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Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease involving many connective tissues of the body and manifesting itself as a profound systemic disturbance. Inflammation of the joints and a chronic progressive crippling polyarthritis are only the most obvious manifestations of this process. For many years therapeutic procedures have been based on etiological theories: foci of infection, deranged carbohydrate metabolism, intestinal toxemia, endocrine imbalance, hypersensitivity to various antigens, neuropsychiatric factors, and many others. Treatment directed along etiological theories has so far failed, and we must admit that, as yet, we have discovered no specific etiological agent and no single specific cure. The recent increase in basic research in biochemistry, histochemistry, immunology, and biophysics gives new hope that the pathogenesis of this disease may soon be uncovered.
Many agencies produce temporary improvement in the disease. Artificial fever, anesthetics, starvation, and emotional crises will occasionally be followed by definite improvement; transfusions are, in some
Holbrook WP, Hill DF, Stephens CAL. CURRENT STATUS OF THE TREATMENT OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS. JAMA. 1957;164(13):1469–1472. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.62980130005011