Rheumatoid Arthritics


EFFECTS OF RESTRICTED ENVIRONMENTAL STIMULATION THERAPY ON CORTISOL, PAIN AND INDICES OF INFLAMMATION IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITICS

Thomas H. Fine, MA, Betsy McCormick, BA, Dore Shefransky, DO, and J.W. Turner, PhD. Medical College of Ohio, Department of Psychiatry and Department of Physiology.

This proposal examines specific effects of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) and Autogenic Training (AT) on rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a chronic, painful and debilitating disease which effects millions worldwide. The proposed study examined the effects of AT or REST and AT on RA-related measures in rheumatoid arthritics. All sessions are 40 minutes. One group received AT while a second group received AT+REST. In this study individuals were monitored for changes in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), Plasma Cortisol, and reported pain.

Measurements were made at baseline, during treatment and post treatment follow up. No significant differences were found between groups or across sessions for cortisol, CRP, or ESR. Pain measurements showed a significantly greater decrease across sessions in the REST + AT group than in the AT group. The study supports the use of REST as an intervention for RA related pain. The mechanism of this effect remains unclear.

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EFFECTS OF RESTRICTED ENVIRONMENTAL STIMULATION THERAPY (REST) ON SEROLOGICAL MARKERS OF INFLAMMATION IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.
Doré R. Shefransky, A. Betsy McCormick, Thomas H. Fine and John W. Turner, Jr. Medical College of Ohio ?Toledo, Ohio

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory multisystem connective tissue disorder. Relaxation therapy is beneficial in a variety of rheumatoid diseases. This study explores the effect of REST on inflammation with previously diagnosed RA measured by erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Fourteen volunteers in RA participated in a controlled clinical trial; half underwent flotation REST with a taped message while controls underwent autogenic relaxation with the same message in a reclining chair. ESR and CRP were measured pre, post, and during treatment.

The mean ESR decreased in the REST group and slightly increased in the autogenic control group. Neither change was significant (p>.05, t-test). CRP values changed little in either group across study. Individual REST subjects were consistent in exhibiting decreased ESR across the study, suggesting a potentially significant effect of REST, masked in this study by a small group size. The preliminary results encourage further investigation. Funded by Medical College of Ohio.