What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic autoimmune disease causing inflammation of synovial joints.

There is a genetic association to the “shared epitope” HLA-DRB1, as well as the production of autoantibodies like the Rheumatoid Factor (RF) and the anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP).

What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

RA affects mainly middle-aged women, causing symmetrical painful joint swelling in the limbs. Rarely, the eyes and lungs can become inflamed. Unless diagnosed early (aided by ultrasound and MRI) and treated aggressively by a rheumatologist, chronic RA results in disability and job loss, costly and toxic treatments, and increased lymphoma and cardiac deaths.

What are the Treatments Available for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

Targeted therapies, which block various mediators of inflammation (eg TNF, IL6) or their intracellular signalling pathways (JAK), as well as those which block T-cell activation, or deplete autoantibodies producing B-cells, have revolutionized the treatment of RA: dramatically relieving pain, restoring function, and preventing joint damage and disability; thereby inducing disease remission.

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