Brief in English from Bechterew-Brief No. 90

For the fifth time, the DVMB research prize (doted with EUR 4 000) was advertised for the leading scientific publication on ankylosing spondylitis written in our language in the last two years. A committee consisting of seven recognised scientists invited for this purpose, decided that the prize be awarded to Dr. Inge EHLEBRACHT-KÖNIG from the rehabilitation clinic in Bad Eilsen for her work on the evaluation of an education program for patients with ankylosing spondylitis. She could show that the program (consisting of the modules the disease and its diagnostics; physiotherapy; coping with pain; drugs and surgery; every-day behaviour, living with the disease) does not only improve the knowledge on the disease but also the mobility, compared to patients treated without this program. Furthermore, in the year after the intervention the patients educated had significantly less workdays lost and made less pension applications than the control group. The prize also recognises the merits of Dr. Inge Ehlebracht-König on the development of patient education programs in rheumatology in general.

An article on the partial cauda equina syndrome associated with ankylosing spondylitisafter a long disease duration is a patient-adapted version of an article by G. PAUL, J. P. ENGELBEEN, J. MALGHEM, Y. BOUTSEN, G. DOOMS, W. ESSELINCKX, and B. MALDAGUE from Leuven, Belgium. The original is published in French in the journal Revue du Rhumatisme. Four cases with ankylosing spondylitis and the cauda equina syndrome are reported as examples. The article summarises the typical symptoms, describes the diagnosing methods (electromyography, conventional X-rays, computerized tomography, and magnetic resonance tomography), lists important differential diagnoses, and mentions some therapeutic possibilities. Additional explaining figures have been added by a member of our editorial team.

Stefan BRANDSTÄTTER, Monika ALLERSTORFER, and Josef G. PICHLER from Austria present the results of their study on the treatment of the cervical spine of ankylosing spondylitis patients by methods of the proprioceptive neuromusculary facilitation (PNF). PNF is a physiotherapeutic method introduced in the 1940s by H. KABAT in the USA. It comprises three-dimensional active and passive motions. In a study with 10 patients, the authors could demonstrate the value of this method for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis.

Wolfgang KEITEL contributes a review of the history of rheumatology. He summarises the beginnings in antiquity and the middle ages, and describes the contributions to modern rheumatology made in the 16th–19th century by G. de Ballonius (de Baillou), by T. Sydenham, W. Heberden, N. Andry, J. B. Bouillaud and others. He mentions the distinction between arthritis and arthrosis introduced by F. von Müller in 1913, and the introduction of the term spondyloarthritis by J. M. H. Moll and V. Wright in 1976. He ends his extended report with a chapter on the foundation of international organisations in rheumatology and with a table summarising the most important progresses in the therapy of rheumatic diseases.

DVMB News:
A new DVMB board was elected by the delegates of the regional DVMB sections at the delegates meeting in june 2002. Horst GOTTAUT, former DVMB chairman, and two other members of the former board did not stand as candidates again. New chairman of DVMB is Franz GADENZ, new vice chairman is Karl Erich REUTER. All members of the new board are presented in this issue.

Ernst Feldtkeller