The PROMPT-study (Probable rheumatoid arthritis: Methotrexate versus Placebo Treatment-study) is a double-blind placebo controlled randomized multicenter trial in 110 patients with undifferentiated arthritis, which means they have arthritis but the exact diagnosis is undetermined. The aim of the study was to determine whether the patients would benefit from treatment with methotrexate (MTX). At the end of the study, patients were tested with a special antibody blood test (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody, anti-CCP) to confirm a diagnosis of RA, one of the most aggressive and debilitating forms of rheumatism.
The study concluded that, in the MTX group, fewer patients developed RA during the observed time and more patients reached remission than in the group receiving placebo. “This data is excellent news as it shows that methotrexate appears to delay or even prevent progression to rheumatoid arthritis amongst patients”, said study investigator Professor Tom Huizinga, Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden.
Methotrexate is an antimetabolite drug, which means it is capable of blocking the metabolism of cells, and is well established in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases such as RA. It acts specifically by inhibiting the metabolism of folic acid. In rheumatoid arthritis, MTX seems to work, in part, by altering aspects of immune function which may play a role in causing the disease.
“One of the most interesting findings from the study was that the patients who benefited the most were the ones showing a positive anti-CCP test, which would in general terms show that a patient has a very high likelihood to develop full-blown RA. However, this study indicates that the progression to a full-blown disease amongst these patients could be influenced”, noted Mrs. Dongen.
Henrike Van Dongen was one of only 12 scientists to be awarded Clinical Science Winner at this year’s Annual European Congress of Rheumatology as a result of this research. This work was also supported by The Dutch Arthritis Association.
Improving memory with magnets
28.03.2017 | McGill University
Graphene-based neural probes probe brain activity in high resolution
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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