Prologue: 2009 Joint Meeting of Spondyloarthritis Research and Therapy Network (SPARTAN) and International Genetics of Ankylosing Spondylitis (IGAS).
ABSTRACT In July 2009, a 3-day conference was held in Houston, Texas, USA, by members of several groups: the Spondyloarthritis Research and Therapy Network (SPARTAN); the International Genetics of Ankylosing Spondylitis (IGAS); and interested members of the Pan American League of Associations of Rheumatology (PANLAR). The purpose of this meeting was to bring together physician scientists, clinicians, and educators from around the world who are working together to improve their understanding of spondyloarthritis (SpA). In addition to the annual educational and Fellows sessions for SPARTAN members, the conference included a one-day international meeting dedicated to the role of HLA-B27, along with a series of sessions that summarized advances among various collaborative groups and defined opportunities for future genetic initiatives. This supplement provides a review of the SPARTAN and IGAS meetings.
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- "In the concluding section on Avenues for future research in an early review , the suggestion was raised, " also axial muscle tension may be a factor in these degenerative spinal syndromes " . The early suspicion that axial myofascial hypertonicity could predispose to AS  has remained consistent with advances achieved in clinical research, immunogenetics, and molecular biology  . However, the hypothesis has not yet been directly confirmed, due to lack of reported quantitative measurements and research on such mechanisms. "
ABSTRACT: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is not fully explained by inflammatory processes. Clinical, epidemiological, genetic, and course of disease features indicate additional host-related risk processes and predispositions. Collectively, the pattern of predisposition to onset in adolescent and young adult ages, male preponderance, and widely varied severity of AS is unique among rheumatic diseases. However, this pattern could reflect biomechanical and structural differences between the sexes, naturally occurring musculoskeletal changes over life cycles, and a population polymorphism. During juvenile development, the body is more flexible and weaker than during adolescent maturation and young adulthood, when strengthening and stiffening considerably increase. During middle and later ages, the musculoskeletal system again weakens. The novel concept of an innate axial myofascial hypertonicity reflects basic mechanobiological principles in human function, tissue reactivity, and pathology. However, these processes have been little studied and require critical testing. The proposed physical mechanisms likely interact with recognized immunobiological pathways. The structural biomechanical processes and tissue reactions might possibly precede initiation of other AS-related pathways. Research in the combined structural mechanobiology and immunobiology processes promises to improve understanding of the initiation and perpetuation of AS than prevailing concepts. The combined processes might better explain characteristic enthesopathic and inflammatory processes in AS.12/2011; 2011:205904. DOI:10.1155/2011/205904
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ABSTRACT: The Spondyloarthritis Research and Therapy Network (SPARTAN) is a network of health care professionals who are dedicated to research, awareness and treatment of ankylosing spondylitis and related forms of spondyloarthritis (SpA). Members meet yearly to promote research, education and treatment of SpA. The SPARTAN 2010 meeting was held on July 23 to 24 in Houston, Texas. Major presentations were given on structural bone changes in SpA, the sensitivity and specificity of magnetic resonance imaging in early SpA, mycobacterial infections in this era of modern biologic therapies and findings from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys for ankylosing spondylitis, SpA and inflammatory back pain. Additional country-specific presentations on the epidemiology of SpA were provided by representatives of North America, Central America, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. These topics were all developed into separate contributions contained in this in-issue supplement and summarized herein.The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 03/2011; 341(4):266-8. DOI:10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31820f8b13 · 1.39 Impact Factor