Parkour Helps Seniors Cope with Arthritis

On a recent morning in London, Lara Thomson practiced spinning on benches, swinging from metal bars and balancing off raised ledges – all elements of a daredevil discipline known as “parkour.”

What was unusual about the scene is that Thomson is 79 and all of her classmates are over 60.

They are members of a unique weekly class for seniors in a sport more commonly known for gravity-defying jumps than helping people with arthritis.

Innovative Research Effort Will Learn more about Rheumatoid Arthritis

Investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have teamed with the Global Healthy Living Foundation’s arthritis support community to launch a study which will incorporate electronic devices to capture important information on conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis from patients and physicians.

The study will use electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablet computers to collect data directly from patients and clinicians, a process called Patient Reported Outcome — or PRO. Patient-reported data can then be de-identified and used in aggregate to help investigators assess the efficacy of different treatment options.

Anti-arthritics Can Exacerbate Other Inflammatory Diseases Like Periodontitis

Inflammatory diseases can occur simultaneously in distinct sites in the same patient, complicating treatment because a medication effective for one disorder may exacerbate the other. One such example is the anti-arthritic medication dexamethasone, which alleviates joint disease but can worsen periodontal bone disease. A study in the August issue of The American Journal of Pathology highlights the effects of a new class of anti-arthritic drugs, specifically DTrp8-ɣMSH (DTrp), that acts via the melanocortin (MC) system to reduce both arthritic joint inflammation and periodontitis.

Thai Chi

No one said getting older was fun, but does it have to be painful, too? Many older adults suffer from chronic pain, especially in the shoulders, lower back and knees. And this often leads to reduced mobility, which decreases our strength and mobility even further. This cycle of pain, disuse and inactivity is not only bad for our bodies, but it can have negative psychological effects as well.

Weather Conditions "Do Not Affect Low Back Pain"

A new study from Australia has cast doubt on the common belief that back pain can be influenced or exacerbated by changes in weather conditions.

Published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, the University of Sydney study examined data from 993 patients seen at primary care clinics in Sydney between October 2011 and November 2012.

Weather data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology were sourced for the duration of the study period, with researchers comparing weather patterns at the time patients first noticed back pain with conditions one week and one month before the onset of pain.

New Type of Arthritis Therapy

An international study has demonstrated the potential promise of a new type of anti-arthritic therapy that could overcome some of the limitations associated with current drug options.

Published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Pathology, the research highlights the possibility that a compound called DTrp8-gamma MSH (DTrp) could be viewed as a starting point for a new class of anti-arthritic agents that effectively treats multiple inflammatory diseases at the same time.

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