ATHENAIS, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ATHENAIS, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arthritic hands. Coloured X-ray of the hands of a patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This form of arthritis is an autoimmune disease, where the synovial linings of the joints become swollen and painful as they are attacked by the body's own immune system. This has resulted in deformities of the hands, as seen in the thumb and middle finger of the hand at left. The severity of the disease varies, and it can affect people of any age. Treatment involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, and sometimes joint replacement.
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