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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Hope for new osteoarthritis treatment

Wednesday March 5th, 2014

Researchers say they may have found a new way to treat the pain suffered by people with osteoarthritis.

The Nottingham University researchers have been searching for effective drugs that tackle a protein called TRPV1.

The protein was identified some time ago as being involved in pain.

But trials of drugs designed to tackle it have also led to patients suffering from overheating of the body.

The Nottingham researchers believe the drugs could be injected directly into diseased joints, reducing pain in the joints while not affecting the rest of the body.

They have reported their findings in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases after testing their theory in laboratory conditions.

Researcher Dr Sara Kelly, a neuroscientist, said: "Osteoarthritis is a very common disease and the pain it causes is severe and can last a life time.

"A lot of patients who suffer with osteoarthritis are elderly and it would be better if we could treat their pain by giving them a drug, rather than putting them through a major surgical procedure like a joint replacement."

The findings were welcomed by the medical director of Arthritis Research UK Professor Alan Silman.

He said: "We desperately need new approaches to treating the pain of osteoarthritis. For some years this particular pathway has shown potential as a means by which osteoarthritic pain may be transmitted, but until now attempts at blocking this pathway have caused unacceptable side-effects.

"This research seems to suggest it might be possible to overcome this and to provide a novel and effective approach to targeting osteoarthritis."

Increased function of pronociceptive TRPV1 at the level of the joint in a rat model of osteoarthritis pain. Annals of Rheumatic Diseases 23 October 2013 [abstract]

Tags: Pain Relief | Pharmaceuticals | Rheumatology | UK News

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