Tuesday February 27th, 2024
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Ancient Egyptian Skeleton Unveils Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Case

Examinations of available written and visual records revealed no distinct evidence of the condition in ancient Egyptian remains until this discovery.

Cairo Scene

A groundbreaking discovery by the Aswan-Kom Ombo Archaeological Project (AKAP) has unearthed an ancient Egyptian skeleton with one of the earliest known cases of rheumatoid arthritis in the region. The research, published in the International Journal of Paleopathology, sheds new light on the history and understanding of the disease.

Examinations of available written and visual records revealed no distinct evidence of the condition in ancient Egyptian remains until this discovery.

Archaeological evidence suggests ancient Egyptians were aware of the condition. Dr. Abdel-Monem Said, General Director of Aswan Antiquities, noted, "While no written records explicitly mentioning rheumatoid arthritis have been found, depictions of deformed hands and feet might hint at its recognition."

Co-directors of the AKAP mission, Dr. Maria Carmela Gatto and Dr. Antonio Corsi, meticulously examined the skeleton. "Analysis revealed distinctive erosive lesions, indicating the individual likely experienced aches, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joints," they explained.

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