Rheumatoid Arthritis Aided by Steroids
A steroid injection into the joints may help rheumatoid arthritis reduce inflammation and experience some pain relief, new research published in Arthritis Research & Therapy shows. According to MedPage Today, the international team of researchers found that localized injections of glucocorticoid triamcinolone decreased the potency of proteins that cause inflammation.
For the study, scientists examined biopsies from the knee joints of 26 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as eight knee joints from people without the condition. The patients had previously been treated with various therapies for two weeks, including one group on steroids. The group that received steroid injections showed the strongest correlation between treatment and the degree of inflammation.
Researcher Anca Catrina explained that the team believes the steroids work by suppressing a group of proteins known as citrullines, which cause thickening in the synovial lining, leading to inflammation. When patients receive the injection, their level of citrullination is lowered, MedPage Today said.
Catrina and her colleagues say further research into this phenomenon is needed before definite conclusions are made.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term illness that causes the inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues, especially at the knee and wrists, Arthritis.org said. It can go on to affect other organs in the body.