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Ultra-Low Dose of Rituximab Safely Eases Rheumatoid Arthritis Over Long Term: Study

"Ultra-low" doses of the drug rituximab may be enough to keep some patients' rheumatoid arthritis under control for several years, a new, preliminary study suggests.

Researchers found that among 118 patients, low doses of the drug were comparable to standard ones in controlling flare-ups for up to four years.

The findings, the researchers said, suggest that some patients can try low...

One-Third of Americans With Arthritis Get No Exercise

Many American arthritis sufferers aren't getting any exercise despite its benefits for reducing pain and improving their quality of life, new research shows.

Sixty-seven percent of U.S. adults with arthritis engaged in physical activity in the past month, most often walking, according to a new data analysis ...

Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Might Help Save Hospitalized COVID Patients

As doctors around the world come up against severe cases of COVID-19, some positive news has emerged: New research shows the rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib may help reduce hospitalized COVID patients' risk of death.

Current standard-of-care medications aren't enough, said study co-author Dr. E. Wesley Ely, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville...

COVID-19 Vaccines Boost Antibodies, Even in People With Weak Immune Systems

COVID-19 vaccines trigger antibody production in most people who have weakened immune systems, but a new study reveals that their responses are weaker than in healthy people.

"Some of our patients have been hesitant about getting vaccinated, which is unfortunate because they are at increased risk of having more severe cases of COVID-19 if they happen to get infected, compared to those not...

Kids Who Grew Up With Smokers Have Higher Odds for Rheumatoid Arthritis

While breathing in secondhand smoke is known to harm kids' lungs, new research suggests that children whose parents smoked are also more prone to developing rheumatoid arthritis later in life.

"Our findings give more depth and gravity to the negative health consequences of smoking in relation to [rheumatoid arthritis], one of the most common autoimmune diseases," said lead author Dr. Kazu...

Common Immune Drug Methotrexate May Hamper Response to COVID-19 Vaccine

A widely used medicine for autoimmune diseases may lower people's immune response to the Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, a new study suggests.

The drug, called methotrexate, is often given to patients with immune-mediated inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis.

"Our findings suggest that different strategies may need to be explored in pa...

Drug Used in Cancer Patients Might Help Treat Alzheimer's

A drug with a 30-year track record as an effective tool for fighting cancer may significantly improve memory and thinking in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests.

Sargramostim (brand name: Leukine) has long been used after cancer treatment to coax a patient's bone marrow to make more disease-fighting white blood cells. It uses a protein called GM-CSF t...

Does an Arthritis Drug Help Patients Battling Severe COVID? It Depends on the Study

Two new studies suggest that the jury is still out on whether the arthritis drug tocilizumab helps those with severe COVID-19.

Both reports were published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine. The first, from scientists at the University of California, San Diego, found tocilizumab didn't improve outcomes or reduce the risk of death in patients with severe COVID-19 pneu...

Rheumatoid Arthritis Meds May Help Fight Severe COVID-19

Rheumatoid arthritis drugs may save lives of patients hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19, according to a groundbreaking clinical trial.

The findings, first announced in January, have now been peer-reviewed and published in a major medical journal.

"We are delighted that our full results are now published after peer review. This confirms the robustness of our findings, that t...

Body Temperature Higher in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis patients who are in remission have significantly higher body temperatures than people without the joint disease, new research shows.

The study included 32 rheumatoid arthritis patients who were in remission and a healthy "control" group of 51 people without rheumatoid arthritis, who all had thermal scans of different areas of their feet.

"These tests demonstrate...

Newer Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug May Help Ease Tough-to-Treat Cases

A recently approved rheumatoid arthritis medication appears to be an effective second-line therapy when biologic treatments start to fail, a new clinical trial reports.

Arthritis sufferers treated with upadacitinib had a significantly greater reduction in their symptoms and disease activity than people treated with a standard disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), said co-resea...

Early Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis May Thwart Heart Disease

Starting drug treatment early in rheumatoid arthritis patients may reduce their risk of heart disease, a new study suggests.

Rheumatoid arthritis at least doubles the risk of heart disease due to its links with atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries), heart failure and stroke.

The new U.K. study found a link between early rheumatoid arthritis treatment and improveme...

COVID-19 Ills No Greater for Those With Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis

People with lupus aren't at increased risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 due to steroidal medications they take to reduce immune system activity, a new study finds.

And a related study found that people with inflammatory forms of arthritis -- such as rheumatoid arthritis -- aren't more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people without arthritis.

Both studies wer...

Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug May Fight Severe COVID-19, Early Data Show

In a small study from France, an immune-dampening drug used by people battling rheumatoid arthritis showed promise in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19.

The drug, called anakinra, targets pro-inflammatory responses that kick into high gear in advanced COVID-19 -- the so-called "cytokine storm."

A team led by Dr. Gilles Kaplanski, of the Public Assistance Hospital in...

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Doesn't Harm Lungs: Study

Treatment with the immunosuppressant methotrexate does not raise the risk of lung disease among rheumatoid arthritis patients, two new studies claim.

At least 5% to 10% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients develop interstitial lung disease, which leads to inflammatory changes in lungs that are accompanied by a dry cough and breathing difficulties.

Severe disease may...

Started Early, Drug Combo Eases Fatigue of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Study

Early and intensive treatment with methotrexate and prednisone can ease fatigue in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a new study.

RA causes chronically inflamed joints and that inflammation can lead to severe fatigue that isn't relieved by resting, according to the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).

"In addition to pain, profound fatigue reduces th...

Taking Steroids for Rheumatoid Arthritis, IBD? Your Odds for Hypertension May Rise

People taking steroids to treat chronic inflammatory diseases are at high risk for developing high blood pressure, British investigators report.

Inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis are often treated with steroids for an extended period, at high doses, and as many as a third of patients in the study became hypertensive, the scientists said.

"Steroids are ver...

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Low Folate Levels Raise Heart Risks

Low folate levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease death in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a new study suggests.

People with RA have a 60% increased risk of dying from heart disease, but the reasons have been unclear.

"Our study is the first to show an association between serum folate and increased cardiovascular mortality in patients with...

Study Probes Side Effects of Methotrexate, Used for Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Many Americans battling autoimmune illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis turn to a long-used drug, methotrexate, for relief.

But until now there's been little comprehensive research on side effects tied to the drug.

A new study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health may fill that gap. It finds that patients who take methotrexate do have a slight-to-mo...

Many Americans With Rheumatic Disease Face Financial, Lifestyle Pressures

A new survey shows that rheumatic diseases can be crippling both physically and financially as patients struggle to live with the debilitating conditions.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 54 million U.S. adults and as many as 300,000 children are living with a rheumatic disease. This includes conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, osteoa...

Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Show Up Long Before Diagnosis

Difficulties with daily activities such as dressing, walking and eating can be seen in rheumatoid arthritis patients a year or two before they're diagnosed, a new study shows.

"This is a new finding, and a finding that is quite intriguing," said lead author Dr. Elena Myasoedova, a rheumatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

"It may reflect an accumulation of sympt...

Is Your Hand Pain Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel or Something Else?

You use your hands nearly every minute of the day, so any time they hurt it's important to find out why.

Certain conditions can affect people who do the same hand movements for hours every day. Repetitive strain injury can cause pain in muscles, nerves and tendons. Carpal tunnel syndrome swelling compresses a key nerve. The lesser known de Quervain's tenosynovitis typically affects te...