Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis: The Blog

A blog for and by people living with AS

Archive for October, 2010

Low bone mineral density is related to male gender and decreased functional capacity in early spondylarthropathies

Low bone mineral density is related to male gender and decreased functional capacity in early spondylarthropathies

Posted on: 9/7/2010

An article in Clinical Rheumatology examines the prevalence and risk factors of low bone mineral density (BMD) in early stages of spondylarthropathies (SpA).

The authors found that, “In total, 9% of the early SpA patients had osteoporosis, 38% osteopenia, and 53% normal BMD.” And that, “In early SpA patients, a high frequency (47%) of low BMD in femur as well as in lumbar spine was found.”

Overall, the researches conclude that, “Low BMD was associated with male gender and decreased functional capacity. These findings emphasize the need for more alertness for osteoporosis and osteopenia in spondylarthropathy patients at an early stage of the disease.”

To read the abstract, click here.

via Press – News – 439 – Low bone mineral density is related to male gender and decreased functional capacity in early spondylarthropathies.

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Newsroom – UTHealth scientists zeroing in on genes tied to two immune disorders

UTHealth scientists zeroing in on genes tied to two immune disorders

TARGETED RESEQUENCING OF IMMUNE-ASSOCIATED GENES – UTHealth researcher Xiaodong Zhou, M.D., will perform a study of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genomics of ankylosing spondylitis and scleroderma.

HOUSTON – (Sept. 7, 2010) – A new study designed to test suspected links between genes and two immune disorders could open the door to better ways to diagnose and treat the conditions that affect a combined total of approximately 2.5 million people in the United States, report scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

The genes are thought to be associated with ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that attacks the spine, and systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), a chronic, often progressive, disease of connective tissue. As many as 2.4 million people in the United States may be affected by ankylosing spondylitis and its related diseases. Systemic sclerosis impacts about 100,000 people in the United States.

The researchers plan to conduct an exhaustive analysis of these genes and others using a research technique called targeted resequencing. The study will involve more than 6,000 patients with ankylosing spondylitis or scleroderma from the United States, China and Spain and it will focus on an area of the genome linked to immunity issues called the major histocompatibility complex. The study will also include about 3,000 people without the conditions.

“This is the most complicated region of the human genome,” said Xiaodong Zhou, M.D., a principal investigator and associate professor of internal medicine at the UTHealth Medical School. “The region contains genes linked to all types of immune diseases. In many instances, we don’t know precisely where the linkage comes from. We want to find out if these are true associations.”

KEEP READING HERE:   Newsroom – UTHealth scientists zeroing in on genes tied to two immune disorders.

Press – News – 443 – Determinants of Early Radiographic Progression in Ankylosing Spondylitis

Determinants of Early Radiographic Progression in Ankylosing Spondylitis

Posted on: 9/20/2010

A study in The Journal of Rheumatology investigates, “the demographic and clinical characteristics associated with early, extensive radiographic changes in ankylosing spondylitis (AS).”

The authors found that early axial ankylosis (EAA) “was more frequent in men with AS than in women. Absence of peripheral arthritis, HLA-B27 positivity, and uveitis were associated with multiple syndesmophytes or fusion of multiple vertebrae of the lumbar vertebrae.”

via Press – News – 443 – Determinants of Early Radiographic Progression in Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Press – News – 444 – In 2010, How Should Ankylosing Spondylitis Be Treated?

An article on Medscape.com answers the question of how ankylosing spondylitis should now be treated.

Stephen Paget, MD states in the article, “When I make a diagnosis of AS, I begin an NSAID for pain and inflammation control, recommend lifelong physical therapy, plant a 5 TU PPD, order hepatitis B and C serologies, and begin the process of getting approval for one of the anti-TNF medications in order to control the systemic disorder, improve function, and prevent damage. I usually don’t choose etanercept because it is less effective in preventing and treating uveitis and controlling possible occult or defined inflammatory bowel disease. AS is a systemic, inflammatory disorder that shortens life and profoundly alters function and mobility. This demands the best possible medication: TNF-alpha antagonists.”

via Press – News – 444 – In 2010, How Should Ankylosing Spondylitis Be Treated?.

Ginger May Soothe Aching Muscles

Ginger May Soothe Aching Muscles.

 

 

ept. 20, 2010 — Ginger’s soothing properties may not be limited to the stomach. A new study shows that ginger may also be an effective pain reliever for sore muscles.

Ginger has been a favorite remedy of Chinese medicine for centuries and is often used to treat nausea and upset stomach. However, researchers say, it hasn’t been widely studied as a pain reliever until now.

Daily Ginger Supplement for Muscle Pain

The study, published in The Journal of Pain, showed a daily dose of ginger easedmuscle pain caused by exercise-induced muscle injury. In two separate experiments, researchers looked at the effects of two grams of raw or heat-treated ginger in supplement form on muscle pain caused by exercise in 74 healthy adults. The participants performed a variety of exercises designed to induce muscle pain over a period of 11 days while taking ginger supplements or a dummy pill.

“Daily consumption of raw or heat-treated ginger resulted in moderate-to-large reductions in muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury,” write researcher Christopher D. Black, of the department of kinesiology at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, and colleagues.

Raw or Heat-Treated Ginger?

The results showed that raw and heat-treated ginger reduced muscle pain by 25% and 23%, respectively.

Researchers say previous studies in animals have shown that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which might help explain its beneficial effects on muscle pain.

Although some studies have suggested that heat treatment may enhance ginger’s impact on pain, researchers say their findings show heat treatment had little effect on ginger’s effectiveness as a pain reliever.