Audio Interview

Rheumatic diseases and musculoskeletal pain

Published on April 1, 2018   29 min

A selection of talks on Immunology & Inflammation

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Interviewer: Professor Rahman, thank you for sparing the time speaking to me this afternoon. I know you've got a busy schedule. Essentially, what I want to ask are two questions. What? And how? You're looking for better treatments with patients with antiphospholipid syndrome. You're looking for better ways of managing cardiovascular disease and you're looking for improved clinical outcomes for people suffering with chronic pain. Have I got that right? Prof. Rahman: You're quite correct. Interviewer: Good. Then let me ask you what are you really looking for in each of those subject areas? Prof. Rahman: All right. Well, let's take the antiphospholipid syndrome first. This is an autoimmune disease which is characterized by increased risk of clots, strokes, and miscarriages. That's what happens to these patients and it's an important thing. So, for example, it's a very big risk factor for strokes in people under 50, it's an important cause of recurrent miscarriage. So what we're talking about is people who, for example, might suffer many pregnancy losses with all the distress that causes and suffer strokes and disability under 50. What can we do about it today? The only evidence base is for anticoagulation. So, we're talking about people being on long-term drugs like warfarin and rivaroxaban all the time, for the rest of their life. That's what we're talking about. That really does limit people's lifestyle, it can cause side effects and so on. So, the actual treatments for antiphospholipid syndrome are incredibly limited. So, designing a better treatment, it's a fairly, you know, open field. If that's all you've got, then anything could in principle be an improvement.