Weekly Link Roundup 06/14/2012
- Ultrasound’s Role in Early Diagnosis Expected to Grow— musculoskeletal ultrasound is emerging as a technique for early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. A noninvasive, painless technique, it allows multiple joints to be assessed quickly and is less costly than an MRI. Still, few rheumatologists have adopted this ultrasound technique into their practices. Read more to find out why.
- SLE Remission Less Likely With Immunosuppressive Agents— A new study finds that some patients with SLE may be more likely than others to experience prolonged remission. Out of over 1500 patient participants, only 2% achieved a remission lasting at least five years on no medication or anti-malarial drugs. Patients achieving this prolonged remission were more likely to be caucasian, had milder disease activity, and less likely to have involvement of certain organ systems and less likely to have received steroids/immunosuppressants prior to remission.
- Lung Infections More Common Among Anti-TNF Users— Patients taking anti-tumor necrosis factor medications are four times more likely to develop mycobacterial diseases than patients not taking anti-TNF medication, and up to 14 times more likely to die from said diseases.
- Scientists Discover a Cell-Signaling Pathway that May Lead to New RA Treatment— researchers from the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York have found that a communication pathway called the Notch pathway may contribute to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Previous studies associated a certain mutation in a gene involved in the Notch pathway with a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis, but it wasn’t clear why, so researchers at HSS sought to figure out whether this molecular pathway played any role in the immune system failures that cause arthritis. The study findings suggest that drugs currently being developed for the treatment of cancer and Alzheimer’s may also treat RA. Click to learn more about Notch-inhibitors and what this study means for you.