Monday, July 2, 2012

Favorite New Site

     Today I was lucky enough to stumble across Rheumatology News, a website devoted to research articles of the different rheuamtic diseases.  I was pleased to find that they have a section on Lupus and Connective Tissue Diseases.  While hunting there, I found this article, whose author believes that MCTD is a subset of scleroderma.  While I would love to say that the author is wrong, I believe that she is correct.  I have told several people in the past that I see more Scleroderma symptoms in my daughter than Lupus symptoms.  She has significant hand involvement; her hands are very affected by Raynaud's, arthritis, Scleroderma features (including the sclerodactyl look.)  Her wrists have been affected by Scleroderma in the past, also.  She has had some issues that I don't know how to classify, or how to attribute.  While I don't put a whole lot of stock into research anymore because much of it turns out to be wrong,  I also know that this is far from a fully- proven piece, and there is a lot of research needed to explore this theory deeper, it is something interesting to think about.  What I'm really hoping is that this research will get more funding for some of the diseases in this spectrum.

      This is what I remember reading when we heard the words "Mixed Connective Tissue Disease" for the first time.  "Some studies have found that patients who originally were diagnosed with MCTD often over time develop predominantly the features of one disease (such as Scleroderma or Lupus)", writes Coburn Hobar, and Arnold Postlethwaite.  (See footnote). 

The Lupus Foundation seems a little confused on the matter, but this is still a good comparison between Lupus, RA, Scleroderma, Ssc,Vasculitis,  the Myositis diseases and Sjogrens. 

While looking for statistics, I found this awesome slideshow, presented by Janet Pope for the 2006 Scleroderma National Conference.  While a bit incomplete on a few slides, overall it is excellent for anyone that does not have a basic knowledge of Scleroderma, Lupus, RA, MCTD or Poly & Dermatomyositis. 

 My searching wasn't only limited to MCTD today.  I was first led to an article on Rheumatology News  called "New Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Will End Anti-TNF Dominance., (by one of my Dermatomyositis board mom's) and then I found this article on a new study drug that is showing strong promise for psoriasis.  It does not mention psoriatic arthritis, but I imagine if the drug is similar to Enbrel that it will likely work for PsA.

*Coburn Hobar, M.D., Rheumatology Fellow, and Arnold Postlethwaite, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Director, Division of Connective Tissue Diseases, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, and Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Memphis, Tennessee (originally published in "Scleroderma Voice," 2003 #1)

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