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Science
CASE NOTES
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 24 August
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DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 24 August 2004
skeleton

Full programme transcript >>

Auto-Immune Diseases

These are conditions where the body's own immune system is fighting other cells in the body which might not be diseased, causing inflammation and pain and most are often chronic conditions. 

Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing Spondylitis affects 1 in 200 men and 1 in 500 women in Britain typically in their teens and early twenties. This progressive disease is where the bones in the vertebrae of the back down to the pelvic bone fuse together with the growth of new bone. Other joints can also be affected with inflammation and pain. It can also affect other parts of the body such as the lungs and bowels. Although the condition is not life-threatening, without appropriate, regular exercise the neck, back and other joints can become stiff and immobile. We hear from someone about what it's like to live with the condition. 

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
SLE or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is another auto-immune disease where the body attacks its own connective tissues causing pain and inflammation. Women are more likely to suffer than men in this case, and it can be particularly dangerous for those who are pregnant as it can increase the risk of early miscarriage. As well as finding out the basics about the disease, we'll also be taking a look at the latest research into who might be at risk of the condition. Work going on at London's Hammersmith Hospital is looking at genetic information pointing to why the disease might occur. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is most common in people over 40 and women are three times more likely to suffer than men. Joints become stiff and swollen and if the inflammation persists, it may damage the ends of the bone and cartilage that covers it. In some cases the tendons and ligaments around the joints become slack and worn out and so the joints become deformed. It affects 1 in 100 people, and as there is no cure, long-term courses of drugs is the most common treatment. Over the last few months, the medical journals have been full of combination drug therapies that could bring us closer to treatments which repair the damage to the joints affected. Dr Mark Porter goes in search of the latest treatments and finds out who can have them and, most importantly, when!

Join Dr Mark Porter for Case Notes  on Auto-immune Diseases on Tuesday 24th August 2004.

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