Hope for young people with bad osteoarthritis of the hips… next
Stem Cells Could Replace Hip Replacements
Christopher Wanjek writing for Live science reported scientists have coaxed stem cells to grow new cartilage on a scaffold shaped like the ball of a hip joint. This is a major step toward being able one day to use a patient’s own cells to repair a damaged joint, thus avoiding the need for extensive joint-replacement surgery.
In addition, the scientists used gene therapy to grant this new cartilage the ability to release anti-inflammatory molecules when needed. If done in patients, this technique could help prevent a return of arthritis, if that was what damaged the joint in the first place.
The new technique may be ready to test in humans within three to five years and may ultimately work with other joints, such as knees, said Farshid Guilak, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who co-led the project.
Comment: We stopped doing stem cell procedures for hips at our center because we weren’t getting the results we wanted. While this approach looks like it might work I’m reserving judgement. The hip has a unique mechanical structure that makes any type of stem cell procedure problematic..
Sara Freeman writing in Rheumatology news reported on a study that showed that persistent knee pain is in important predictor of structural joint damage and could potentially be used to predict knee osteoarthritis earlier according to Dutch research reported at the World Congress on Osteoarthritis. The analysis found that women participating in the Rotterdam study who had knee pain on most days of the preceding month were more than 4 times more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis within 5 years on MRI than were those without frequent knee pain.
New Treatment Shows Promise for Crippling Knee Arthritis
Alan Mozes writing for Healthday reported on a small study that demonstrated that just one injection of stem cells can reduce pain and inflammation.
The idea is experimental: Extract stem cells from a patient’s own body fat — cells known for their ability to differentiate and perform any number of regenerative functions — and inject them directly into the damaged knee joint.
To explore the potential of stem cell therapy, the study authors focused on 18 French and German men and women, aged 50 to 75, all of whom had struggled with severe knee osteoarthritis for at least a year before joining the study.
Between April 2012 and December 2013, all of the patients first underwent liposuction to extract fat-derived samples of a specific type of stem cell. The researchers noted that these particular stem cells have been shown to have immune-boosting and anti-scarring properties, as well as the ability to protect against cell “stress” and death.
A third of the patients received a single “low-dose” injection of their own stem cells directly into their knee. Another third received a “medium-dose” injection, involving a little more than four times the amount of stem cells, while the remaining group received a “high-dose” injection packed with roughly five times as many stem cells as the medium-dose group.
After six months, the study team found that all three groups showed improvements in terms of pain, function and mobility.
However, only those in the low-dose group were determined to have “statistically significant” improvements in terms of both knee pain and function recovery.
Comment: this data is in keeping with other studies.
Can marijuana be useful for arthritis? Many so-called experts Say no… but new research says yes…next
Study: Cannabis Fights Arthritis-Related Cartilage Loss
Emily Gray Brocious writing in Extract reported a study published recently in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health shows that synthetic cannabinoid treatment reduces osteoarthritis-related cartilage breakdown, as reported by The Weed Blog.
The findings align with years of anecdotal evidence suggesting cannabis may fight osteoarthritis-related cartilage breakdown as well as treating pain and discomfort that typically accompany the degenerative joint disease.
Due to marijuana’s analgesic (pain relieving) and anti-inflammatory properties, it makes logical sense that the drug would act as an effective treatment option for osteoarthritis patients.
The most recent study, conducted by researchers at The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University in China’s Hunan province, provides scientific evidence to support “a novel mechanism by which cannabinoids may prevent cartilage breakdown in OA (osteoarthritis).”
Cows provide this…. And this… but they are important for another reason…next
Cells from cow knee joints used to grow new cartilage tissue in laboratory
Reported in Eurka Alert, this item from Umea Universituy…In an effort to develop a method for cartilage tissue engineering,
researchers at Umeå University in Sweden successfully used cartilage cells from cow knee joints. By creating a successful method with conditions conducive to growing healthy cartilage tissue, the findings could help lead to a new treatment cure for osteoarthritis using stem cell-based tissue engineering. This is according to a doctoral dissertation at Umeå University.