Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. More than 1.3 million adults in the U.S. suffer from RA with 75% of those afflicted being women.
Patients with RA experience pain, stiffness, swelling, and deterioration of joints. Severe chronic pain accompanied by progressive joint destruction, disability, and disfigurement is known to increase the risk of experiencing emotional disturbances, with RA patients twice as likely to be depressed as people in the general population. Emotional wellness for persons with RA plays a critical role in disease course and disability.
Researchers at Nagoya City University and Nagoya University Graduate Schools of Medicine in Japan studied the interrelationship between levels of depression symptoms, C-reactive protein (CRP) level, and pain, confirming a significant positive association between depressive symptoms and CRP level in RA. A second study by researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada further explored depression in spouses of persons with RA, finding that higher levels of spouse depression predicted worse disease course for the person with RA over a 1-year period. Both studies are published in the August issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.
The Nagoya research team, led by Masayo Kojima, M.D., Ph.D., evaluated 218 RA patients who completed self-administered questionnaires that surveyed their sociodemographic characteristics, smoking and drinking habits, onset year of RA, and current pain, and a well-validated self-report inventory used to assess the severity of depressive symptoms. Blood samples from study participants were taken to measure their CRP levels. CRP is a plasma protein that is produced by the liver and rises during incidents of acute inflammation such as found in RA. RA treatments are often focused on reducing such inflammation.
According to this study, the inflammation and depression each independently increased the likelihood of severe pain. The combined effects of high CRP levels and depression predicted severe pain even more strongly.
"Results of our research demonstrate the potential for clinicians to improve pain control by addressing their patients' psychological symptoms in addition to conducting anti-inflammation therapy," stated Dr. Kojima. The study indicates for those patients reporting severe pain without CRP level elevation, psychotherapy and/or psychotropic medication might have priority. "A clinical approach that takes into account both the body and the mind could have benefits and could enable optimal pain control," recommend the authors.
Anita DeLongis, Ph.D. and colleagues from the University of British Columbia examined the role of spouse mood in the disability and disease course of RA patients. A total of 133 married RA patients completed questionnaires, including the Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity Index and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand, assessing RA disease activity and disability at two time points one year apart. Both the patients and their spouses completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, a standardized community measure of depression at both time points.
Higher levels of spouse depressive symptoms at the initial assessment predicted worse disease course over a one-year period for their partners with RA, even after controlling for characteristics of the person with RA such as initial levels of depression, disability, disease activity, age, number of years married, education, disease duration, and employment.
"Our findings highlight the key role played by the spouse in disease course of individuals with RA, and point to the importance of including the spouse in clinical interventions," concluded the authors. "The mood and mental health of the marital partner or other key members of the family may be critically important to consider in developing more effective and evidence-based treatment for RA patients," added Dr. DeLongis.
Article: "Depression, Inflammation, and Pain in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis," Masayo Kojima, Toshihisa Kojima, Sadao Suzuki, Takeshi Oguchi, Michinari Oba, Hiroki Tsuchiya, Fumiaki Sugiura, Yasuhide Kanayama, Toshiaki A. Furukawa, Shinkan Tokudome, Naoki Ishiguro, Arthritis Care & Research, August 2009. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122526339/abstract
Article: "Spouse Depression and Disease Course Among Persons With Rheumatoid Arthritis," Mark Lam, Allen J. Lehman, Eli Puterman, Anita DeLongis, Arthritis Care & Research, August 2009. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122526366/abstract
Dawn Peters | EurekAlert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences