Arthritis progression explained through art of Renoir at PU

The progression of arthritis in a patient was traced through the life of the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir in a lecture delivered by Professor Pradeep Bambery from University of Queensland at Panjab University on Tuesday.

Speaking on the topic 'Living with Arthritis: A Saga of Change', Bambery, an alumni of PU presently teaching in Australia, had Vice Chancellor Arun Grover, Dean University Instructions R K Kohli and Dean Faculty of Arts B S Ghuman amongst the audience.

Renoir, who had suffered from arthritis, an inflammation of joints that causes pain and restricted movement, painted till as long as he lived though with deteriorating health apparent in his photographs and loss of detailing in his paintings. Through his life's example, Bambery explained in detail the problems of pain, stiffness and fatigue that occur in arthritis.

He explained about how the understanding and treatment of the disease had undergone a paradigm shift from the early 20th century to the present times. Mentioning the early works of Sir William Osler, the father of modern medicine, Professor Bambery discussed 'systematic exercise' as an important breakthrough in the treatment of arthritis.

Bambery said that that some cases of arthritis are believed to have an infectious trigger. "There is an inherited element in arthritis and it has an infectious trigger. Therefore, preventing infections could be one of the ways of preventing arthritis," he said. He mentioned that inactivity is a silent killer for an arthritis patient and a patient should remain active and avoid weight gain. He added, though, that the patient should choose correct exercises and within limits. Protecting the joints and good nutrition could prevent the disease, according to Bambery.

He also mentioned that the treatment and understanding of the disease has shifted from an era of procrastination, diagnostic delay and single drugs to an era of multiple drugs and better treatments. Bambery also discussed the issue of the use of steroids and corticosteroids highlighting the side-effects and that they were the commonest cause of secondary osteoporosis. However, Bambery mentioned that today, medical science is better equipped to deal with and understand the working of steroids.

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