Mayo Clinic recently reported gut bacteria not only breaks down food, but it also can predict vulnerability to developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Dr. Taneja, an immunologist at Mayo, published information of related studies in Arthritis & Rheumatology as well as Genome Medicine.
More than one and one-half million Americans suffer from this form of arthritis. The disease causes intense swelling in the joints of the body. In the past, science has held a little understanding of the process which triggers rheumatoid. During the first research project, Dr. Taneja found intestinal bacteria which is a probable cause of the disease.
Physicians may soon test for specific gut bacteria to predict the onset of this form of the disease, as well as take action to help the patient to prevent onset. This provides an increasing possibility of giving more personalized treatment to patients.
Within the study published in Genome Medicine, the lead immunologist tested participants (and their relatives) searching for biomarkers which indicate disease related to rheumatoid arthritis. The results showed an abundance of a rare bacteria which is known to cause microbial imbalances in patients diagnosed with the disease. The rare bacteria are normally found in very low quantities in patients without this form of arthritis.
More Effective Treatment
Within the second study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, gut bacteria of mice were explored using a different approach. One group of mice were treated with bacterium and prevotella histicola, while the second group received no treatment for RA. The mice in group one decreased in symptoms as well as severity. Fewer inflammation indicators were also noted within this group.
In viewing each of the research studies, promising results are on the horizon. The bacterium is a part of a healthy gut, and the treatment methods used in the second study provides optimistic results. Future treatments may help patients to prevent, or even slow the process, of rheumatoid arthritis.
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