If you have arthritis, chances are your doctor gave you a prescription for an opioid pain medication at some point. Opioids are effective at relieving pain, including post-surgical pain, and for some people who live with chronic pain from arthritis or other conditions, they are one part of managing that condition.
It is with sadness that the Arthritis Foundation notes the passing of Dr. Stephen Katz, who presided over the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) as Director of the Institute since 1995.
What if injured joints could heal themselves before they develop osteoarthritis (OA)? Dr. James Martin’s current 3-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Engineering Endogenous Cartilage Repair,” is trying to do just that- find ways to help joints heal before developing OA.
Dr. Martin and his team use special goats that have defects in areas of the thigh bones and cartilage, just above the knee. This closely mimics knee injuries that are seen in humans. The defects are surgically repaired with a hydrogel matrix that contains two important ingredients: repair cell attractant and growth factor. The repair cell attractant causes repair cells, called chondrogenic progenitor cells (CPCs), to migrate into the hydrogel. CPCs naturally occur in the cartilage. The growth factor, which is time-released over 10 days, causes the CPCs in the hydrogel to multiply and repair the injury with new cartilage.
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. James Martin
In February, we reported on Dr. Farshid Guilak’s current Arthritis Foundation-funded trailblazing project, “Engineering New Biologic Therapies for Arthritis.”
Dr. Guilak’s work is published in the journal Stem Cell Reports. The paper, entitled “Genome engineering of stem cells for autonomously regulated, closed-loop delivery of biologic drugs,” describes the research team’s method of engineering (reprogramming) stem cells to become “smart stem cells” that will sense inflammation and deliver biologic drugs where they are most needed. The smart stem cells-biologic drug combination is then injected into an arthritic joint.
Continue reading Arthritis Foundation Investigator Developing Arthritis Vaccine
Up to half of patients treated with the arthritis drug hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) are prescribed more than the recommended maximum amount, according to new research. In separate studies, Canadian and U.S. researchers found that 30 to 50 percent of patients didn’t receive the dose outlined in treatment guidelines; a smaller percentage didn’t get recommended eye exams.
Continue reading Wrong Hydroxychloroquine Dose Is Common, Putting Eyes at Risk
More than 54 million adults in the United States have some form of arthritis and, for nearly half of them, the pain, stiffness and joint damage make daily life harder, according to a new report released in early March by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While the report notes that the prevalence of arthritis has not changed significantly since 2002, it does highlight a 20 percent jump in the percentage of people who have arthritis-attributable limitations in activities – that is, trouble with simple tasks such as lifting a grocery bag or walking a few blocks.
Continue reading More Americans Report Arthritis-Related Limitations Than 15 Years Ago