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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

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October 2023
Andreza Rosa Cabral MS, Josy Davidson PhD, Jozélio Freire de Carvalho MD PhD

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disease characterized by synovitis leading to polyarthritis. It affects 1% of the population [1]. Genetic and environmental factors are linked to the development of RA and include the presence of HLA-DR4 and shared epitope, and smoking is the primary representative of the negative environmental factor [1].

However, RA mainly affects middle age. Late-onset RA that initiates after 60 years is sometimes named elderly onset rheumatoid arthritis (EORA) [2]. This disease's prevalence varied from 2.03% to 2.34% in a large study in the United States. EORA affects more women than men [1]. However, to the best of our knowledge, no patient description of RA initiated at 97 years of age has been described.

July 2023
Yonatan Shneor Patt MD, Niv Ben-Shabat MD, Lior Fisher MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Abdulla Watad MD, Kassem Sharif MD

Background: Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) are inflammatory mediated myopathies characterized by progressive symmetric proximal muscle weakness and associated with extra-muscular involvement. Central nervous system complications are rarely reported with these diseases.

Objectives: To investigate the association between dementia and PM/DM.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using a database from Clalit Health Care, the largest health maintenance organization in Israel. Patients with a first recorded diagnosis of PM/DM were included and were compared with age- and sex-matched controls by a ratio of 1:5. The prevalence of dementia among PM/DM patients compared to controls was assessed using a univariate and a multivariable model. Binary logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess the association of different factors with dementia within the PM/DM cohort.

Results: The study included 2085 PM/DM cases (17.0%) and 10,193 age- and sex-matched controls (83.0%). During the follow-up time, 36 PM/DM patients were diagnosed with dementia compared to 160 controls, with a univariate hazard ratio (HR) of 1.10 (95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.77–1.58). Within the PM/DM cohort, significant predictors for the development of dementia included increased age at diagnosis (5 years increment; OR 1.86, 95%CI 1.57–2.21, P < 0.001) and treatment with glucocorticoids (OR 5.40, 95%CI 1.67–17.67, P = 0.005).

Conclusions: In our cohort, inflammatory myopathies were not associated with dementia. Age and treatment with glucocorticoids were associated with dementia. If dementia is diagnosed in patients with inflammatory myopathies, other systemic causes should be investigated.

April 2023
Lena Busch PhD, Carsten Schriek MD, Matthias Paul MD FESC FHFA, Harald Heidecke PhD

Background: Myalgic encephalomyelits/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is an acquired disease with symptoms of fatigue and pain. In pathogenesis, the induction of autoantibodies (AAB) against G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), such as β-adrenergic receptors (β-AdR), has been suspected. GPCR-AAB correlate with symptom severity and autonomic dysfunction in ME/CFS.

Objectives: To describe symptoms and treatment of a patient presenting with infection-triggered ME/CFS demonstrating that levels of β-AdR-AAB underlie modulation over time, correlating with the severity of symptoms.

Methods: At T1 and T2, GPCR-AAB were measured and questionnaires assessing symptom severity were completed. TSHDS-IgM-AAB were tested, and SF density was analyzed via skin probe.

Results: At T2, elevated levels of β-AdR-AAB were found, corresponding with an aggravation of fatigue and pain symptoms. Elevated TSHDS-IgM-AAB were found, which corresponded with reduced fiber density from the skin probe.

Conclusions: The levels of β-AdR-AAB in post-infectious ME/CFS can be modulated. Future studies might target interventions to reduce these AAB.

March 2023
Dana Arnheim MBBS BA, Arad Dotan BSc, Netta Shoenfeld MSW, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

The interplay between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and autoimmunity is well known. One of the contributors leading to immune disorders is autonomic dysregulation, which is characterized by attenuated parasympathetic and elevated sympathetic systems. In this review, we described evidence regarding the relationship between stress, PTSD, autonomic dysfunction, and autoimmunity. Stress is a physiological response, which is functional for our being. The implication of dysfunction in stress response may be a cause of disease development. We described the fundamental role of the pathological high levels of stress in PTSD as a mediator factor that contributes to autonomic dysfunction, which as a result may lead to autoimmunity. Systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes are some of the autoimmune diseases PTSD patients are at higher risk of developing. Notably, some autoimmune diseases are shown to increase the susceptibility to develop PTSD, which may indicate a bidirectional influence. In addition, we elaborated on stress as a major component in both fibromyalgia and PTSD, as there are overlaps between the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia and PTSD. Underlying chronic low-grade inflammation, which characterizes PTSD patients, may be a potential target and biomarker in treating PTSD patients. We believe that chronic low-grade inflammation, high concentrations of cytokines, and other inflammatory biomarkers, which characterize PTSD patients, may be potential targets and biomarkers in the treatment of PTSD patients and part of the PTSD diagnostic criteria.

