Arthritis health news roundup 2015: Arthritis diagnosis and treatment breakthroughs

There are many varieties of arthritis that affect our aging population. Arthritis can be a debilitating condition and can limit movement and lead to pain and stiffness. In 2015 we saw much advancement in the field of arthritis: how mood can affect arthritis pain, ways arthritis patients can improve their condition, complications related to arthritis, and even genetic breakthroughs that bring us closer to finding a cure.

Below are Bel Marra Health’s top six arthritis news stories that reveal the advancements the medical community has made in regards to arthritis.

Mood and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Mood affects pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients


Researchers have found that our mood can affect the pain experienced with rheumatoid arthritis.

Mood-affects-pain-rheumatoid-arthritis-300x200Researchers from Penn State University have found a link between mood and pain experienced in rheumatoid arthritis patients. “We found evidence consistent with a common, but largely untested, contention that mood in the moment is associated with fluctuation in pain and pain-related restrictions,” said Jennifer E. Graham-Engeland – associate professor of biobehavioral health.

The study uncovered that positive mood was associated with less pain and fewer arthritis-related restrictions, and negative mood increased pain and arthritis-related restrictions. For the research, participants were given mobile devices which prompted them to rate their mood and pain over the course of seven days, five times a day. Learn More

Exercise and Arthritis: Exercise can improve your arthritis

Although arthritis causes joint pain and stiffness, researchers have found exercise can actually improve the condition.

Exercise can improve your arthritisExercise can seem near impossible if you have arthritis pain. Arthritis is a condition which affects the joints, and there are over 100 different types of arthritis. No one is immune to developing arthritis; it affects an estimated 50 million American adults.

Norway researchers examined the effects of exercise on arthritis by asking 18 females to partake in a 30-minute high-intensity, interval spinning class twice a week for 10 weeks. The women were to track their fitness along with inflammation markers and levels of pain.
Exercise isn’t only for those with arthritis; we should all be exercising as a good practice for overall health and well-being. Here is a list of other benefits we can obtain from regular exercise. Learn More

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Genes: Rheumatoid arthritis breakthrough: Gene regulating severity of tissue damage identified

A research team has identified a breakthrough in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, uncovering a protein that regulates the severity of tissue damage caused by RA.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and GenesRecently, there was a scientific breakthrough on the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA); a team of researches uncovered a protein that helps regulate the severity of tissue damage caused by RA. This discovery is going to provide a quicker and earlier diagnosis for patients who would experience the most severe effects of rheumatoid arthritis. Early diagnosis will lead to aggressive treatments and as a result, reduced damage to the joints.

Research leader, from UCD, Professor Gerry Wilson, said, “Our findings provide a genetic marker that could be used to identify those RA patients who require more aggressive treatments or personalised medicine.” The marker is a protein (C5orf30) that can help normalize the level of tissue damage (and even prevent tissue damage) resulting from RA.
Learn More

Osteoarthritis Treatment: Scientists inspired by newts for new osteoarthritis treatment

Scientists were inspired by newts to create an effective stem cell treatment for osteoarthritis.

newts-for-osteoarthritisA famous physicist once said, look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. That’s exactly what the scientists at University of York did to develop effective stem cell treatment for osteoarthritis. The team studied the amazing capacity of lizards and newts to regenerate lost tissues and organs, and adapted it into their experiments with osteoarthritic patients.

Normally a patient’s own bone-marrow stem cells are a valuable source of potential treatment; they can generate re-implantable joint tissue which the body won’t reject. Unfortunately, as people age the amount of stem cells declines, and the remaining cells eventually become unable to grow and repair tissue.

Led by Dr. Paul Genever in the Arthritis Research UK Tissue Engineering Centre in the university’s Department of Biology, the team of scientists developed a method by which they could revive the cells from older people with osteoarthritis. These revived cells in turn would help repair worn or damaged cartilage. Learn More

Pain and Knee Osteoarthritis: Women experience greater pain sensitivity with knee osteoarthritis

Compared to men, women were found to have greater pain sensitivity when it comes to knee osteoarthritis.

Pain and Knee OsteoarthritisKnee osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that affects the knee joint. It can result in pain, swelling and stiffness. Knee osteoarthritis can make daily tasks, such as walking and climbing stairs, quite difficult. However, a new study has revealed that when it comes to the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis, women have a greater sensitivity than men.

Lead author, Dr. Emily Bartley, said, “Many questions still remain as to why women with knee osteoarthritis are more sensitive to painful stimuli than are men. While therapeutic approaches to control pain are only beginning to take these sex differences into account, there is still quite a bit of research yet to be done to help reduce this gender gap and improve clinical therapies for men and women alike.” Learn More

Death and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Increased risk of death linked with rheumatoid arthritis

Research has shown that there is an increased risk of death in those with rheumatoid arthritis.


Death and Rheumatoid ArthritisResearchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital have revealed more details about the link between rheumatoid arthritis and an increased risk of death. The investigators used research from the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed over 100,000 registered nurses since 1976, and found that rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an increased risk of death, in particular due to respiratory and cardiovascular causes. The findings suggest closer attention needs to be paid to respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The study examined 964 women and their mortality rates were compared to women without rheumatoid arthritis. Other factors like smoking, which is known to contribute to respiratory and cardiovascular death, were also taken into account. Researchers found that having rheumatoid arthritis increased the risk of death by 40 percent. For those who died of respiratory causes, the researchers uncovered the common cause was obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Learn More

As you can see there was a strong focus on arthritis in the year 2015, and we hope that research continues long into 2016 to offer those living with arthritis more treatment options and relief from pain.


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