A cure for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is in sight, according to a leading UK consultant.
However, due to lack of access to specialist services, many Irish patients are not benefiting from improved treatments, according to Dr Mark Quinn.
Dr Quinn told a conference in Limerick today that research shows that up to 20% of RA patients treated early and aggressively remained completely well and off all treatments after five years.
"A complete cure would appear possible for some RA patients if they are seen early on by a rheumatologist and undergo aggressive treatment with modern drugs and appropriate strategies," Dr Quinn said.
He stressed, however, that all this relies on patients having proper access to rheumatologists and treatments, and this appeared to be a major stumbling block in Ireland.
"The days of RA patients having to undergo extensive surgery and living with constant pain could and should be a thing of the past." Dr Quinn said.
RA affects around 42,000 Irish people and is characterised by progressive joint damage, pain and disability.
Dr Ronan Kavanagh, President of the Irish Society for Rheumatology, which organised the Limerick conference, said there have been huge medical advances in RA treatment in recent years.
The range of new drug treatments, he said, had allowed many patients to control and prevent their symptoms and live normal and relatively pain-free lives, he said.
"A cure, the 'holy grail' of our field, is tantalisingly close. However, we need to vastly improve access to rheumatologists to make this a reality," Dr Kavanagh said.
For more information about the different types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis see...http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?con=2
"...due to lack of access to specialist services, many Irish patients are not benefiting from improved treatments according to Dr. Mark Quinn.
...a complete cure would appear possible for some.......this relies on patients having access to......treatments......and this appeared to be a major stumbling block in Ireland....."
Arthritis cure in sight ? Not in this retrogade/corrupt kip....governed by those who only look after themselves.
I have osteoarthritis from my neck to my toes...getting worse every single day...with no cure on the horizon !
With the lack of access to specialists....we non-connected will be suffering for generations !
The (*)anker friends of the govt will of course be able to avail of all the best health services....(thanks Mary)....since they've screwed the tax-payer up to the hilt...with the help of their govt. pals !!
Any govt/FF/Green/PD supporters want to respond to me ???? Go on....I dare ya !!!
As a chronic illness sufferer I can sympathise with your suitation. Have you ever been prescribed "Humira" for your arthritis? I know a couple of people who have found this treatment (monthly injection) life changing. It's a new and very expensive drug but is covered by under the High Tech Scheme, so cost should not be an issue, if the drug is suitable for your condition.
Hope things improve for you.