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Teriparatide, a drug for brittle bones, could also treat arthritis sufferers

Published on 22/09/2011

Health insurance customers with arthritis could soon be treated with a drug used for osteoporosis, a new study has discovered.

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, affects about 6 million people in the UK. It is caused by the breakdown of cartilage, a substance which helps our joints take the strain of bending and moving.

There is currently no cure for arthritis, and treatment aims to ease the pain of the bones rubbing together. Surgery is often used to replace the joint, but the artificial replacement only lasts around 10 to 15 years.

However, scientists from the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York State have discovered that teriparatide, a drug to treat brittle bones, thickened damaged knee joints by almost a third in lab tests.

In the study, published in the journal of Science Translational Medicine, teriparatide was given daily to mice with arthritic knees. After a month, the cartilage in the joints was over 30 per cent thicker.

The drug also suppressed the production of genes and molecules associated with the degeneration of cartilage.

Research was also carried out on arthritis patients taking teriparatide for osteoporosis, who found it easier to move the joint.

The researchers are hopeful that with further studies, the drug could be used to treat arthritis as well as osteoporosis.

Professor Phil Conaghan, of Arthritis Research UK, said:

We welcome anything that helps to treat osteoarthritis and that reduces the pain and suffering of the six million people in the UK that are affected by this debilitating condition.

Private medical cover holders often have access to cutting edge drugs and treatments not available on the NHS. Compare health insurance policies online with ActiveQuote now to make sure you are covered in the future.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  HealthMedical
Teriparatide, a drug for brittle bones, could also treat arthritis sufferers Health insurance customers with arthritis could soon be treated with a drug used for osteoporosis, a new study has discovered. Osteo    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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