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In recent years researchers have gained a greater understanding of the immunological and inflammatory mechanisms underlying rheumatoid arthritis. Much of their efforts have centred on the role of the cytokine network in the pathophysiology of the disease. On the basis of these discoveries pharmaceutical companies have developed several potential biologic agents aimed at addressing cytokine imbalance and its subsequent effects on cartilage damage and... more...

Our goal for this book is to examine the contemporary therapy of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) from the increasingly important perspective of impact upon quality of life, costs and long-term health outcomes. For too long the focus has been on short­ term, symptomatic, and surrogate indicator outcomes. Yet RA is a life-long disor­ der with the majority of impact on an individual patient many years following onset. Further, even in the short-term,... more...