There might be a connection between a certain bacteria and rheumatoid arthritis.
Researchers at John Hopkins University School of Medicine have just discovered that a type of bacteria that causes inflammatory gum infections also triggers the inflammatory response characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The researchers believe that this new finding could have important implications for the prevention and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
RA is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just the joints. It is also the second most common form of arthritis in the UK. It causes the joints to become inflamed, leading to pain and swelling, stiffness, and fatigue. In some people, the condition can also damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. It is considered an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. This autoimmune attack affects the lining of the joints, causing painful swelling and eventual bone erosion and joint deformity.
The scientists who made the connection between the bacteria and the two inflammatory conditions— inflammatory gums and rheumatoid arthritis—focused on a bacterium called A. actinomycetemcomitans. An infection with this particular bacterium appears to stimulate the production of citrullinated proteins, which are suspected to drive the cascade of events leading to RA and also cause gut disease.
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