A team of student engineers from William Marsh Rice University, a private research university located in Houston, Texas, has developed a robotic horse that may help patients with arthritis. Based on the premise of hippotherapy, also known as equine-assisted therapy, the horse simulator is a robotic horse that can be ridden indoors anytime.
Hippotherapy relies on horses to improve the symptoms of patients with neurological or physical illnesses like autism, cerebral palsy, and arthritis. The rhythmic, swinging motion passes through the entire body and is thought to enhance balance, coordination and motor development. This form of treatment is prohibitive because of its cost and accessibility. Physical therapy sessions with a horse can cost upwards of $150 an hour. Continue reading →
A recent study suggest that the risk of a flare increased by more than three-fold over 1 year when patients in remission, or with stable low disease activity, from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) stopped their anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) treatment. The study had 816 patients who had used a TNF inhibitor for at least 1 year and stable doses of conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs for at least 6 months.
In the study, a patient’s remission was defined as a disease activity score in 28 joints (DAS28) below 6.2, or had a low disease activity (a DAS28 below 3.2), for at least 6 months. Participants were also considered stable based on rheumatologists’ clinical impression in combination with a baseline DAS28 below 3.2 and at least one C-reactive protein (CRP) level below 10 mg/L in the 6 months prior. A flare was a DAS28 score of 3.2 or higher with an increase of 0.6 or more compared with the baseline DAS28. Participant’s mean age was 60, with mean disease duration of 12 years.
Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhoto.net
Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London have developed a new treatment that can deliver drugs directly into cartilage – tissue reviously thought to be impenetrable. The treatment uses tiny particles of a patient’s own cells to carry the medications into affected joints.
In an interview with the Express, Professor Mauro Perretti of Queen Mary University of London said: “Cartilage has long been thought to be impenetrable to cells and other small structures leading to strong limitations in our abilities to deliver therapies for arthritis.” The new treatment would only require patients to visit the hospital once every three months and would not cause the side-effects associated with other therapies. Continue reading →
The CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (IMHA) located at the University of Manitoba is funding a research project to help improve the treatment and quality of life of people with fibromyalgia. Responses to this survey will be used to identify the top research priorities of patients, caregivers and clinicians in the area of fibromyalgia. This study is being led by a steering committee which is made up of patients, caregivers, doctors, researchers, and staff members from CIHR IMHA, and a collaborator from the James Lind Alliance.
With this survey, we are inviting you to share your ideas about research to help improve the treatment and quality of life of people living with fibromyalgia. This survey has been approved by the University of Manitoba’s Health Research Ethics Board and will take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Continue reading →
Sport spectacular Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games officially started this past weekend and is on until July 26, followed by the Para Pan Am Games from August 7-15. Thus far, the games already saw a total of 262 medals. Currently, Canada sits on top of the medal count with 49 medals, followed by United States at 39 medals.
As a strong advocate of incorporating physical activity into an arthritis treatment plan, Arthritis Broadcast Network wants you to celebrate the games with us. The Pan Am Games are displaying athletic excellence of at least one Pan Am sport a day. In return, we would like to challenge you to provide a photo a day of you or a friend doing some form of physical activity. Extra praise from us if you provide a photo with you doing one of the Pan Am Games sport. Please tag your photos with hashtag #ABNPhotoaDay on our social media channels:
To follow and interact with the Pan Am Games, you can visit www.toronto2015.org. The official hashtag for the Pan Am Games is #TO2015. To cheer on for Team Canada, you can use the hashtag #GoCanadaGo. Continue reading →
Exercise: An essential component of your arthritis treatment plan
The last thing someone living with the extreme pain of arthritis may want to think about is . . . exercise. As it happens, exercise is one of the most important components — along with healthy eating — of your arthritis treatment plan. Low-impact exercise can be beneficial for someone living with arthritis.
Low-impact exercise / high-impact benefit Walking, bicycling, yoga, tai chi, Pilates, low-impact aerobics, swimming, and water aerobics are types of low-impact exercises. Regardless of their age, those living with long-term arthritis and its associated pain can participate in low-impact exercises. A bonus, is that low-impact exercise decreases stress levels and helps to improve the way you feel. If you are doing any of these activities outdoor, remember to wear sunscreen and proper footwear.
Today, #TeamArthritis challenge you to participate in any of the above exercises. Please take a photo and share with us on our event page. Continue reading →