Ayurvedic Concepts Used to Develop Novel Disease Activity Indicator for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ayurvedic Concepts Used to Develop Novel Disease Activity Indicator for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Researchers have conducted a study to explore the correlation between Ayurvedic concepts and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), aiming to enhance knowledge and improve care for RA patients. The study focused on the concept of amavata in Ayurveda, which closely resembles RA in clinical manifestations. The objective was to develop and validate an ama score, based on constitutional features described in Ayurvedic literature, as a disease activity indicator for RA.

The study consisted of two parts: the development and textual validation of the ama assessment instrument (AAI), followed by its clinical testing. The AAI comprised ten items, each assigned a range of scores to align with patient observations. The score obtained through AAI was statistically and clinically tested on a group of 79 randomly selected RA/amavata patients for validity and reliability. The correlation between the AAI score, Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS-28), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) was assessed.

The results showed a slight correlation between the AAI score and ESR, as well as between the AAI score and DAS-28. However, the AAI score emerged as an independent disease status marker, capturing changes in the study population more accurately over time compared to DAS-28 or ESR. Significant differences in ama scores were observed when comparing different follow-up periods, indicating the AAI's ability to reflect disease activity related to constitutional and gastrointestinal aspects in patients. Additionally, a decrease in ama score corresponded to reported improvements by patients, suggesting that changes in ama score can reflect changes in disease status and the impact of the disease on the patient.


In conclusion, this study introduces a quantitative measure for the abstract concept of ama, which can be utilized as a disease activity indicator in amavata or RA. The change in ama-based scores can help assess disease status and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. The findings suggest considering the inclusion of AAI in the composite score for RA to enhance the dynamic identification of disease activity. The study was published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine and is available under an open access license.


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