Are Bio Medicines the Future of Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Phage Display, that won a Nobel Prize can benefit the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in the country.
Studies have suggested that one out of every 100 people in the country is suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) which is also known as Gathiya - a dreadful disease that can cripple a person’s life.
India is ill-equipped to deal with the growing prevalence of RA due to the lack of awareness and unaffordable treatment. Many patients seek superstitious remedies rather than its scientific/biological treatment.
Nobel Price for Phage Display May Pave the Way for RA
A biological technique – Phage Display – was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2018 in Chemistry. This can benefit the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in the country.
Phage display is the method of creating new antibodies to treat autoimmune diseases such as cancer and arthritis with no side effects.
Biological drugs created by phage display technology restrict the chemicals that cause inflammation in our body.
In Allopathy, medicines are usually made with chemicals. On the other hand, the biological drugs are made by producing antibodies (a type of protein) with a virus called bacteriophage under the phage display technology.
Before awarding the prize, the Nobel Prize committee takes into consideration how the discovery has influenced the world.
Phage display technology was discovered more than two decades ago. But researchers and scientists kept working on it to make it better. As now that it has been proven the phage display technique is a revolutionary discovery in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as cancer and arthritis, the Nobel committee announced to bestow the coveted price on the work.
Vaccines are also a type of biological medicine but it is used for the prevention and treatment of bacterial infections and diseases that spread from one to another. On the other hand, phage display is the method of creating new antibodies to treat autoimmune diseases such as cancer and arthritis.
What Are Auto Immune Illnesses?
Auto Immune Illness is a condition in which our immune system which prevents us from external harmful bacteria and viruses in the normal condition worsens and starts harming healthy cells of our own body.
In autoimmune disease, our immune system releases a special type of protein that attacks our body's healthy organisms such as skin and joints. For this reason, arthritis is an autoimmune disease
RA Can Be Treated Without Steroids and Pain Killers
Many arthritis patients do not consult doctors on time due to which the condition worsens. In such a situation, it is difficult to control the disease with normal medicines. Many doctors prescribe steroids and pain killers.
But today with the arrival of latest treatment like biological drugs, the serious condition of RA can be reduced and controlled without consuming steroids and painkillers. Arthritis can be controlled with the help of biological treatment. Its side effects are also not as serious as they are when the patients are administered steroids and pain killers.
The disease in higher stages distorts the joint of fingers, thumb, wrists, legs, and ankles. RA can be controlled with the general medicines if diagnosed and treated in the early stages.
The patient can feel better in RA by regularly consuming Biological medicines for a minimum of 12 weeks.
Biological drugs keep the joints safe for a longer period of time. It could also be possible that not all the patients get to benefit from biological drugs, but if the medicine starts working, the patient feels much better after a treatment for 12 weeks.
Usually, these medicines are given for six months but they can also be given for a longer period.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints which can happen to anyone irrespective of their age and gender.
More often it is common among people after middle age or old age. The symptoms of the common arthritis are inflammation, swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased the range of motion in joints. The intensity could be low, moderate or severe.
Discipline and the latest treatment methods play an important role in treating RA. With the help of biological drugs, patients can be given a chance at a better life.
(Dr. Rahul Jain is a Consultant Rheumatologist with Narayana Multispecialty Hospital, Jaipur)
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