Posts Tagged rheumatoid arthritis


Posted by on Wednesday, 11 December, 2013
funny cartoon about arthritis




You can count on your joints hurting as you get old. Degenerative changes in joints (osteoarthritis) is the result of the fact that joints and cartilage lose their baby smoothness. It doesn’t feel too good but you get used to it.

There’s another kind of arthritis –  rheumatoid arthritis. Personally, MISTER ScienceAintSoBad thinks it should be called something else. It’s not like regular arthritis except for the joint part. The rheumatoid stuff is an immune system disease – another one of those stupid, stupid things where the immune system goes haywire. In rheumatoid arthritis,  cells of the immune system attack the lining of the joints which,  then,  gets inflamed. The inflammation can cause damage to the joint – especially if the disease started early in life or is a particularly nasty form of the disease. In bad cases, joints can be deformed. Sometimes, surgery is even needed. There can even be organ damage.

What to do.

Well. There are treatments.

Diet modification and physical therapy are often on the menu along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Aleve, Advil, etc) for inflammation and pain. Steroids are very common too.  The newer stuff includes  “biological” drugs which are designed to “make it go away” instead of just managing swelling and pain. Methotrexate or hydroxychloroquine are used for this.


NSAIDs and steroids reduce the pain and swelling but they can be a challenge for long term use. You’re always dancing with the side effects. The biologicals can be effective but their trick is based on dialing back the immune system. You have an immune system  for a reason, right? People with suppressed immune systems can get infections and other stuff.


Why would I put you through this if I didn’t have some good news?

Dr. Patrick R. Griffin  (The Scripps Research Institute) just published a study in Arthritis & Rheumatism. The drug is called SR2211 . It blocked all symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in mice within 10 days and their joints did way better as far as bone loss is concerned. This drug aims for only the part of the immune system that releases “inflammatory mediators” .  And since it’s an oral drug (the other biologicals are injected) if  you think you’re getting an infection, you can skip a few pills til things settle down.

That’s the theory.

There’s no mention of when this stuff goes to clinical trials. MISTER ScienceAintSoBad, sympathetic, as ever, to our mouse friends, has a strong bias toward getting this stuff out and into human hands.  Can we get cracking on this please?

Thank you.

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The drawing is mine