Ankylosing spondylitis - a disease of joints of the spine, the iliac-sacral joint and hip joint. The disease occurs in males three times more often. Ankylosing spondylitis usually occurs in people 20 years of age.
Among the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include:
Stiffness in the morning - most first symptom of ankylosing spondylitis.
Pain or irritation of the ribs, shoulders, hips and spine.
Pain or irritation at the other joints, such as lower limb.
Ankylosing spondylitis - a chronic inflammation. Over time it leads to the fact that the joints of the spine, as it were "cemented", and there comes a significant restriction of their mobility. This is called ankylosis.
Ankylosing spondylitis - a systemic disease from the group of rheumatoid arthritis, that is when the inflammation is noted not only in the intervertebral joints, but also in other tissues. This means that the inflammation can affect other joints, and eye tissues, kidneys, heart and lungs.
This disease is marked to the same extent in all age groups, both children and adults.
The incidence of ankylosing spondylitis in Russia on average is 0.05%, in the northern regions - 1,1-0,4%.
Causes of ankylosing spondylitis
It is now believed that the cause of ankylosing spondylitis is a genetic predisposition. The majority of patients (90%) with the disease gene carriers indicated HLA-27. However, the very presence of the gene does not mean that a person is sick or ill spondylitis, but it had a higher risk of developing this disease. For example, in U.S. gene HLA-27 is present in 7% of people, but of these only occur in 1% of ankylosing spondylitis. Note also that even in individuals with this gene is associated with the occurrence of disease inheritance. That is, if these people have relatives who suffer from ankylosing spondylitis, the risk of the disease they have is 12% (that is 6 times higher than in those without family members with ankylosing spondylitis).
Recently, scientists have discovered two genes - ARTS1 and IL23R, which are associated with the occurrence of ankylosing spondylitis. It is believed that these genes affect the immune system. Understanding the effect of each of these genes will help to make significant progress in the treatment of spondylitis.
Scientists are still trying to find an answer to the question of how there is inflammation in the tissues of the joints and other organs. Primary inflammation may be the result of activation of the immune system by bacterial infection. After activation of this immune system can no longer own "stop", even if the primary focus of infection is gone. Thus there is a chronic inflammatory response against its own tissues, in the absence of any infection. This is the hallmark of systemic inflammatory joint disease - the so-called rheumatic diseases.