Latest News » Researchers make breakthrough in rheumatoid arthritis treatment

Researchers are working on a new treatment for RA, but curcumin supplements may help in the meantime.

When most people think of arthritis, they tend to picture osteoarthritis (OA), which is age-related joint inflammation caused by general wear and tear on the body. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this type of arthritis affects approximately 27 million Americans, making it by far the most common form of this joint problem.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), by comparison, affects around 1.5 million people across the country. However, this type of arthritis is much more severe and qualifies as an autoimmune disorder – meaning it is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking healthy cells. Those diagnosed with RA often experience substantial pain, even in joints that are not weight-bearing, explains.

Because RA is an autoimmune disorder, medical researchers have strived to develop treatments that alter the behavior of the immune system, rather than simply treating its painful symptoms. And, according to a recent press release, scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute may have come close to discovering a cure for the condition. The source states that by infusing a cell that targets and corrects immune system responses, they may be able to prevent RA from developing.

Using a mouse model, the researchers found that administering a specific T cell in conjunction with RA medication could notably slow the progression of the disease.

While this discovery is encouraging, further research is necessary before this new mode of treatment may be applied to RA patients. In the meantime, certain natural compounds have been shown to help allay some of its symptoms. Past research has revealed that curcumin – the substance that lends turmeric its telltale golden color – may ease pain and inflammation caused by this affliction.

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