This book--intended to dispel the mystique and folklore surrounding arthritis--is the first to explain clearly the scientific aspects of arthritis research and treatment. Brewerton tells the intriguing story of arthritis research, from the days before germs were recognized as causes of disease and when reasons for inflammation were obscure, to the present, when breakthroughs in genetics, epidemiology, X-ray crystallography, cell biology, and molecular biology support major advances in research and treatment. He also addresses the human element, discussing the role in arthritis of such factors as age, gender, emotions, pain, and personality. Brewerton ends the story on a hopeful note, carefully explaining the prospects for prevention and treatment.
[Brewerton] skillfully guides us through the complexities of bacteria, viruses, and host defense; the nervous system; the structure and function of joints; the mosaic of factors involved in arthritis; and the prospects for new forms of therapy. He is particularly elegant when dealing with the complex (and controversial) influence of personality and emotion.
This book...is written so attractively and with such a sense of wonder and delight at the challenges [of ] arthritic conditions.
[This] is a thoroughly good read putting much current research and concept into perspective and supplying many of the facts which even the most assiduous of rheumatologists may have failed to grasp...The immense factual load of the book is disguised in a style of story-telling which focuses, to a great extent, on some truly remarkable individuals...The reader is left in no doubt that research in arthritis is feverishly active and fascinating.
- 320 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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