Potential Biomarker for Osteoarthritis
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Growing up in the south, one tends to hear the older generation talk about “Arthur.” But, the “Arthur” they’re speaking of is not a person at all.
Osteoarthritis is caused by the normal aging process or wear and tear of the joints. It is the most common form of arthritis and it afflicts an estimated 27 million Americans aged 25 and older.
For the first time, researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital have identified two molecules that hold promise as a biomarker for measuring cartilage damage associated with osteoarthritis. Gary Gibson, Ph.D., director of Henry Ford's Bone and Joint Center and his colleagues examined two molecules found in the blood called non-coding RNAs. They believe that these two molecules were associated with mild cartilage damage in 30 patients who were one year removed from reconstruction surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injury. "Our results suggest we have identified a long-awaited biomarker for this leading cause of disability," said Gibson.
"For various pathology reasons associated with the variability of the disease and challenging blood biochemistry, developing a biomarker for osteoarthritis has been very elusive. But we believe our work shows great promise” said Gibson.
Gibson’s and his colleagues’ discovery is considered extremely significant in the ongoing and tedious search of biomarkers for osteoarthritis. “The next step is to expand the number of patients studied and determine whether the degree in blood concentration can determine if the cartilage damage will worsen over time,” Gibson was also quoted as saying.
"Our ultimate goal is to develop a biomarker that can be used in the development of future treatments to prevent the progression of the disease," he added.
SOURCE: annual Orthopaedic Research Society in San Francisco, February, 2012