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A miracle jab that could ease the misery of arthritis for millions of sufferers has been developed by scientists.
The breakthrough may reduce the need for hip and knee replacement surgery that cost the NHS more than £1 billion a year.
Protein - Cartilage - Generation - Reduces - Inflammation
It is based on a protein that boosts cartilage generation and reduces inflammation of joints.
Experiments on rats and human cells were so successful human trials are now being planned.
Researchers - Keck - School - Medicine - University
Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, claim it opens the door to a patient with arthritis forgoing an operation in favour of an injection.
Dr Denis Evseenko, study author, said: 'The goal is to make an injectable therapy for an early to moderate level of arthritis.'
Hope - People - UK - Osteoarthritis - Cartilage
It offers hope to more than eight million people in the UK with osteoarthritis - when the cartilage becomes thin. It is the leading cause of joint pain and stiffness.
Offers new hope
Medications - Pain - Side - Effects - Stomach
Until now, medications have been designed only to help relieve pain but these have side effects including stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and even stroke.
The new therapy could be a game changer in the treatment of the condition.
Inflammatory - Disorders - Arthritis
It also has the potential to treat other painful inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The procedure involves injecting a small molecule into a joint.
Dr - Evseenko - Colleagues - Regeneration - Inflammation
Dr Evseenko and colleagues discovered it enhances cartilage regeneration while decreasing inflammation.
They are optimistic after 'auspicious early results' that have been reported in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.
What have studies shown?
After application to joint cartilage cells in the laboratory, they proliferated more and died less.
Knees - Rats - Cartilage - Animals - Heal
And when injected into the knees of rats with damaged cartilage, the animals could more effectively heal...
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