What you should know about rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive autoimmune disease that initially causes signs and symptoms like joint pain and swelling in the feet and hands. Chronic inflammation of RA can cause permanent joint destruction and deformity. Periods of disease flares and remissions characterize RA.

Rheumatoid arthritis signs and symptoms include

  • NSAIDs, DMARDs, TNF alpha inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, T-cell activation inhibitors, B-cell depleters, JAK inhibitors, immunosuppressants, and steroids treat RA.
  • Researchers have developed medicines that are biosimilar to biologic drugs, and many others are currently under study.

What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Rheumatoid arthritis definition

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body’s tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system. The immune system contains a complex organization of cells and antibodies designed normally to “seek and destroy” invaders of the body, particularly infections. Patients with autoimmune diseases have antibodies and immune cells in their blood that target their own body tissues, where they can be associated with inflammation. While joint tissue inflammation and inflammatory arthritis are classic RA features, the disease can also cause extra-articular inflammation and injury in other organs.

Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.

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