Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common, autoimmune disorder causing chronic inflammatory arthritis. It is a disabling condition which leads to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction. RA is a systemic disease, often affecting extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs and muscles. Its effects on bone include structural joint damage and osteoporosis, which may lead to increased risk for fractures, which are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. About 60% of RA patients are unable to work 10 years after the onset of their disease. Early theories on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis focused on autoantibodies and immune complexes. More recently, the contribution of autoantibodies has returned to the forefront. Based on the pathogenic mechanisms, specific therapeutic interventions can be designed to suppress synovial inflammation and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis. Management comprises of NSAIDs, Disease modifying drugs, steroids and extensive physical therapy.


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