Scientists at the William Harvey Research Institute, London say drugs that mimic the action of the protein would reduce the damage to joints. An estimated half a million people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis in Britain; the majority are women over 30. Many sufferers rely on full-time care. Liz Hunt
New treatments for arthritis are possible after scientists identified a naturally occurring protein which can "switch off" the inflammation leading to the destruction of bones and cartilage.