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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Early experiences with auranofin in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Pharmacologic management of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is only one of several modalities necessary for effective control. The stepping stones to proper management include a planned long-range program, physical therapy with swimming, good health habits, and consultation with other health professionals who are part of the management team. Pharmacologic therapy includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs initially, occasionally corticosteroids, and slow-acting antirheumatic drugs, including injectable gold when therapeutic response is inadequate. Early experiences with oral gold are reported here. Auranofin (triethylphosphine gold) was administered to 21 patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis during a segment I, open ended, open-label, noncontrolled trial designed to establish safety and preliminary efficacy. Initial dosage was 0.1 mg/kg per day; incremental increases to 0.2 mg/kg per day were allowed (with usual increase to 0.15 mg/kg per day). Aspirin (80 mg/kg per day) or tolmetin (20 to 40 mg/kg per day), or naproxen (400 to 600 mg/m2 per day) were allowed as rapidly acting antiinflammatory agents. Stable measurable plasma concentrations of gold were attained in all patients during the study. More than half the patients sustained clinically significant improvement (greater than 25 percent) with regard to the number and severity of joints with swelling, pain on motion, and tenderness. In nine of the 19 patients, the total number of joints with active arthritis decreased by at least 25 percent. All articular disease indices measured indicated improvement of group mean changes between the initial and final visit. Eleven of 16 patients with an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate showed decreases of at least 25 percent. The group given higher dosages had a greater proportion of responders in regard to decreases in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (nine of 11 patients). Four of six patients whose serums contained rheumatoid factor showed decreases in the titers. Discontinuation of auranofin was necessary in two patients: one because of headache and one because of hematuria and anemia associated with a severe flare-up of polyarticular disease. The results from this trial reveal sufficient patient improvement to plan a double-blind trial of auranofin in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.[1]


  1. Early experiences with auranofin in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Brewer, E.J., Giannini, E.H., Person, D.A. Am. J. Med. (1983) [Pubmed]
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