Antibodies could cause arthritic pain

Antibodies that exist in the joints before the onset of rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain even in the absence of arthritis, researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden report. The researchers believe that the finding, which is published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, can represent a general mechanism in autoimmunity and that the results can facilitate the development of new ways of reducing non-inflammatory pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

We all know that inflammation is painful. But pain can appear before any sign of inflammation in the joints and can remain a problem after it has healed. Our aim was to find possible mechanisms to explain that.”

Rheumatoid arthritic pain could be caused by antibodies

A new study finds that antibodies that exist in the joints before the onset of rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain even in the absence of arthritis. Researchers believe that the finding can represent a general mechanism in autoimmunity and that the results can facilitate the development of new ways of reducing non-inflammatory pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
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FAU researcher receives the Ernst Jung Career Advancement Award for Medical Research

The Jung Foundation for Science and Research has awarded the young gastroenterologist Dr. Sebastian Zundler from the Chair of Internal Medicine I at FAU the Ernst Jung Career Advancement Award for Medical Research 2019. He has been awarded the prize for his research project on the importance of intestinal tissue-resident memory T cells in the development and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. The Foundation has provided prize money of 210,000 euros to support Zundler’s project over the next three years, focussing on investigating these types of cells with the aim of discovering therapeutic approaches for the future.

Study shows high levels of success in most patients despite tapered glucocorticoid discontinuation

The results of a randomized controlled trial presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2019) demonstrate high levels of treatment success in approximately two thirds of patients despite tapered glucocorticoid (GC) discontinuation, while a small loss of disease control was observed at the total study population level.

On the basis of our results, we believe that all patients achieving low disease activity or remission with tocilizumab should be offered glucocorticoid tapering,”

Professor Gerd R. Burmester, Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Charit̩ РUniversity Medicine Berlin, Germany

Fibrinogen a key player in health and disease, says new study

A new study from the University of Alberta demonstrated that the blood clotting protein called fibrinogen also regulates MMP-2, an enzyme involved in immunity and in clot formation inside blood vessels. Prolonged MMP-2 inhibition could potentially produce a deficiency state with severe consequences.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, reports on the role of abnormally high fibrinogen levels in non-genetic MMP-2 deficiency.

Human fibrinogen blood clot (factor I) protein, chemical structure. Fibrinogen is a soluble plasma enzyme that is converted to fibrin by thrombin. Image Credit: molekuul_be / Shutterstock

Human fibrinogen blood clot (factor I) protein, chemical structure. Fibrinogen is a soluble plasma enzyme that is converted to fibrin by thrombin. Image Credit: molekuul_be / Shutterstock

The immune system in women may be different from men finds study

Research has shown that women have a different immune system from men and may respond differently to different immune disease processes. For example, studies have shown that women are eight times more likely to get autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis compared to men but have a lower risk of certain cancers such as colon, kidney, melanomas and lung cancers. Further women seem to respond better to immunotherapies for certain cancers than men.

Promising methods for early detection and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that leads to significant health issues as well as high treatment costs. In this themed issue of Clinical Therapeutics, published by Elsevier, experts review multiple aspects of RA detection and intervention with the overall goal of moving the field closer to developing effective preventive measures. Identifying people before they develop the disorder could significantly alter the course of disease and spare people its damaging effects.

Trump administration cracks down on fetal tissue research

The Trump administration is cutting funding for fetal tissue research, creating new barriers to the projects that doctors and scientists say are vital for life-saving medical research. The move is being denounced by scientists and doctors who say that research using fetal cells is essential for improving our understanding of a range of health threats and developing therapies.

Fetal tissue is used by researchers to understand human disease pathways and develop treatments.Sebastian Kaulitzki | Shutterstock

Anti-abortion groups argue that there are alternatives, such as stem cells, organoids, and tissue that can be taken from newborns while they have heart surgery, for example.