Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rheumatologist shortage means AS misdiagnoses

Irish Medical News: "Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is still being misdiagnosed by doctors and a lack of rheumatologists is exacerbating this problem, according to a leading Irish rheumatologist." Something I think we can all relate to: AS is rarely the first thing that comes to a general practitioner's mind when we show up complaining of a sore back.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Iain Macleod

This Guardian story about politicians suffering from (and, by inference, rising above) disability refers to something I did not know: that Iain Macleod (1913-1970), a British Conservative politician who served as a cabinet minister in various governments in the 1950s, 1960s and briefly (just before his death from a heart attack shortly after abdominal surgery) in 1970, suffered from ankylosing spondylitis for more than 20 years.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Postcode lottery for TNF-alpha in the UK

I think I'm beginning to understand the flurry of news stories from the UK that sound like adverts for TNF-alpha inhibitors (examples: 1, 2, 3). Rheumatology patients are encountering an unofficial "postcode lottery" -- i.e., a cap on the number of patients in a given locality who are able to receive the new treatments. Yes, they're expensive, but rationing seems cruel: either you have a national drug plan or you don't.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Ankylosing spondylitis in the Times

Dr, Thomas Stuttaford, whom we last saw in a June 2005 writing a Times article about TNF-alpha inhibitors, is back in the Times with an article about ankylosing spondylitis -- and the effectiveness of the new TNF-alpha inhibitors in treating it. (I sense a trend.) Talks about the drugs' use and availability in the UK and mentions which pharaohs had AS, so it's a pretty broad-ranging article.

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