Understanding the Condition of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Its Treatment

The medical world is constantly growing in knowledge and developing new and useful techniques for solving once impossible health issues. Several groups and departments have dedicated their time and resources to unmasking the most mysterious of diseases, yet there is still so much left unsaid. As far as research goes, a large portion of the world is still unaware of the impact that medical research has created.

For example, “in September 2014, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as participating members of the AMP RA/SLE Program, funded a collaborative AMP RA/Lupus Network”.

This organization is dedicated to erasing the negative effects of autoimmune diseases. More specifically, the researchers of this institute have provided useful information surrounding Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Furthermore, “the partners have designed a project plan to address relevant challenges for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) through the AMP RA/SLE Program”.

Both rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus provide healthy patients with some serious challenges. Despite this, the amount of medications and treatments available for these victims is incredibly limited. The biggest mission in the medical world is to create or develop a cure for every disease, making this team of researchers important members of the mission for a quality lifestyle. As of today, “the goal is to ascertain and define shared and disease-specific biological pathways in order to identify relevant drug targets for the treatment of autoimmune diseases”.

Autoimmune diseases are more harmful than individuals realize, making this form of research even more vital to its causes.

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Several illnesses can be treated and even cured under the correct circumstances and with the right amount of study. To understand how the treatments function, the condition itself must be focused on.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The bones and joints of an individual are essential for moving around and being productive in society. However, there are some medical conditions that leave a person unable to use their joints properly. Arthritis is a degenerative condition that slowly eats away at the cartilage that cushions the joints. On another note, “rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system – which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses – mistakenly attacks the joints.” The standard forms of arthritis are gradual in how they influence the movement of a once healthy individual.

Arthritis is normal in society, especially among the groups of elderly individuals. However, rheumatoid arthritis is a bit more complex than its time constrained cousin. Anyone at any age can develop rheumatoid arthritis, and the symptoms associated with the condition. Rheumatoid arthritis “creates inflammation that causes the tissue that lines the inside of joints (the synovium) to thicken, resulting in swelling and pain in and around the joints. The synovium makes a fluid that lubricates joints and helps them move smoothly”. This natural lubricant may seem significant to those who do not have the condition, but after the depletion of this substance, the body may experience great pain.

Furthermore, rheumatoid arthritis is not an uncommon condition, yet many individuals consider this condition to be part of the normal arthritis issue. To expand on that note, “about 1.5 million people in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Nearly three times as many women have the disease as men. In women, RA most commonly begins between ages 30 and 60. In men, it often occurs later in life.” Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious and painful condition if left untreated or undetected. However, rheumatoid arthritis is not the only condition attacking the medical community.

What is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus?

Other autoimmune diseases can create complications that generate more fatal diseases. With a weakened immune system, the body is subject to some of the most harmful of elements. “Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease. In this disease, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.” Lupus is treatable and most of the patients with this condition lead normal and fully functional lifestyles. However, a level of increased protection must be upheld in order to avoid infection. The brain and kidneys are extremely useful for living, so keeping these organs safe should not be an option, it should come across as mandatory. On a separate perspective, “SLE is more common in women than men. It may occur at any age.

However, it appears most often in people between the ages of 15 and 44. The disease affects African Americans and Asians more than people from other races.” SLE is an advanced form of this autoimmune disease, but it is still not uncommon for those with standard lupus to develop this disease. Furthermore, “symptoms vary from person to person, and may come and go. Everyone with SLE has joint pain and swelling at some time. Some develop arthritis. SLE often affects the joints of the fingers, hands, wrists, and knees”. As stated above, individuals who develop lupus are also vulnerable to the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. With that being said, there is a link between these two autoimmune diseases. This finding is important to the medical community because this link may answer other important questions.

What does this Mean for Medicine?

The world of medicine is constantly evolving and creating new forms of healthy lifestyles. Almost every disease conceivable has some form of treatment associated with it. Many conditions provide seemingly unsolvable complications, yet despite these obstacles, there is a group dedicated to these disturbances. In this case, “the RA group has chosen to use Cytometry by Time of Flight (CyTOF) to perform high-dimensional mass cytometry and pair those data with RNA sequencing (RNAseq).” Both groups of medical researchers have decided to combine their research to provide the world with more information. To simplify things, it may be beneficial to compare the medical world to a large conversation. With each study and test, other doctors and professionals have access to more useful tools and resources.

For example, “CyTOF should also be capable of tracking clusters of synovial cells as they change by disease activity and response to therapy. Further, the pairing of cell samples with tissue samples makes it possible to correlate flow cytometry and histology.” Some conditions are more complicated than a patient anticipated, but medical professionals are prepared for the most unpredictable of medical mishaps. This is when testing becomes not only necessary, but the only method available for creating a treatment.

In other news, the research groups responsible for developing lupus and rheumatoid arthritis treatments have constructed new testing methods. In fact, “these patients will be stratified into four treatment groups: disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug naive, active disease on methotrexate, active disease on anti-tumor necrosis factor and normal comparators. They will undergo ultrasound-guided research biopsies, and the samples will be sent in for analysis.” These researchers have dedicated much time in the effort to work against harmful autoimmune diseases. Their results are incredibly useful to those with these specified conditions, but their assistance does not conclude in the autoimmune disease category.

New tools and technologies allow the medical community to develop into a more advanced department of information gathering. In a sense, research and testing is what eliminates unwanted conditions such as autoimmune disorders. In this case, the research found by the CyTOF groups is more integral than most understand. To elaborate, “the partnership began with the development of a project plan designed to address the relevant challenges of RA and lupus”. When creating new treatment methods, serious setbacks and difficulties will occur. Finding solutions usually entail an advanced form of a trial and error principle, leaving room for more questions.

More questions lead to more tests and eventually results, thus generating useful solutions. For rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus, “the Network focuses on human tissue and paired blood, and analyzes samples using single-cell and cell-subset approaches. The researchers then pair this analysis with histological, genetic and epigenetic approaches, as budget allows”. Many autoimmune diseases share a link with each other, making some conditions more simple to isolate than others. These links were found through hypothesis and testing, which is the strongest tool of medical research. Research groups are integral parts of the cycle that is the medical world.

In the case of CyTOF, the research “network includes both an RA disease group and an SLE disease group. Both groups share the same ultimate goal: to identify biomarkers and drug targets. As they work toward this goal, the network will generate publicly accessible, disease-specific data”. New data will continue the intense cycle of information sharing, and hopefully, cure finding. Every piece of evidence is useful in a world that craves information almost instantly. When more information is shared, the ignorance of society is diminished and the cycle of finding a solution for the most complicated diseases will continue.

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Understanding the Condition of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Its Treatment. (2023, Jan 10). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/understanding-the-condition-of-rheumatoid-arthritis-ra-and-its-treatment/

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