Raynaud’s phenomenon is a condition in which there is an exaggerated blood vessel tightening in response to cold or emotional stress, restricting blood flow to certain areas of the body – most often the fingers, but sometimes the toes, ears, or the end of the nose.
The exaggerated vascular response (tightening) in Raynaud’s phenomenon is called vasospasm, which often occur in response to cold or emotional stress. With vasospasm, the fingers turn white and cold then blue with dilated veins followed by relaxation of the vessel and normal blood flow causing a red ‘flushing’
According to a recent article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Raynaud’s affects approximately 3 to 5 percent of the population – women are more often affected than men. Raynaud’s phenomenon occurs in two forms – primary and secondary. Primary is the most common and has no underlying cause. Secondary is when Raynaud’s phenomenon occurs in combination with another autoimmune disease like scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome or systemic lupus erythematous. The article also states that people who work with certain chemicals, like vinyl chloride, or vibrating tools like a jackhammer are also susceptible to secondary Raynaud’s. Continue reading
MedPage Today interviewed specialists in rheumatology in the United States about the advances in rheumatology in 2016. Below are the five most common advances mentioned.
1. Tocilizumab (Actemra) for the treatment of giant cell arteritis
Giant cell arteritis affects over 200,000 people in the United States. Research data from an international clinical trial showed that after a year of treatment, 56% of the 250 study participants given tocilizumab weekly plus prednisone were in sustained remission, compared with just 14% of those given placebo alone (P<0.0001).
At the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), Dr. John H. Stone of Harvard University at Boston noted: “There is something new in giant cell arteritis at last, and the era of unending glucocorticoid treatment with no viable alternative is over.” Continue reading
Picture credit: Fame! Soccer Girl https://famegirlsworldcupblog.wordpress.com/page/2/
As we celebrate the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, Team Arthritis wants to pay tribute to team USA’s midfielder Shannon Boxx, who, living with lupus, is all too familiar with life with arthritis. This year’s World Cup™ marks Boxx’s fourth Women’s World Cup™.
Fun Fact: Midfielders run a distance of 120-yard across the field to play offense and sprints back to play defense, running about 7 miles in a 90-minute game and engaging in close combat to gain possession of the ball. Continue reading
Cynthia Coney, MEd, CAPP, was the keynote speaker, and spoke as a patient living with lupus, at ACR’s ARHP Keynote Address: Happiness from the Inside Out. Coney is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and author. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and is a Master Trainer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Center for Prevention Workforce Development. Her publications include: Earned Income: A Critical Resource for Sustainable Nonprofit Health Organizations, Intellectual Property for Nonprofit Organizations, and The Wild Woman’s Guide to Living with Chronic Illness.
As a patient who’s been diagnosed with lupus in 1980, she shared her experience as a patient receiving care and support for more than 30 years. She had one advice to offer health professionals, that is: offer empathy, not sympathy.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded 11 grants (a total of $6 million) to members of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus (AMP RA/Lupus) Network. The alliance includes various private and public research groups across the United States who are committed to advance research on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus drugs.
AMP RA/Lupus hope to identify and test biologic agents for RA and lupus treatment. Researchers believe that the disease similarities for RA and lupus will allow them to study both diseases at the same time.
Today, the Spotlight on Arthritis Superheroes is shining on Zandrea Bailey, sixth finisher in the Miss Universe Jamaica (MUJ) 2014 pageant.
When the 24-year-old graced the stage of MUJ 2014, nobody would have guessed she was battling a form of lupus called Systematic Lupus Erythematosus.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) occurs when the body’s immune system begins to malfunction and attack healthy tissue in various parts of the body, causing inflammation and damage. Tissues affected can include the skin, joints, muscles, kidneys, lungs, heart, blood vessels, and brain.
Zandrea’s introduction to lupus was at an early age, through her mother. Her mother has been living with Discoid Lupus for 23 years.
In 2011, Zandrea’s friends and family encouraged her to join the Miss Jamaica World Beauty Pageant; however, she failed to make the final that year. Determined, she said: