Dorothy Hodgkin by Maggi Hambling. Commissioned, 1985

On display at the National Portrait Gallery

 

Dorothy Crowfoot-Hodgkin

Egypt 1910 - 1994 Edinburgh (d. 84) British Crystallographer

She was born in Cairo, Egypt, of English parents. Her father, John Winter Crowfoot, worked for the Egyptian Educational Service; her mother, the former Grace Mary Hood (known as Molly), was an expert on ancient textiles. During Molly's last years she was often bed-ridden as she battled, first, childhood tuberculosis and then leukaemia.

They moved Dorthy to England when World War I broke out. At the age of 18, she started studying Chemistry at the University of Oxford (Somerville College). In 1932 Hodgkin was awarded a first-class honors degree at the University of Oxford, as the third woman ever to achieve this. At the age of 24, she began experiencing pain in her hands and was diagnosed as having Rheumatoid Arthritis. She continued her studies and received her Ph.D. in 1937 for her work on Cholesterol using crystallography. By interpreting X-ray photographs of crystals, Dorothy also worked out the three-dimensional structure of the complex molecules of Penicillin, Vitamin B12, Insulin (which helped scientists understand how insulin functions), and enabled the discovery of the Genetic Code . Her work in Chemistry won a Nobel Prize in 1964.

Dorothy Hodgkin retired in 1977.  Leaving 3 children and her husband, she suffered a stroke and died in 1994 but continues to be published today. Read More: A, B, C, D,E

 

 Anemia

  • Anemias caused by nutritional deficiencies such as ironfolate, vitamin B12, chronic infection or inflammation, and/or hemoglobin abnormalities (hemoglobinopathies) that result in abnormally shapes or sizes of RBCs.(1)
  • Infections, certain drugs, toxins, and cancer can affect the bone marrow, resulting in anemia.  VirScan can detect the 206 virus species known to infect humans and more than 1,000 known virus strains just by testing a small amount of blood.
  • Aplastic anemia – a defect in a stem cell or injury to the bone marrow results in the loss of cell precursors (usually the type that develops into RBCs). Some cases of aplastic anemias are caused by radiation or exposure to chemicals such as benzene or certain drugs. A few are due to rare genetic abnormalities such as Fanconi anemia or associated with an acute viral illness such as human parvovirus. The cause is unknown for about half of the cases.
  • Some types of anemia are caused by a deficiency or dysfunction of erythropoietin, a hormone produced by the kidneys that stimulates the bone marrow to produce RBCs. A lack of erythropoietin can lead to decreased red cell production by the bone marrow.
 

Can Vitamin B12 deficiency cause arthritis?

Too little vitamin B-12 can cause exhaustion, cognitive difficulties, nerve damage and anemia. B12 is bound to animal protein, its activity is retained during the cooking of most foods.  B12 must be released from this protein by pepsin - a digestive enzyme in the stomach. 

  • Taking vitamin B12 orally in combination with folic acid, and sometimes with vitamin B6, can reduce serum concentrations of homocysteine - an amino acid found at high levels in people with RA.
  • produces neurological abnormalities that develop much later then anemia.  These involve progressive neuropathy ( nerve degeneration), with nerve demyelination.  Symptoms include:  Numbness, tingling and burning sensation in the feet.  Generalized weakened of the legs.  Changes occur slowly, and often once the patients experience the symptoms, they are irreversible
  • Insufficient cobalamin (B12) slows regeneration of tetrahydrofolate and traps folate in a form that is not usable by the body. This can often be corrected with higher doses of folate but can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency, so vitamin B12 is almost always given when folate is supplemented.
    If you decide to supplement with folate, avoid synthetic folic acid. Instead, you should take a biologically active form of folate (methylfolate).  Some people have a genetic mutations in the enzyme that produces l-methylfolate in the body; folic acid is a waste and can actually cause harm if you have this genetic mutation. Read More om B12

 

