Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for August 2010. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
Benefit Seen in RA From Combo of Rituximab, Methotrexate
FRIDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Rituximab plus methotrexate is associated with improved clinical outcomes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to methotrexate, according to research published in the September issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Study Finds Vitamin D Links to Disease-Associated Genes
FRIDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D receptor (VDR) binding sites are significantly enriched at genes that have been linked to several autoimmune diseases and cancer, suggesting that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to disease pathogenesis, according to research published online Aug. 24 in Genome Research.
Myopathy Patients With Novel Autoantibodies Identified
FRIDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a subgroup of necrotizing myopathy patients with novel autoantibodies who are potential candidates for immunosuppressive therapy, according to a study in the September issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Extra-Articular Manifestations of RA Have Declined Since 2000
THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of extra-articular manifestations (EAMs) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has declined in recent years, with the timing and pattern of the decline indicating that disease-modifying RA treatments may be changing the natural history of the disease, according to a study in the September issue of Rheumatology.
Black Women With Lupus Develop CVD at Younger Age
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Black women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are hospitalized for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and die from them at younger ages than female SLE patients of other races and ethnic groups, according to a study published online May 6, ahead of the print issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Sustained Response to Repeat Rituximab Seen in RA
MONDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Three rituximab (RTX) dosing regimens have similar efficacy for rheumatoid arthritis that is no longer responding to methotrexate, and retreatment after 24 weeks results in a more sustained response through to 48 weeks, according to a study in the September issue of Rheumatology.
Active RA Predicts Decreases in Hand Bone Density
THURSDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity is an important predictor of hand bone loss in female patients with long-standing, destructive RA, according to research published in the September issue of Rheumatology.
Sham, Real Acupuncture Result in Similar Pain Relief in OA
THURSDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA) is no better than sham acupuncture for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, but patients whose acupuncturist communicates positive expectations have better pain reduction and satisfaction than patients whose acupuncturist has a neutral communication style, according to a study in the September issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Tai Chi Shows Benefits in Treating Fibromyalgia
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Tai chi may be useful in treating fibromyalgia, according to research published in the Aug. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Modified Systemic Lupus Disease Index Designed
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- An additive scoring system for the BILAG-2004 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) disease activity index has been developed and should be useful for statistical analysis of SLE disease data, according to research published in the September issue of Rheumatology.
Review Focuses on New Drug Class in the Treatment of Gout
TUESDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Febuxostat, part of a new drug class to treat gout, may be useful for patients intolerant to long-established gout medication, but clinicians should be sure they are properly using existing therapies first, according to a review published online Aug. 17 in The Lancet.
Single Genetic Factor Related to Pain at Many Body Sites
MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A single, heritable pain factor underlies 46 percent of chronic musculoskeletal pain reported at many different anatomical sites, according to research published in the September issue of Rheumatology. This is in contrast to findings from previous research on osteoarthritis pain which showed that the propensity to report pain is determined by genetic factors specific to each anatomical site.
Isotype Measurement May Increase RA Diagnosis
MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The chance of serologically diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) could increase dramatically by measuring the presence of three rheumatoid factor (RF) isotypes, according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of Rheumatology.
Prednisone Chronotherapy Safe in RA Patients
MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term, chronotherapy with a modified-release (MR) prednisone does not appear to increase the risk of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis insufficiency in patients on daily prednisone for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of Rheumatology. This formulation of prednisone is taken at bedtime but results in peak blood levels at about 2 a.m., mimicking the timing of the endogenous cortisol cycle.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Gets New Classification System
FRIDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A revised system of classification for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may allow for earlier identification of the disease, earlier treatment, and ultimately better patient outcomes; the new system has been published in the September issues of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases and Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Few Procedures Account for Most Ortho Adverse Events
MONDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Most adverse events that occur within 30 days after orthopedic surgery arise from a small number of procedures, according to research published in the Aug. 4 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
TNFα Blockers May Raise Risk of Malignancies in Children
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children taking tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) blockers may be at increased risk for developing malignancies, but confounding factors make it difficult to establish a causal relationship, according to research published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Pain in Fibromyalgia Patients Tied to Altered Brain Functions
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In people with fibromyalgia, there appears to be an association between resting brain activity in multiple brain networks and spontaneous clinical pain, according to research published in the August issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Industry-Funded Clinical Trials Yield More Positive Outcomes
TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Drug clinical trials supported by industry are more likely to produce favorable results than trials supported by government or nonprofit/nonfederal organizations, and they are less likely to be published within two years of the study being completed, according to research published in the Aug. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
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