Anatomy and Physiology II
March 9th 2011
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) plagues a relevant amount of individuals, and although it is prevalent in adults that range in age from 40 to 60, it can still affect anyone, anywhere, anytime. RA commonly affects women three times often as men and there is no cure for this disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis 2009). RA is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body reads its own tissue as a foreign invader and begins attacking itself. The body will attack the synovial lining between the joints hardening them and eventually destroying the bone and cartilage deep to the synovium. With RA there are substantial amounts of inflammation in the joints and usually affects both sides of the body (i.e. wrists, knees, ankles, etc.) and accompanied by pain.
According to Underwood, “the first written evidence of arthritis sounds very similar to what we now know as rheumatoid arthritis was found from a text from India called Caraka Samhita in 123AD.” Underwood goes on with, “in 1680 treatment began on rheumatism with Peruvian bark and in 1763, they had another weapon to treat rheumatism, Willow bark” (2000) “Rheumatoid Arthritis was first proposed by Heberden and Haygarth in the 19th century as a separate syndrome” (Weber 2010). This was the backdrop for all the research done on with this syndrome. “In the 19th century, rheumatoid arthritis was the poor relation to medical research, Weber continues discussing, and its victims did not do something strange like die as they did with pneumonia, or go insane as they did with syphilis…or have nice bright, easily recognizable symptoms as with measles. Rheumatoid arthritis tended to be a disability of old folks with vague, sometimes disbelieved symptoms” (Weber 2010). “In 1941 RA became official, the American Rheumatism Association officially recognizes rheumatoid arthritis as a distinct disorder, and in 1946 the American...