Brief in English from Bechterew-Brief No. 83

Unfortunately there was no space for a “Brief in English” in "Bechterew-Brief" No, 82 because page 2 was reserved for the announcement of a great telephone action on the occasion of our “Ankylosing Spondylitis Day” in September (see below). Now the series is continued here as usual.

The article by L. KÖHLER et al. (Hannover) on the treatment of spondyloarthropathies with drugs is a patient-adapted version of an article originally published in Aktuelle Rheumatologie. The authors give a review of general principles of the therapy of spondyloarthropathies, of the treatment of spinal and peripheral symptoms with NSAIDs, with disease modifying antirheumatic drugs, or with corticosteroids. This also includes the special treatment of psoriatic arthritis and spondyloarthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease, as well as Whipple’s disease and reactive arthritis. A special chapter deals with the treatment of therapy-refractory spondyloarthropathies and offers a flux diagram for the selection of appropriate drugs.

The article by J. BRAUN (Berlin, after January 1st 2001 in Herne) on the question whether an antibiotic treatment of spondyloarthropathies is suitable, has been translated from the newsletter of the Spondylitis Association of America. The author concludes that an antibiotic treatment is only effective in the case of septic arthritis or Lyme disease, that it might be helpful in the case of a spondyloarthritis associated with chlamydial urethritis, but is of no help in the case of AS or reactive arthritis after enteritis.

A report is given on this year’s congress of the German Society of Rheumatology held in September in Aachen. Highlights for those interested in spondyloarthropathies were a session on spondyloarthropathies chaired by S. VAN DER LINDEN and J. BRAUN, and a “Meet the expert” discussion on spondyloarthropathies with H. ZEIDLER. In many lectures, the anti-TNF-alpha treatment was considered to be a break-through in the treatment of inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

As a personal experience, J. WOLFGANG gives a report on his intensive search in orthodox medicine as well as in unconventional methods, for an AS treatment which really helped him, until he finally had success with Rohlfing.

In an interview with Dr. HÖPPE (München), different types of weather conditions are discussed with their influence on the human body.

Letters-to-the-editor answered by experts concern the inheritance of AS and the decision to have or not to have children; the different names used in the literature for our disease; the question whether dental metals may contribute to the disease activity in an ankylosing spondylitis patient; and the question whether an artificial intervertebral disk may be of use for an ankylosing spondylitis patient.

DVMB News:
For September 2nd, DVMB had announced an “Ankylosing Spondylitis Day” in the newsletter, in a high-circulation pharmacy journal, and by posters. Members of our local branches erected information stands in over 100 communities to inform the public on the disease and to make them aware of the existence of our patient organisation. Lectures or panel discussions in some larger towns complemented these events. E. PFEIFFER gives a report on some of these activities.
On September 8th, everyone who was interested had the opportunity to ask by telephone questions on AS or other rheumatic diseases, on self-help societies in general, or on social laws and insurance. 27 experts in all parts of Germany were prepared to answer these questions. About 2500 patients made use of this great telephone action day. The experts were afterwards asked to write down some of the questions together with their answers for this Bechterew-Brief issue, resulting in the collection of questions and answers published on pages 16–22.

E. Feldtkelle