This Issue


by Joseph Patrick Jakubal

It has long been thought that people with rheumatoid arthritis were suffering from an overactive immunity system which had gone berserk to mistakenly attack healthy tissues. However, now, some researchers think the ailment is due to an "exhausted" immunity system instead.

A recent study suggests that rheumatoid arthritis actually results from an immunity system that has aged before its time.

What this means, of course, is that the current thinking, that suppresses the immunity system to relieve pain, may actually make the problem worse in the long run. Also, the practice puts the patient at risk for cardiovascular disease and infections ... two primary causes of deaths among patients.

The study discovered that people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis actually had T-cells, which were "worn out" and did not make new T-cells. Note: T-cells are immune cells that protect the body from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.

The study concluded that patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis have fewer "memory T-cells" which recognize and fight off multitudes of invaders. This is exactly what happens to people who are elderly ... younger patients had a collection of T-cells that looked as though they belonged to 50-60 year olds.

T-cells are manufactured by the thymus gland and this may be the location of the problem.

Modern medicine has sharply advanced in treating the symptoms of diseases, however, the root causes often remain.

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