Genetics of Osteoarthritis
Posted March 5, 2013
SCIENTISTS in the NorthEast are to carry out further research
into the genetic origins of osteoarthritis, following their major
breakthrough last year.
John Loughlin, professor of musculoskeletal research and research
fellow Dr Louise Reynard, from Newcastle University, have been
awarded four grants with a combined value of more than
[pounds]730,000 from medical research charity Arthritis Research UK.
Their group will carry out a detailed study of the most
significant genetic regions to emerge from the world's biggest study
into osteoarthritis, also funded by Arthritis Research UK.
The arcOGEN study, led by Professor Loughlin, which was published
in Th Lancet last year, discovered eight genetic regions associated
with the cause of osteoarthritis - a major breakthrough in
determining the genetic basis of osteoarthritis.
The research group will now carry out a further more detailed
investigation in several of these highly-significant genetic
In one of a number of related strands of research, they will
investigate which genes in the region are active in the joints and
are likely to be the culprits harbouring the genetic changes that
influence the risk of osteoarthritis.
They will look for unusual activity in joint tissues, recording
subtle effects and DNA changes within the genes.
"We hope that it will reveal DNA targets for future therapies, "
said Professor Loughlin.
Osteoarthritis affects about eight million people in the UK,
causing pain and disability, and there is no cure.
Treatments for early osteoarthritis are limited to non-surgical
options such as pain killers and physiotherapy until joint
replacement becomes a viable option.
Osteoarthritis is a complex disorder with both environmental and
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