Printer Friendly

Arthritic origins in New World?

Arthritic origins in New World?

Scientists have diagnosed the earliest known cases of rheumatoid arthritis from the bones of six people who lived between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago in what is now northwestern Alabama.

The existence of the crippling joint disease before A.D. 1800 had previously not been established anywhere in the world, says anthropologist Kenneth R. Turner of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Rheumatoid arthritis, he adds, may be a transmissible disease that spread from the New World to the Old World in the late 18th century.

The remains of the early arthritis sufferers were identified in a collection of human bones excavated about 50 years ago along the shores of the Tennessee River. At first, Turner and his colleagues noticed bone loss near hand, arm, leg and foot joints typical of rheumatoid arthritis damage. They then took X-rays of the bones and observed that the nature and pattern of the bone damage is nearly identical to what is found in X-rays of modern rheumatoid arthritis patients.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:rheumatoid arthritis found in fossil bones
Author:Bower, Bruce
Publication:Science News
Date:Apr 9, 1988
Previous Article:Pelvic angle to Neanderthal dispute.
Next Article:Multiplicity and HIV's course.

Related Articles
Radiation therapy for arthritic joints.
Arthritis: looking for immunotherapy.
The nine-month arthritis 'cure.' (rheumatoid arthritis symptoms disappear during pregnancy)
Chicken cartilage soothes aching joints.
Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Overcoming Arthritis.
Peptide puts mouse arthritis out of joint.
A model mouse: can an accidental rodent strain unlock secrets of rheumatoid arthritis?

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters