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Bristol researchers developing new blood tests to diagnose osteoarthritis


Are we getting closer to a cure for osteoarthritis… next…

Bristol researchers developing new blood tests to diagnose osteoarthritis

Researchers at the University of Bristol are hoping to develop new blood tests that would help to diagnose and monitor the common joint condition, osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis, which occurs when cartilage at the ends of bones wears away, leading to stiff, swollen and painful joints. There is currently little effective treatment other than painkillers and joint replacement for patients with most severe disease.

Now a team led by Dr Mohammed Sharif, Senior Lecturer in the School of Clinical Sciences, have been awarded almost £300,000 by medical research charity Arthritis Research UK to find out if two new biomarkers (specific physical traits used to measure or indicate the effects or progress of a disease) found in the blood of patients with osteoarthritis can be used not only to diagnose the condition but also inform doctors which patients are likely to get worse over time, and who is likely to benefit from specific treatments.

At present there are no simple tests for the early diagnosis of osteoarthritis, and usually by the time a definitive diagnosis is made using x-rays, the disease is in its advanced stages. Moreover, there are currently no means of predicting how it will develop or respond to therapy. Biomarkers could be used to identify patients in the early stages of osteoarthritis or those who will worsen over time, but current biomarkers are not good enough to perform these tasks reliably.

”There’s an urgent need to find new and better biomarkers, and we’ve now identified two that are likely to prove useful for diagnosis and monitoring of osteoarthritis,” explained Dr Sharif.

”However, we need to be sure they will be good enough for use in an individual patient. Therefore in this research project we hope to find out whether they can reliably distinguish between a healthy person and a person with osteoarthritis, identify which patients’ condition will get worse, and whether a particular drug is working or not.”

Osteoarthritis-specific biomarkers will enable doctor to direct specific treatment options such as physiotherapy towards those patients most likely to benefit, and may also help to identify early who will require a joint replacement.

Comment: I think it looks pretty promising

For other great videos on osteoarthritis, click here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URS5SYG

Can Osteoarthritis Be Treated With Light?

Can osteoarthritis be treated with light?

Is treating osteoarthritis with light helpful?  Michael Hamblin from the Massachusetts General Hospital discussed the results of a recent article. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) is an alternative approach with no known side effects and with reports of substantial therapeutic efficacy in osteoarthritis. In the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy, Alves and colleagues used a rat model of osteoarthritis produced by intra-articular injection of the cartilage-degrading enzyme papain to test 810-nm LLLT.  A single application of LLLT produced significant reductions in inflammatory cell infiltration and inflammatory cytokines 24 hours later.  A lower laser power was more effective than a higher laser power.  However, more work is necessary before the title question can be answered in the affirmative.

Comment: No apparent side effects but will it work in people?

For more information on complementary therapies for arthritis, click this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci7TfgpVDCQ

 

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