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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory, systemic disease characterized by joint pain and swelling, joint destruction, and the formation of pannus (a membrane of granulation tissue on the surfaces of the joint). RA typically affects many different joints and may also affect internal organs. It can be chronic and is often characterized by flares and remissions.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system, for unknown reasons, attacks a person's own cells inside the joint capsule. White blood cells that are part of the normal immune system travel to the synovium and causes inflammation called synovitis. In addition, the cells of the synovium grow and divide abnormally, making the normally thin synovium thick and resulting in joint swelling.
As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, these abnormal synovial cells begin to invade and destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint. The surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support and stabilize the joint become weak and unable to work normally. It is thought that significan't damage to bones begins during the first year or two that a person has the disease. This is one reason early diagnosis and treatment is so important in the management of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects 2.1 million Americans, mostly women (1.5 million women / 600,000 men). Onset is usually in middle age, but may occur in the 20s and 30s.
Treatment is designed to control disease activity, reduce symptoms, slow joint damage and optimize quality of life.
Get the Facts... With your MediFocus Guide

The Medifocus Guide on Rheumatoid Arthritis provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
  • What are the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
  • Are there any recognized risk factors for developing rheumatoid arthritis?
  • What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis?
  • What is the current standard of care for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis?
  • What treatment options are available for the management of rheumatoid arthritis?
  • Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
  • Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in rheumatoid arthritis?
  • Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for rheumatoid arthritis?
  • What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about rheumatoid arthritis?
What Your Doctor Reads:

This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
  • Leflunomide for rheumatoid arthritis.
    Drug & Therapeutics Bulletin. 2000
  • Pharmacoeconomics of drug therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.
    Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000
  • New and future drug therapies for rheumatoid arthritis.
    Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000
  • Current treatment paradigms in rheumatoid arthritis.
    Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000
  • Prognostic factors in early rheumatoid arthritis.
    Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000
  • Functional disability and quality-of-life assessment in clinical practice.
    Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000
  • Radiographic imaging: the 'gold standard' for assessment of disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis.
    Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000
  • New insights into the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.
    Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000
  • Tumor necrosis factor inactivation in the management of rheumatoid arthritis.
    Southern Medical Journal. 2000
  • Yttrium radiosynoviorthesis in the treatment of knee arthritis in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review.
    Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2000
MediFocus Guides... When You Need Trustworthy Medical Information understands that consumers who are facing serious medical issues need access to credible, up-to-date medical information to help them make informed health-care decisions. That's why we've developed the MediFocus Guides...the most advanced and trustworthy patient research guides for over 200 chronic and life-threatening conditions. Each MediFocus Guide includes a detailed overview of the condition including information about diagnosis, treatment options, cutting-edge research, and new developments; excerpts of important journal articles from the current medical literature focusing on standard treatments and treatment options; a directory of leading authors and medical institutions who specialize in the treatment of the condition; and a listing of organizations and support groups where you can obtain additional information about the illness.
MediFocus Guides are the perfect solution for consumers who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of their medical issue and avail themselves of the same type of professional level medical information that is used by physicians and other health-care professionals to help then in the clinical decision making process.
Medifocus: Your Personal Guide to Trustworthy Medical Information Get more data on this topic.
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