| arthritis

Early Osteoarthritis Tracking through Disease Markers

Targeting, Preventing, Improving, Monitoring OA

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive disease and the earlier it’s diagnosed the better. In an effort to better manage OA, top experts are targeting improved diagnostic abilities, the monitoring of disease progression, and examining all options for treatment. Rheumatologists are looking at the possible prevention of disease onset by exploring the over 80 identified genetic contributors to osteoarthritis. Virginia Byers Kraus, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine, pathology, and orthopedic surgery at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, noted that many of the 80 genetic contributors to OA cause “changes in growth factors, supporting a view that in part, osteoarthritis is a failure to adequately repair ongoing daily joint damage.”

As for OA treatments, Dr. Kraus commented, “We have been working on [the study of] regenerative microRNA that humans share with limb-regenerating salamanders.” MicroRNA is in all living cells and involved in regulating the ways genes express themselves. They may boost the regenerative ability of the human joint and offer the potential to reverse existing disease damage. The experts involved in this study hope to lessen OA’s progression, or prevent it. At the very least, this study could lead to improved management and treatment.


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Holly Caster