More than 30 million people in the United States currently suffer from osteoarthritis. Although osteoarthritis is usually found in the joints and cartilage of the hands, knees, and hips, it can affect many other areas as well, including the spine. It is a progressive, degenerative condition, and the most common form of arthritis.
Since there is no cure for osteoarthritis, the best treatment doctors can currently offer is a plan for managing this painful, chronic condition. Recently, however, new research, published in The Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, suggests that a method for treating osteoarthritis may have been found.
The researchers began by intensely studying the molecule microRNA-181a-5p. In previous research they established that this molecule causes inflammation, a breakdown of cartilage, and depletion of collagen in the body. As researcher Dr. Mohit Kapoor put it, “MicroRNA-181a-5p plays a critical role in the destruction of the joints.”
In the current study, the team focused on a novel idea for developing a blocking agent to offset the effects of this destructive molecule. They began by looking at the effects of nucleic acid-antisense oligonucleotides, LNA-ASO, focusing particularly on the specific blocker known as “LNA-miR-181a-5p ASO,” after finding it to be particularly effective.
According to Dr. Kapoor, the research provided the first evidence that “intra-articular injection of in vivo grade LNA-miR-181a-5p ASO can attenuate cartilage degeneration.” When injected directly into joints, the blocker haled the destructive activity caused by microRNA-181-5p, thereby halting cartilage degeneration.
Dr. Kapoor further stated, “The blocker we’ve tested is ‘disease-modifying.’ It has the ability to prevent further joint destruction in both knee and spine. This is extremely important because there are currently no drugs or treatments available to patients that can stop osteoarthritis. Current treatments for osteoarthritis address only the symptoms, such as pain, but are unable to stop the progression of the disease.”
The next stage of research will include human clinical trials. The team’s goal is to determine the precise dosage of the blocking molecule required to offset the destructive effects of microRNA-181a-5p. It is also essential to find safe and effective ways to inject the blocking molecule into the joints of those suffering from osteoarthritis.
The research team concluded that finding a safe and effective way to inject this blocker into patients would be a “game changer” for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Until this treatment is approved, you cannot find a better place to manage osteoarthritis than Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ. We take a restorative approach, maximizing function and mobility in a positive and upbeat atmosphere.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.