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Dr Nick Hall will give a presentation on a new treatment for psoriatic arthritis
Dr Nick Hall will give a presentation on a new treatment for psoriatic arthritis

Press Release - 05 June 2008

Arthritis sufferers invited to hear about a new treatment

People with psoriatic arthritis and their families are invited to a presentation on a new treatment that has dramatically improved symptoms in sufferers. The talk will be held at 7pm on 12 June, in the lecture hall at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases.

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic joint disease that affects up to one third of patients with the skin disease psoriasis. The arthritis is highly variable but can be severe, leading to significant joint damage and disability. Several features of psoriatic arthritis identify it as being different from rheumatoid arthritis, but there is some overlap between them - both are inflammatory and potentially very damaging.

In recent years, the ‘appliance of science’ has lead to the introduction of powerful new drugs to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Many of these are designed to neutralise a key molecule that drives the joint inflammation and tissue damage – Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF).

The success of anti-TNF treatments in rheumatoid arthritis encouraged clinicians, including those in Bath, to investigate whether the treatment might also be useful in patients with psoriatic arthritis. Research carried out in the Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases and the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases has shown that anti-TNF can bring about a dramatic improvement in both the arthritis and the skin of psoriatic arthritis patients.

During the presentation, Dr Nick Hall, from the Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases, will outline what TNF is, how it drives the disease process in psoriatic arthritis and how the various drugs that target TNF actually work.

Dr Hall has been involved in research to uncover the disease processes and improve drug treatments of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis for over 30 years and is currently Chair of the Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases. He recently retired from the Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology at the University of Bath.

The talk is part of a new series of psoriatic arthritis events, held quarterly, which are open to all patients and their families. The talk is free of charge and there’s no need to register in advance. There will be plenty of time to ask questions. Light refreshments will be available.

The Bath Institute for Rheumatic Diseases has recently launched a new website, see Related links for the address. The education pages, which are targeted at the general public, will be developed over the next few months.

The institute welcomes suggestions for future evenings and for content for the website. Please contact Charlotte Carmichael, see above for contact details.

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