Discovering a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis                                  

© 2005 Katherine Poehlmann, Ph.D.


Suppose you found out that a scientifically proven method for dealing with rheumatoid arthritis (and a few dozen other chronic illnesses) was discovered over fifty years ago? Suppose that this method effectively targets and treats the cause of the disease, not just the symptoms, and has a 30 to 40% probability for complete remission? How about a 70-80% probability of measurable reduction of symptoms? If that weren’t enough, suppose that this method were inexpensive and had minimal side effects?

Sounds too good to be true? Well, prepare to be surprised, as I was, when I began to research my own debilitating case of rheumatoid arthritis.

In 1993 I fell down some stairs and tore ligaments badly in both ankles. When the injuries didn’t heal in a reasonable time frame, my family doctor sent me to a rheumatologist, who diagnosed RA. I got a second opinion. And a third and a fourth. A battery of tests and an MRI confirmed the RA diagnosis.

The doctors prescribed powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories and told me I’d just have to live with it. Facing the prospect of life in a wheelchair, I decided to take charge of my life and health. As a professional researcher, I approached my condition as problem to be solved, gathering solid scientific data and analyzing it. One of the pivotal reference books I read was The Road Back, published in 1988 by Dr. Thomas McPherson Brown and Henry Scammell.

Dr. Brown worked with Dr. Sabin – of polio vaccine fame – in the 1940s. They documented the link between rheumatic disease and bacterial infection. This groundbreaking discovery was presented to a conference of the American Association of Rheumatologists in 1949. It was not well received. It rocked the establishment’s boat because Cortisone had just been hailed as “the answer” to a wide variety of diseases. Dr. Brown’s scientific papers were sometimes denied publication in medical journals, despite his formidable credentials as an M.D., rheumatologist, microbiologist, and Dean of Medicine at George Washington University.

Undaunted, he continued his experiments in the lab and on zoo animals, perfecting the treatment. A famous case in the 1980s involved an arthritic gorilla that was completely healed of the bacterial infection causing painful RA symptoms it had endured for years.

People reading about this miraculous recovery in the newspaper appealed to Dr. Brown to help them too. The treatment was simple: a low-dose, long-term regimen using the tetracycline family of antibiotics, notably minocycline. The treatment is the same as that given to teens with acne. Side effects are minimal: sun sensitivity, some discoloration of the teeth, and upset of the intestinal flora in the gut – the “good bacteria” needed for proper digestion. Sun sensitivity is easily countered with high SPF blocking creams, protective clothing and sun hats. A good toothpaste with whitening agents takes care of discoloration. Intestinal balance can be regained with yogurt, acidophilus, or probiotic supplements. This is very important because without that balance one can develop dysbiosis or candidiasis.

On the other hand, the side effects of Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like Prednisone are frightening. Over time, this synthetic cortisone dissolves bone tissue, leading to osteoporosis. It also results in peptic ulcers. Still, this drug is routinely prescribed for RA treatment.

Dr. Harold Clark’s 1997 book Why Arthritis? describes forty years of scientific tests, case studies, and obstacles presented by the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry to downplay the successful antibiotic treatment. Dr. Clark was Dr. Brown’s lab manager, a prominent microbiologist who still writes for scientific journals. He heads the Mycoplasma Research Institute in Florida. An updated version of Dr. Brown’s book is The New Arthritis Breakthrough (1998) by Henry Scammell.

Dr. Brown’s regimen is not a magic bullet. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s certainly worth a try. Sadly, the medical establishment still considers this treatment controversial after 50 years of solid scientific evidence and thousands of success stories reported by many enlightened M.D.s

Once the bacterial infection is brought under control and your immune system is revitalized to take over, you can stop the antibiotics. For some people, the treatment takes months or years. The regimen applies to RA, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, MS, and many other diseases characterized by joint pain, inflammation, and chronic fatigue.

The Internet can put you in touch with arthritis support groups. Research sites give you the information you need to take charge of your health. Some sites give the names of doctors who will apply Dr. Brown’s antibiotic therapy, for instance, the Arthritis Center of Riverside.

Fortunately, there are a growing number of medical doctors willing to listen to Dr. Brown’s message of hope and work with their patients to cure their illness instead of just treating symptoms.




Dr. Poehlmann is the author of Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Infection Connection, available at and major bookstores, or click here to order now.


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