New discovery may reverse atherosclerosis associated with rheumatoid arthritis
A molecule called resolvin (RvT)4 has been found to enhance the body’s natural defences against atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in the UK and affects around 1% of the population. Around 10,000 people receive a diagnosis every year. Alongside the more widely-known symptoms of joint inflammation, people with the condition are twice as likely to develop blood vessel disease.
Studies in mice show that increasing levels of the RvT4 molecule in the body improves the ability of the body’s own defence mechanisms to reduce local inflammation and remove blockages in blood vessels. The finding is great news as it could lead to better treatments for people with rheumatoid arthritis who are at higher risk of heart disease.
What is resolvin (RvT)4 ?
Resolvins are a group of molecules derived from omega-3 fatty acids. They have been discovered to have anti-inflammatory properties and are being studied for a wide array of other health issues from cancer to kidney disease.
Victoria King, Director of Funding and Impact at Barts Charity comments: “This could pave the way for the development of new treatments for these patients to help them live longer and healthier lives.”
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