NORWALK, Conn., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- UBM Medica US announces that Musculoskeletal Network highlights growing evidence supporting the idea that many conditions related to arthritis are caused by cross-reactions between immune responses against infections and damage to the body's own tissues.
Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus may be an indication of a defect in the body's ability to fight infection, rather than an over-reaction to it, writes rheumatologist Stephen Paget MD, physician-in-chief emeritus at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Forthcoming research may confirm that, for many people with unexplainable conditions that cause joint pain and swelling, the unrecognized cause is infection, he predicts, pointing to a new focus for prevention and treatment.
Among the evidence behind his startling hypothesis, Dr. Paget points out that:
- Rheumatoid arthritis has been strongly linked to periodontal disease, bacterial infection of the gums.
- Some patients affected with Lyme disease, which is caused by a tick-borne bacterium, continue to have joint problems after all evidence of a living bacterium disappears.
- The bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, cause of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is often asymptomatic, can persist for years within joints, causing inflammation.
New research into the genomes of microorganisms, sponsored by a major government initiative, is revealing many infectious agents that were previously unknown, Dr. Paget points out, and more remain to be discovered.
About UBM Medica US
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SOURCE UBM Medica US