axSpA and RA


           PD Dr. Adrian Ciurea
       Group leader

Our research focuses on the most common types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis and psoriasis arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis, earlier known as chronic polyarthritis, is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease that mainly affects the joints. It affects approx. 1% of the population, with an age peak between 40 and 60. Women are affected 3 times more than men. The causes of the disease are unknown. Genetic and environmental factors (smoking in particular) contribute to the development of the disease. The immune system is activated, triggering inflammation in the joints (synovitis). Untreated, this inflammation leads to the destruction of the joint and to the subsequent function impairment.

The axial spondylarthritis (axSpA; Morbus Bechterew) belongs to the group of spondyloathritis diseases, to which psorioarthritis and arthritic inflammatory diseases of the intestine also belong. The inflammation occurs in the axial skeleton (vertebral column and sacroiliac joint) as well as in the peripheral joints. The main characteristic is the inflammation at the base of the tendons and ligaments, a consequence of the activation of the immune system. Genetic factors (i.E. assosciation with the hereditary character HLA-B27), as well as environmental factors are involved in the development of the disease. Uncontrolled repair processes after inflammation recess can lead to an increased osteogenesis and bone bridges between the verterbrae. The progression of the disease can reduce considerably the mobility of the vertebral column.

Psoriarthritis (PsA) appears in 20%-30% of patients affected with psoriasis. The pattern of manifestation is, in contrast to rheumatoid arthritis, much more varied. As well as peripheral joint inflammation, this disease can also show inflammation at the base of the tendons (enthesitis) swelling of the fingers or thumbs (dactylitis) or an affliction of the sacroiliac joint and the vertebral column (spondylarthritis). Collaboration with dermatologists is essential for the treatment of this disease.

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