Scientist Find A New Treatment For Arthritis

· November 24, 2016
Inflammation of the bones is usually attributed to old age. Even so, arthritis can appear at any moment.

Symptoms like chronic pain or deformation of the skeletal structure can affect you from the moment arthritis appears, even if you’re 20 years old. This is not an issue only for the elderly, it happen to all of us regardless of our age. Which is why it’s extremely important to continue the search for an effective treatment for arthritis.

When you suffer from this affliction, it complicates carrying on a normal life. Chronic pain is difficult to put up with. Furthermore, when it is an acute case, there are patients who end up developing very complex cases of anxiety and depression.

This occurs because, besides the physical consequences of arthritis, few people understand the illness. Therefore, afflicted people turn inward with a sentiment of solitude that brings a feeling of deep sadness along. Their mental condition gets worse when they know that no cure exists.

Even though they haven’t found a definitive solution, scientists have discovered a new potential treatment to protect the joints of people who suffer from arthritis. This method may help lower the inflammation and increase the quality of life of people that live with this condition every day.

This study was published in the magazine Science Translational Medicine.

A novelty treatment for a better quality of life

A doctor holding the hand of an elderly patient

The usual protocol when diseases are discovered is to prescribe medication. At the same time, doctors recommend complementing medications with alternative therapies.

The most popular therapies are homeopathy, meditation, applying heat or cold, acupuncture or massages. All of these help to reduce the pain, but in rare occasions, the pain completely disappears.

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The team of scientists from the university in London have made a step forward with this new treatment to protect the joints of patients with arthritis.

Until the presentation of their study, it was impossible to get to the cartilage where the problem resides. Despite that, this group of investigators have made the path easier.

They got there thanks to “exosomes” which move through the cells until they arrive at the cartilage. The wonderful vehicle, exosomes are very small sub-cellular structures.

Normal joints versus joints that are affected by arthritis

These make up part of the cellular membranes and contain a fluid. The wonderful thing is that they’re usually in the leukocytes that accumulate in the inflamed joints of people who live with arthritis.

In this sense, the white blood cells bring the aforementioned structures and their more than 300 proteins to the cartilage to protect it.

The new arthritis treatment still has a margin of improvement

Different joints affected by arthritis

The new therapy was tried on rats with great success. After that, the London team affirmed that the opportunities they’ve opened with the therapy are numerous.

The next step will be to include other components in the exosomes, like omega 3, to enrich the coverage.

According to Stephen Simpson, the director of the Arthritis Research UK, and co-author of the study, the discovery will bring us to design the most efficient treatments that we’ve never seen before and that will make a great difference.

Another thing is outlining the advantage of the convenience in application. Patients barely need a day in the hospital in order to complete the transfusion.

Afterwards, they can return to their homes and continue with their lives without any impediments. The content introduced will rehabilitate the bones.

They’re trying to come up with a strategy that’s focused in getting rid of constant pain and repairing the bones.

Because of that, we’re standing before a revolutionary innovation which would design the precursor for the creation of a new, curative solution.

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To achieve that, they have to deal with an important element: they’re still missing clinical human trials. They hope the results will be as positive as those obtained with lab rats.

Illustration of joint pain caused by arthritis

Hope at the end of the tunnel

If they reach their expectations, we will be very close to eliminating a sickness that affects millions of people and makes their lives difficult.

This study shows the benefits of invention and innovation in health.

The findings are not only good for those who are sick, but also translate into savings for healthcare systems. After all, this means that it will be much easier to attack and eradicate pains.

Headland, S. E., Jones, H. R., Norling, L. V., Kim, A., Souza, P. R., Corsiero, E., … Perretti, M. (2015). Neutrophil-derived microvesicles enter cartilage and protect the joint in inflammatory arthritis. Science Translational Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5608

Kato, T., Miyaki, S., Ishitobi, H., Nakamura, Y., Nakasa, T., Lotz, M. K., & Ochi, M. (2014). Exosomes from IL-1β stimulated synovial fibroblasts induce osteoarthritic changes in articular chondrocytes. Arthritis Research and Therapy. https://doi.org/10.1186/ar4679