TNFi arthritis patients show changes in brain activity before improvement

Changes in brain activity before signs of improvement have been seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who respond to necrosis factor inhibitors.

A study published in the February issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism demonstrates how patients who respond to necrosis factor inhibitors show changes in activity in pain-related areas of the brain before signs of clinical improvement are seen, according to MedicalXpress.com.

The activity was spotted by Dr. Juergen Rech from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany and colleagues who used magnetic resonance imaging on the brain and anatomic MRI of the hand in ten patients before and after starting TNFi treatment.

“These data suggest that response to TNFi depends on brain activity in rheumatoid arthritis patients, reflecting the subjective perception of disease,” Rech and his colleagues said, MedicalXpress.com reports.

In the study, patients who responded to TNFi treatment had an overall greater mean decrease in their disease activity score in 28 joints up to 28 days after starting TFNi. Responders also had a greater activation of the thalamic, limbic and associative areas of the brain. This trend subsided after three days. Clinical responses were measured after seven days and responses on the hand MRI after 28 days.

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