Early detection of 'osteoarthritis' may allow therapy that improves joint health: Researchers

April 27, 2024
Researchers have said that early detection of "knee osteoarthritis" could provide an opportunity to arrest the disease process and restore joint health.

San Francisco, April 27 (IANS) Researchers have said that early detection of “knee osteoarthritis” could provide an opportunity to arrest the disease process and restore joint health.

This comes after a team of researchers from the US-based Duke University Medical Centre successfully predicted knee osteoarthritis via a blood test at least eight years before tell-tale signs of the disease appeared on X-rays.

In a study published in the journal Science Advances, the researchers validated the accuracy of the blood test that identifies key biomarkers of osteoarthritis.

They showed that it predicted the development of the disease, as well as its progression.

As per the study’s senior author Virginia Byers Kraus, a professor at Duke University School of Medicine, the blood test shows that “it’s possible to detect this disease much earlier than our current diagnostics permit”.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting an estimated 35 million adults in the US.

While there is currently no cure, the potential new therapies may solve it by identifying it early and slowing its progression before it becomes too late, the study mentioned.

Researchers studied a large database in the UK and analysed the serum of 200 white women.

Half of the women had been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis, while the other half did not have the disease.

The two groups were matched by body mass index and age.

They identified a few biomarkers in the blood test that successfully distinguished the women with knee osteoarthritis from those without it. These biomarkers detected molecular signals of osteoarthritis up to eight years before many of the women were diagnosed with the disease through X-ray tests.

According to Kraus, this is significant because it gives additional evidence that there are abnormalities in the joint that may be recognised by blood biomarkers long before X-rays can indicate osteoarthritis.



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