“There are innovative drugs that if given in time can improve the quality of life, it is a pity that for a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis patients have to wait even 7-8 years. And without an early diagnosis, it is impossible to put the disease, it is impossible to achieve clinical remission without intervening on the waiting lists “. Silvia Tonolo, president of Anmar (National Association of Rheumatic Diseases Onlus, 21 regional offices and 20 thousand associates), knows well the 40 thousand Italian patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory joint disease which, if not adequately treated, causes a progressive stiffening of the spine vertebral with forced flexion of the neck and inability to flex the spine. “Those who think that this disease is the prerogative of the elderly are wrong – says Tonolo – Indeed, it affects mainly young people, from 25 years onwards. And the age of patients in full working and social activity should make us reflect on the importance of remission . Although it indicates an improvement, clinical remission is never a sign of recovery, it can be transient and has a variable duration. But if managed well, with full cooperation between the patient, general practitioner and rheumatologist, remission allows the patient to have a good quality of life. Of course, the patient must respect the therapeutic adherence, practice physical activity, follow the advice of the rheumatologist to put the disease in quiescence, therefore pain, stiffness, motor difficulties and, consequently , sleep disorders “. However, for rheumatic patients, “even today, unfortunately, remission is an unknown word – underlines the president Anmar – because it is rarely treated by her own doctor. Not only is it little used in clinics, but there is no trace either. on social networks. The patients themselves are not aware of the meaning of remission and of the positive effects it can have on the quality of life. It is in fact one of those words that brings hope. But if the diagnosis is reached even after 8 years, this it means that the patient can access the latest generation therapies even after 2 years from the ascertainment of the pathology. A very long time “. The clinical aspects of ankylosing spondylitis, and the related treatments now available to patients to achieve clinical remission, are in these days at the center of the meeting Eular20211 (European League Against Rheumatism), the annual Congress of Rheumatology scheduled from 2 to 5 June, broadcast in stre aming because of the coronavirus. For the president of Anmar, first of all we need to pay attention to the alarm bells. “Never underestimate – Tonolo warns – a pain in a foot, rather than in the elbow or shoulder. Even the pharmacist can play a fundamental role in the early diagnosis of rheumatic diseases, because when the patient goes to the pharmacy driven by chronic pain, taking for months drugs such as anti-inflammatory or painkillers, it is appropriate to intervene and suggest a rheumatologist specialist “.