Tags: arthritis | blood | tests

Blood Test Flags Arthritis Early

Monday, 21 May 2012 12:04 PM

Scientists have identified a biomarker for arthritis that can accurately predict who will develop the painful, sometimes debilitating affliction long before symptoms and suffering begin.
The finding, reported by the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory, could improve existing early-detection test methods and allow for better treatment options.
In a report published in the Journal of Knee Surgery, the MU researchers said they developed the test by analyzing the joints of dogs that suffer from arthritis. Since canine joints operate similarly to the joints of humans, lead researcher James Cook said the test – which analyzes a single drop of blood -- is being adapted to human patients.
"Not only does the test have the potential to help predict future arthritis, but it also tells us about the early mechanisms of arthritis, which will lead to better treatments in the future," Cook said. "This test has already shown early usefulness for allowing us to monitor how different treatments affect the arthritic joints in people. With further validation, this test will allow doctors to adjust and fine tune treatments to individual patients…[and] convince patients to take preventive measures including appropriate exercise and diet change."
More than 27 million adults suffer from osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. In the past, doctors have been unable to diagnose patients with arthritis until they begin to show symptoms, which include joint pain and stiffness. By the time these symptoms are present, it is often too late for preventive and minimally invasive treatment options to be effective.
The biomarker test is in the process of gaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.

© HealthDay

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A biomarker for arthritis has been identified that may allow a blood test to predict who will develop the disease.
Monday, 21 May 2012 12:04 PM
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