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February 2, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that progresses from joint pain to joint destruction and disfigurement. But that progression can be dramatically slowed by a class of medications called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs , or DMARDs for short. If started early, these drugs can preserve patients’ joints for years, allowing them to continue working and improving their overall quality of life. So why aren’t all RA patients taking them? That’s a question that a group of researchers from Stanford, Brown, Harvard and UC San Francisco set out to answer.
November 19, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, as the name suggests, is rare and not life-threatening. But the swollen joints and inflammation caused by this disease can be devastating for very young children. Maggie Root was just 2 when a swollen toe signaled something was wrong. The Virginia girl says in this Newport News Daily Press story : "My fingers started hurting, and my neck. My fingers were all red," she says. The disease affects about 300,000 children in the United States, and its cause remains unknown.
November 1, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Arthritis pain can mar the last few years of life, according to a new study. Moderate to severe pain was common in one-quarter of the people studied, with arthritis as the biggest predictor of pain, even outweighing pain from cancer. The study suggests that this nonfatal condition should be taken more seriously because of its power to erode quality-of-life, said the authors of the research. They analyzed data from interviews of 4,703 men and women age 50 and older who died while enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study, an ongoing longitudinal study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging.
October 7, 2010
Two in every nine Americans, a total of 49.9 million adults, now suffer from doctor-diagnosed arthritis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The number is growing by about 1 million per year and is expected to reach 67 million by 2030, the agency reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.  The driving factor for the rise in arthritis patients appears to be obesity, the researchers said. Among those who are obese, one in three women and one in four men have been diagnosed with the disorder, roughly double the proportion among those whose weight is normal.
August 27, 2010
A protein released when rheumatoid arthritis is present in the body may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. The surprise finding in a mouse study may explain why people with rheumatoid arthritis have lower rates of developing Alzheimer's. Experts used to think that the drugs that people took for rheumatoid arthritis -- called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs -- also reduced the risk of Alzheimer's disease. That led to clinical trials to see if NSAIDs reduced the risk of Alzheimer's in a range of patients.
August 10, 2010 | By Teddy Greenstein
Reporting from Sheboygan, Wis. Now it all makes sense. For months golf's No. 1 ranking has sat there on a platter, ready to be consumed by Phil Mickelson. But based on Mickelson's play, you might have wondered whether he actually wanted to overtake Tiger Woods as the world's top-ranked player. Now we know otherwise. Mickelson revealed Tuesday at the PGA Championship that he is being treated for a form of arthritis that left him so debilitated, he could not get out of bed during a family vacation to Hawaii in late June.
July 29, 2010
Moderate drinking may have some heart-healthy benefits, but its protective effects might not stop there. A new study suggests that alcohol might diminish the intensity of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and could lessen the risk of getting the disease. The study, published online this week in the journal Rheumatology, examined drinking frequency in 873 white men and women with erosive, or inflammatory, RA, as well as 1,004 healthy people. In questionnaires, they were asked how many days over the last month they had had at least one alcoholic drink.
July 19, 2010 | Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon, The People's Pharmacy
My husband and I are in our 50s. We are having much pain from arthritis. His is in his knees. I have had my thumb joint removed due to osteoarthritis, and now I am told I need hip-replacement surgery. Glucosamine and chondroitin seemed to help for a while, but now we are back to limping. What can you tell us about the benefits and risks of these supplements? Are there any other options? A large government-sponsored study of glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis of the knee determined that these supplements were no better than a placebo for mild to moderate arthritis (Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases online, June 4)
July 5, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
For more than a decade, Cheryl Clark has lived with the chronic pain that accompanies fibromyalgia. After years of suffering with severe flu-like aches and pains, she finally found some relief — but it didn't come from a pill or a shot. It came from exercise. Several times a week, Clark heads to the warm-water pool and the gym at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in Pomona. Her pain, she says, has gone from a six or seven on a 10-point scale scale down to a one or two. "It would kill me to walk from the car to the doctor's office.
April 26, 2010 | By Emily Sohn, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Pregnant women need them for their babies' brains. Kids need them to learn. Adults get healthier hearts from them. The do-it-all nutrients known as omega-3 fatty acids appear to reduce pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis — and may help treat autism, bipolar disorder, depression, Alzheimer's disease, ADHD and prostate cancer. Even dogs and cats need omega-3s to stay healthy. So eat more fish. Take fish oil pills (or their vegetarian counterparts). Start buying fortified foods.
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