ASIF News No. 12 (January 2012)

The 10th ASIF Council Meeting    

The 10th ASIF Council meeting took place in Izmir, Turkey, from the 17th to the 20th of November 2011. Delegates from 13 countries attended the meeting, which was excellently organised by the Turkish Spondylitis Association (ASHAD) and its president Tuncay Duruöz. Three new patient organizations from China (two delegates attended the meeting), South Korea and Cyprus were approved. The elections had three positions to fill, as Secretary Ken Mulholland (Canada), Treasurer Torben Jørgensen (Denmark) and Jane Skerrett (UK) had decided to step down. The delegates voted for Michael Mallinson (Canada) as the secretary and René Bräm (Switzerland) as the new Treasurer. In Addition, Debbie Cook (UK) was elected as a new member of the board. There were several interesting contributions from different member countries. Moreover, president Seoirse Smith and vice-president Hedley Hamilton presented their project for the new website.

Report on the 7th International Congress on Spondyloarthropathies 2010 in Gent    

ASIF scientific advisor Ernst Feldtkeller visited the congress, which takes place in Gent, Belgium, every second year. Rheumatologists from all over the wolrd presented various scientific studies, such as «Classification Criteria and Diagnosis», «Activity Limitations», «Heart Involvement in Ankylosing Spondylitis», «Progression to Ankylosing Spondylitis» or «Progression of the Ankylosis in Spite of an Anti-TNF-Alpha Therapy».

2011 ASAS Workshop of Spondyloarthritis Researchers in Brussels    

More than 50 international AS researchers had their annual workshop, organized by the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society (ASAS). They discussed various scientific subjects such as «Difficult assessment of magneto-resonance images» or a new study of NSAID efficacy. ASAS president, professor Désirée van der Heijde (Netherlands) stepped down. Her successor is her fellow countryman, Dr Robert Landewé.

Report on the European Rheumatology Congress (EULAR) 2011 in Brussels    

Around 16000 participants joined the EULAR congress in London. 1500 scientific posters were presented during this annual meeting. They contained studies on the improvement or early diagnosis, disease progression, influence of the patient behavior on the course of the disease, Anti TNF therapy and many more. AS researcher Maxime Dougados was elected as the new president of EULAR.

Essay: «On outside I cannot dance anymore, but inside I continue to dance»    

Article written by Lill Due, a former ballet dancer from Bergen, Norway. Her contribution on her life with ankylosing spondylitis was awarded with the Edgar Stene Prize of 2011.

Article: «Smoking worsens early course of axial spondyloarthritis»    

Article by Pedro Machado (Portugal), Désirée van der Heijde (Netherlands) et al. They found out that smoking worsens the disease. It particularly increases joint inflammation visible in magneto-resonance imaging.