UCLA scientists discover reason for higher rates of autoimmune disease in women than men

UCLA scientists have discovered one reason why autoimmune diseases are more prevalent in women than in men. While males inherit their mother’s X chromosome and father’s Y chromosome, females inherit X chromosomes from both parents. New research, which shows differences in how each of those X chromosomes is regulated, suggests that the X chromosome that females get from their father may help to explain their more active immune system.

It’s been known for many years that women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men are. Figuring out why can help us develop new drugs to treat these autoimmune diseases.”

A major step toward preventing GvHD in patients receiving bone marrow transplants

A drug used for rheumatoid arthritis has moved a step closer to FDA approval for a desperately needed new use. The drug, abatacept, has gained FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for preventing acute, severe graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in patients receiving bone marrow transplants. That could help fast-track the drug to the clinic.

If we are lucky and we get FDA approval, this will be the first agent approved for preventing acute GvHD. It could make bone marrow transplant safer for many more people, especially people who don’t have fully matched donors.”

FDA-approved drug repairs gut leakiness associated with ulcerative colitis

A research team led by biomedical scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found that a drug approved by the FDA to treat rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis can repair permeability defects in the gut’s epithelium.

Affecting roughly 1 million Americans, ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease of the large intestine in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed and leaky. Affecting more than 2 million Americans, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the joints.

Link found between the gut microbiome, host genome, and RA in Japanese population

One of the most astounding discoveries of recent times is just how much influence gut bacteria have on our health and well-being. In addition to extracting nutrients from food, the collective activity of these tiny organisms protects us from infection and helps regulate our immune system. However, changes in the gut microbiota have been implicated in diseases ranging from obesity and diabetes to inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.

In a study published this month in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, researchers led by a team from Osaka University have found that the RA gut metagenome of the Japanese population had interesting characteristics and a population-specific pathway link with the host genome.

State-of-the-art expert reviews provide insights into vitamin D research

Vitamin D is essential for human health. Although much is known about its important role in bone metabolism and in certain areas of non-skeletal health, there are many open questions and topics of debate. With the help of guest editor, Terry Aspray, Calcified Tissue International has commissioned seven state-of-the-art expert reviews which provide insights into current consensus and new directions of research in a wide range of topics – including vitamin D’s role in maternal health, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory disease, and muscle.

Dr Aspray stated:

Thermal imaging has potential to assess rheumatoid arthritis

A new study, published today in Scientific Reports, highlights that thermal imaging has the potential to become an important method to assess Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Results of the study, carried out with 82 participants, confirm that both palm and finger temperature increase significantly in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

RA patients were examined by two rheumatologists. A subset of these participants underwent diagnostic ultrasonography by a trained rheumatologist in order to ensure that the recruited participants had no active signs of synovitis in their hands and wrists.

Rheumatoid arthritis linked to other diseases, finds new study

A study led by the Mayo Clinic published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is higher in people with type 1 diabetes, blood clotting disorders, or inflammatory bowel disease.

rheumatoid arthritisImage Credit: Puwadol Jaturawutthichai / Shutterstock.com

In addition, patients with RA have a higher chance of heart disease, clots within blood vessels, and sleep apnea. This should prompt patients and their doctors to look for RA in patients with any of the preceding conditions and to screen RA patients for cardiovascular disease and sleep apnea if relevant symptoms occur.

Rheumatoid arthritis linked to other diseases before and after diagnosis, shows study

A Mayo Clinic-led study involving 3,276 patients has found that people with inflammatory bowel disease, Type 1 diabetes or blood clots may be at increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

The study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, also found that people who have rheumatoid arthritis are at increased risk of developing heart disease, blood clots and sleep apnea.

Comorbidities, or other chronic diseases or conditions, have been linked to poorer outcomes for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, including worsened physical disability, functional decline, poorer quality of life and increased mortality.