Folate, Folic acid (Vitamin B9)
  • plays an important role in maintaining healthy digestive system, hair, skin, kidneys and eyes.
  • Methotrexate (MTX), widely used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inhibits dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and folate-dependent enzymes. Thymidylate synthase (TS) and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) are key enzymes in the folate metabolism and both have been shown to be polymorphic affecting the enzyme activity.(1)   
  • Folinic acid is a vitamer for folic acid, and has the full vitamin activity of this vitamin. Folinic acid is sometimes used to reduce the side effects of methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis, and chemotherapy patients. It is used in combination with the chemotherapy agent 5-fluorouracil in treating colon cancer. In this case, folinic acid enhances the effect of 5-fluorouracil by inhibiting thymidylate synthase.
  • Folinic acid is also sometimes used to prevent toxic effects of high doses of antimicrobial dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors such as trimethoprim and pyrimethamine. It may be prescribed in the treatment of toxoplasmosis retinitis, in combination with the folic acid antagonists pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine. Research has suggested a role for folinic acid in the treatment of anxiety and depression in people with a variant of the MTHFR gene.
Can RA cause low iron?
  • When you have an RA flare-up, the immune response causes inflammation in the joints and other tissues. Chronic inflammation can lower the production of red blood cells in your bone marrow.
  • NSAID-induced enteropathy is associated with occult or overt GI bleeding, resulting in iron-deficiency anemia. In CE, ulcerations and erosions are found commonly in patients taking NSAIDs. 4,5,6,7 Kameda et al. 46 reported that NSAID-induced  enteropathy was the most common etiology of obscure GI bleeding.(1)

B9
Folate
Folic Acid

Folate - Insufficient cobalamin (B12) slows regeneration of tetrahydrofolate and traps folate in a form that is not usable by the body. This can often be corrected with higher doses of folate but can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency, so vitamin B12 is almost always given when folate is supplemented.
If you decide to supplement with folate, avoid synthetic folic acid. Instead, you should take a biologically active form of folate (methylfolate).  Some people have a genetic mutations in the enzyme that produces l-methylfolate in the body; folic acid is a waste and can actually cause harm if you have this genetic mutation. 
Methotrexate (MTX), widely used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inhibits dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and folate-dependent enzymes. Thymidylate synthase (TS) and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) are key enzymes in the folate metabolism and both have been shown to be polymorphic affecting the enzyme activity.(1)   

B1

 Vitamin B1 is one of the eight water-soluble B vitamins. it plays an essential role in the production of energy from food, the conduction of nerve impulses and synthesis of nucleic acids.

B2

  The main functions of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) are connected to its role as a helper the body to convert vitamin B6 and vitamin B9 into active forms, neutralize ‘free radicals’ that can damage cells and produce energy converting food into glucose.  As a result, a deficiency can affect the entire body, leading to low energy, weight gain, and skin and thyroid problems.  Lower levels of vitamin B2 have been found in people with depression, so giving them psychiatric medications can actually make them feel worse in the long run.

B3

  Vitamin B3 is one of the water-soluble B vitamins. It is also known as niacin (nicotinic acid) and plays an important role in the disease risk reduction of diseases like Cancer and Diabetes.  B3 is depleted by Antidepressant medication.

B5

  Health Benefits of Vitamin B5 include cholesterol and triglycerides reduction in the blood, the acceleration of wound healing -especially following surgery- and help with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

B6

   Vitamin B6 is a key nutrient that boosts mood, deepens sleep, and supports your entire nervous system. Vitamin B6 is commonly referred to as pyridoxine. It is responsible for creating serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain and plays a key role in synthesizing antibodies and forming red blood cells.

B9

Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is essential for the proper functioning of the body and healthy living. It plays an important role in maintaining healthy digestive system, hair, skin, kidneys and eyes.

B17

The daily recommended intake for an adult is 30 micrograms (µg), but many biotin supplements marketed for beauty reasons contain much higher doses, ranging from 5,000 µg to 10,000 µg. And some new studies even suggest that mega doses of biotin (100,000 µg to 300,000 µg) could be used to treat diseases, such as neurodegenerative disorders like multiple sclerosis.  Most of the published research on biotin interference covers hormone tests, such as parathyroid hormone (PTH)thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)T4 and T3 tests, as well as tests for troponin. However, because biotin is used in so many immunoassays, scientists say it could interfere with many others.  Excess biotin in patients' blood samples can interfere with types of tests called immunoassays because many use biotin as part of the testing methodology which is why this information should be revealed when blood is tested..

Headache This is a result of disturbances in some part of the body. Treatments for migraines include the entire Vitamin B complex for health of the nerves.

 

 

 

The pathogenesis of anemia in rheumatoid arthritis

 

 Jennifer Doudna, one of the discoverers of the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR, is the subject of a new biography.

Jennifer Anne Doudna is an American biochemist known for her pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing, for which she was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Emmanuelle Charpentier.

Jennifer Doudna, professor of molecular and cell biology, is the 2014 recipient of the Lurie Prize in the Biomedical Sciences from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. February 6, 2014 New insight into an emerging genome-editing tool