February 2023
Shai Ashkenazi MD

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), impacted global health, human behavior, economics, and even politics. Two years after the start of the pandemic, the scientific community was still learning about COVID-19 infections. One of the major lessons was the association between SARS-CoV-2 and diverse autoimmune manifestations, including multiple autoantibodies and various autoimmune diseases that developed in COVID-19 patients.

July 2022
Abdulrahman Elsalti MD, Abdulkarim Alwani MD, Isa Seida MD, Mahmoud Alrais MD, Ravend Seida MD, Sevval Nil Esirgun MD, Tunahan Abali MD, Zeynep Kiyak MD, and Naim Mahroum MD
June 2022
Shir Rubinstein Levy B Med Sc, Gilad Halpert PhD, and Howard Amital MD MHA

Cannabis and cannabinoids have been known for thousands of years for their promising potential as analgesics. Chronic pain is a common complaint among many patients with rheumatic conditions. These disorders have revisited the medical approach toward cannabis and its potential role in pain relief. In addition, in recent years, information has mounted about the immunomodulatory effects of cannabis. In this review we discuss findings on the benefits cannabis may have in rheumatic and autoimmune disorders.

May 2022
Olga Vera-Lastra MD, Erik Cimé-Aké MD, Alberto Ordinola Navarro MD, Joel Eduardo Morales-Gutiérrez MD, Orestes de Jesús Cobos-Quevedo MD, Jorge Hurtado-Díaz MD, María Lucero Espinoza-Sánchez MD, Ana Lilia Peralta-Amaro MD, María Pilar Cruz-Domínguez MD, Gabriela Medina MD, Antonio Fraga-Mouret MD, Jesus Sepulveda-Delgado MD, and Luis J. Jara MD

Background: Patients with autoimmune disease (AID) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could have higher mortality due to the co-morbidity and the use of immunosuppressive therapy.

Objectives: To analyze the risk factors and outcomes of patients with AID and COVID-19 versus a control group.

Methods: A prospective cohort study included patients with and without AID and COVID-19. Patients were paired by age and sex. Clinical, biochemical, immunological treatments, and outcomes (days of hospital stay, invasive mechanical ventilation [IMV], oxygen at discharge, and death) were collected.

Results: We included 226 COVID-19 patients: 113 with AID (51.15 ± 14.3 years) and 113 controls (53.45 ± 13.3 years). The most frequent AIDs were Rheumatoid arthritis (26.5%), systemic lupus erythematosus (21%), and systemic sclerosis (14%). AID patients had lower lactate dehydrogenas, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, IMV (P = 0.027), and oxygen levels at discharge (P ≤ 0.0001) and lower death rates (P ≤ 0.0001). Oxygen saturation (SaO2) ≤ 88% at hospitalization provided risk for IMV (RR [relative risk] 3.83, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.1–13.6, P = 0.038). Higher creatinine and LDH levels were associated with death in the AID group. SaO2 ≤ 88% and CO-RADS ≥ 4 were risk factors for in-hospital mortality (RR 4.90, 95%CI 1.8–13.0, P = 0.001 and RR 7.60, 95%CI 1.4–39.7, P = 0.016, respectively). Anticoagulant therapy was protective (RR 0.36, 95%CI 0.1–0.9, P = 0.041)

Conclusions: Patients with AID had better outcomes with COVID-19 than controls. Anticoagulation was associated with a lower death in patients with AID.

January 2022
Abdulla Watad MD, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi MD PhD, and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR
June 2021
Naim Mahroum MD, Magdi Zoubi MD, Abdulla Watad MD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Josef Haik MD MPH, and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR

Surgical interventions in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), in particular plastic procedures, might cause undesired consequences. Notably, liposuction seems to possess greater risk as adipose tissue has been shown to play an important role in treating wounds and ulcers in patients with SSc. While anticentromere antibodies were found to be correlated with vasculopathy in SSc, patients with SSc and anticentromere antibodies might be more vulnerable to surgical wound complications following liposuction. A 46-year-old female patient, who had been diagnosed with SSc at the age of 31 years, had antinuclear as well as anticentromere antibodies. She underwent abdominoplasty with liposuction and developed severe skin necrosis of the abdomen following the procedure and at the site of liposuction. The correlation with anticentromere and the role of liposuction in skin necrosis in SSc are presented.

Paula David MD, Arad Dotan, Naim Mahroum MD, and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR
November 2020
Elias Toubi MD and Zahava Vadasz MD PhD

Innate and adaptive immune response dysregulations are equally involved in the induction of autoimmunity. Toll-like receptors play a leading role in the activation of innate immune cells, thus priming auto-reactive T cells. Th17 cells and related cytokines are widely involved in many immune-mediated diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, the recent introduction of anti-IL-17  therapies should be further evaluated. Janus kinase inhibitors and Fc receptor-targeting drugs are some of the new therapeutic strategies that are being implemented when old classical therapies lack sufficient beneficial outcomes

September 2020
Polina Kagan DMD MSc, Gilad Halpert PhD, Howard Amital MD MHA, Reuven Shapira DMD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD, FRCP, MaACR
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