Osteoarthritis Cure And Treatment Coming Closer To Reality
A cure for osteoarthritis, a painful degenerative joint disease — affecting mostly seniors, may be very near. Currently, 30 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis.
Duke University researchers looked at three molecules, called microRNAs, shared by three animals with regenerative capabilities. They found them in human cartilage as well, with the highest amounts in the ankle and the lowest counts in the hip.
There is a strong correlation of the amount microRNA with the age of the proteins. They are important for the natural cartilage repair responses that exist in human cartilage.
These regenerative microRNA might be injected into joints to boost the natural repair responses of cartilage.
Their hypothesis comes from observing the regenerative capabilities of the salamander.
When a salamander’s foot is repeatedly lost, it can regenerate that numerous times, but if the limb is lost up closer to the hip, it’s much harder to regenerate it repeatedly. It appears that this mechanism and capability may also exist in humans.
Osteoarthritis is expected to affect at least 130 millionpeople worldwide by 2050, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Currently, there is no treatment to stop the progression of the disease. Symptoms are typically managed with medication, physical therapy and surgery.
Regenerative microRNA might be injected into joints to boost the natural repair responses of cartilage. The next step is to start preclinical trials and test for the ability of the microRNA to block natural arthritis as well as that caused by injuries.
Establishing this type of treatment will mean that senior citizens no longer have to accept joint pain as the natural aging process.