Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a progressive disease characterized by chronic fatigue and joint pain. A new class of medication currently under clinical study, blocks one of the key chemical messengers in the body that is responsible for painful ...
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Male Speaker: Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is a progressive auto-immune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of multiple joints with associated symptoms such as fatigue and joint pain that currently affects 300,000 individuals in Canada. Women are affected by RA three times more often than men and while it more commonly strikes people in the prime of their lives between the ages of 25 and 50, RA can affect people of all ages from toddlers to seniors. Dr. Janet Pope, Rheumatologist, Saint Joseph's Health Center in London Ontario explains. Dr. Janet Pope: Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is an inflammatory arthritis and it affects people of all ages, it affects many joints and it can be quite debilitating because when the joints that are involved, they are quite swollen, they can chew up the cartilage and damage the joint lining that's swollen and if that happens you can get deformities. Male Speaker: Ian McKay, a resident of Lancaster, Ontario was diagnosed with RA at the age of 42. Ian McKay: A typical day when I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis was of extreme joint pain and discomfort, extreme difficulty in doing the things that we take for granted today, extreme fatigue and extreme emotional duress to wondering to know that this was the quality of like that I was going to have in the future. Male Speaker: Because of the pain and extreme fatigue associated with RA, many individuals are unable to work or perform physical activities. This was the case for Ian. Ian McKay: I was a General Manager of the local golf course in Alexandria, Ontario where I was required to play a fair bit of golf because at that small course, we did not have a golf pro. And I was a pretty a good golfer and was required to play a fair bit with the members and in different tournament functions that were held at the golf course. After I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I had to give up this profession because I wasn’t able to do the requirements of the job. Male Speaker: Although there have been advances in medications available to treat RA, there is still a need for new options since many people do not respond to their current treatments. In fact according to Arthritis Consumer Experts, approximately one quarter to half of all patients with RA do not respond to biologic treatments currently available. However, a new class of medication currently under clinical study blocks one of the key chemical messengers in the body responsible for painful and persistent inflammation that people with RA experience. Dr. Janet Pope: In general, we want to treat to a target. So it's important to identify a person with Rheumatoid Arthritis, identify them early if possible and really, all along their disease stages; early, middle, late disease, we want to actually try to get the patient to no swollen joints or what we would call in remission where in a way they don’t even know they have Rheumatoid Arthritis anymore. Ian McKay: I have my quality of life back. I am back golfing, curling, swimming, I enjoy going for walks and my overall quality of life I have it back but I didn’t happen to had since prior to being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Male Speaker: For more information about taking an active role in your RA care, order a free copy of Rheumatoid Arthritis explaining your symptoms by visiting explainingyoursymptoms.ca.

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