Brief in English from Bechterew-Brief No. 79

In the first article of this issue, I give a short report on this year's congress of the German society of rheumatologists. The congress was held in Warnemünde on the coast of the Baltic Sea and had the subtitle "Benefits and risks, sense and nonsense in rheumatologic diagnosis and therapy".

At this congress, professor J. SIEPER of the Berlin Free University gave a reviewing lecture on the spondyloarthropathies. The main message of this lecture is contained in the article "Ankylosing spondylitis as part of the spondyloarthropathies" contributed by J. Sieper and J. Braun. They review this group of diseases with their common symptoms, their supposed origin, and their frequencies as derived from an investigation of B27-positive and -negative blood donors in Berlin. They regard the problems in diagnosing these diseases, mention diagnostic progresses and the importance of the concept of "undifferentiated spondyloarthropathies", and review also the present state of therapy.

We publish a translation of an article by Dr. Julie BARLOW and Lesley CULLEN (Coventry University) on "Parenting and ankylosing spondylitis". The original of this article was published in the journal "Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International" (a short version also appeared in the NASS journal AS News). The authors consider the special problems of parents (and grandparents) with the disease if they have to take care of babies or children.

The article on "Coping with a disease as seen from the psychological point of view" by Franz WENDTNER from Salzburg (Austria) is a modified version of a lecture published in the newsletter of the Austrian AS society. He treats the different phases of denying, aggression, depression, negotiation and accepting the disease, and the different styles of coping with the disease.

In our book reviews section, a new AS exercise wall calendar is reviewed which offers different exercises for every day over a four-weeks period and has been created in cooperation with the physiotherapist Ulrike WOLF and our cartoonist C. BORN. Two cookery books for AS patients are compared in which the newest dietary recommendations (e.g. reduction of sources of arachidonic acid) are regarded. Also my book containing the results of the DVMB survey on the situation of spondyloarthritis patients is reviewed in this issue.

Dr. Eckhard PFEIFFER, member of the DVMB board, gives a report on the 5th ASIF Council meeting held in Orscholz (Germany) in September 1999, with participants from Australia, Canada, Japan, and 14 European countries. He summarises the most important results: Election of a new Executive Committee with members from Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Norway and Slovenia; presentation of ASIF's Internet pages (to be found under; recommendation of links from national AS Internet pages to the ASIF pages; presentation of some results of DVMB's survey on the situation of spondyloarthritis patients; proposal of an international survey in collaboration with Prof. S. van der Linden (Maastricht) and Prof. A. Masi (Chicago); and rules for reprinting articles in our newsletters regarding the copyright for texts and illustrations.

DVMB News:
DVMB's Internet pages created by DVMB webmaster M. BETHMANN and webmasters of many of DVMB's federal sections (Landesverbände) can now be visited under Landesverbände. Besides information on the disease and its therapy and the aims of our society and all its parts, you will find the addresses of all 15 sections and presently 360 local branches, all our literature, the content of our recent newsletter issues, and an alphabetic index. Some articles originally published in our newsletter, are also shown within these pages.

E. Feldtkeller