Taking charge of a ruthless disease that strikes people in their prime. Part 2of 2
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Dr. Dean Edell: Gloria Baswell was just 32-years-old when RA attacked her joints. Eventually, the disease robbed Gloria of her sacred duties as a grandma. Gloria Baswell: There were times though when I couldn't put my arms around him and hug him. Dr. Dean Edell: As a disease worsened over-the-counter drugs stopped working for Gloria and standard arthritis drugs made her sick. At one point, she was taking sixteen medications a day. Gloria Baswell: There's not one single pain reliever I ever took, and I took some strong ones, that ever touched it." Dr. Dean Edell: Desperate she tried a new generation of arthritis drugs called biological response agents. Dr. Caryn Hasselbring: Basically they are all drugs that are able to prevent progression of the disease and prevent joint damage. Dr. Dean Edell: Biological agents target a substance produced in the body called Tumor Necrosis factor or TNF. Moreland: TNF is one of the most important players in causing the pain and swelling. Dr. Dean Edell: Like a smart bomb, the drug hones in on TNF and actually blocks it from developing. Dr. W. Hayes Wilson: When you get rid of TNF, you greatly decrease inflammation. Dr. Dean Edell: Once considered a last resort drug, biological agents are now benefiting more patients in early stages of the disease. Dr. W. Hayes Wilson: These medicine have literally gotten people out of a wheelchair and walking. Dr. Dean Edell: It's helped Gloria enjoy simple pleasures that were once out of reach. This is Dr. Dean Edell.