Brief in English from Bechterew-Brief No. 80

In April 2000, DVMB will be 20 years old. We open our issue No. 80 with short messages from our patron, our medical advisors, and other friends of our society.

The use of Radium-224 was normal treatment for AS in our country until about 1985 when the supplier of those times closed his production. Now a new supplier has created facilities to produce Radium-224 chloride in an especially pure form. Our medical advisor Prof. LEMMEL describes the benefits of this therapy. The treatment consists of 10 injections once a week. Radium (chemically related to calcium) concentrates where bone is reconstructed, and the alpha radiation has a range of only 0.05 mm. Because of both, in AS patients the irradiation is concentrated to places of inflammation. The irradiation blocks the inflammation activity and thereby inhibits pain and increased bone creation. The effect often lasts for many years.

Dr. BIEDERMANN describes in his article, the peculiarities, incidence, and treatment of spondyloarthritides in children. juvenile spondyloarthritides seldom occur before the age of 10 years. They are normally provoked by mocous membrane infections and are characterised by an oligoarthritis or enthesitis and only seldom by a sacroiliitis or spondylitis. Basic therapy are NSAIDs as precondition for an intensive physiotherapy. Disease modifying drugs or corticosteroids are applied in special cases. An antibiotic therapy is limited to some forms of reactive arthritis with positive proof of pathogens. According to the literature, up to 60% of juvenile spondyloarthritides later develop AS.

The article by Dr. TREUER on osteoporosis in AS patients is an extended version of an article published in the journal "vertical" of our Swiss sister society. SVMB kindly gave us the author’s original manuscript as basis of this extended version. Osteoporosis may be a result of inflammation in early AS as well as of the immobility in late AS. The risk of spinal fractures is 10% in AS patients compared to 1.9% in general. A special danger is that spine fractures may be confused with AS flares. Risk factors as well as methods of prevention and therapy are treated in this article.

As a supplement to the article by Dr. Treuer, we publish a patient version of an article by Dr. Poór and Dr. Szathmári from Budapest on the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis originally published in the EULAr magazine "Rheumatology in Europe". This article is not AS specific. It contains, however, interesting schemes and tables on the priority of diagnostic methods and medication, and on diseases and drugs which may likewise lead or contribute to osteoporosis.

The article on the effectiveness of the treatment of AS in the thermal radon gallery of Bad Gastein/Austria is reprinted from the book "Radon and Health" in which the contributions to a conference in 1998 are collected. Dr. FALKENBACH and his co-authors have investigated in several studies the effect of the treatment on the disease activity, mobility, and lung function, the percentage with good relief compared to another kind of treatment, and the duration of relief.

Mrs. HERRMANN describes her good experiences with the treatment of AS by acupuncture.

Dr. MARNEROS, AS patient and university professor for psychiatric medicine, mentions his good experiences with the Alexander technique which is described by his therapist Mrs. DEHM and P. STAUB from the SVMB.

Two cookery books for AS patients are reviewed in this issue. In both, many dishes with fish or vegetables and avoiding meat with its arachidonic acid, are proposed.

DVMB News:
A large number of week-end seminars are announced for this year: Our seminar for newly diagnosed AS patients and their partners will take place for the 36th to 39th time. Other seminars concern AS and bicycling, AS and motorcycling, AS and golf, and healthy diet for AS patients.

An alphabetic name and subject index for Bechterew-Brief No. 1–80 will be available shortly after the appearance of this issue. It will replace the index for No. 1–60 which I have created 5 years ago.

E. Feldtkeller