: Arthritis Care & Research, January 2017 Biologics Not ...more
You Said It: PsA Must-Have Item

You Said It: PsA Must-Have Item

We asked our readers and followers “What is your one must-have item for your psoriatic arthritis?” Here are their answers. Good, comfortable walking shoes with lots of support. — Patricia Flynn, Upland, California Good support network. — Garrett via Reddit A doctor that really listens and genuinely cares about my concerns with my care. — Kim Drouillard, Lincoln Park, Michigan I must have my electric jar opener. — Chrystal Tucker, Fayetteville, North Carolina My go-to copper compression gloves for the daily pain. Prayer for flares! — Kari Siemens, St. Louis, Missouri Pain medication when biologics and steroids are not working. — Anne Rowell, Houma, Louisiana A pool to exercise your joints weightlessly. — Kathy ...more
Are Women at Risk for Gout?

Are Women at Risk for Gout?

It was once thought that gout, the so-called “disease of kings,” typically spared queens. But in the last 20 years, cases of gout have more than doubled among women. Today, 2 million women – and 6 million men – in the U.S. have this inflammatory form of arthritis that causes joint swelling and telltale pain at the base of the big toe. Natural Gout Protection and Potential Triggers Gout occurs when high levels of uric acid build up in the blood and form needle-shaped crystals in the joints, causing pain, swelling and redness. Estrogen, a female hormone, protects women. It naturally causes ...more