On Corriere Salute: all the strategies to combat osteoarthritis

We are publishing a preview of an article in the new Corriere Salute. You can read the full text on the issue at newsstands for free on Thursday 17 September or in Pdf on the Digital Edition of the «Corriere della Sera».

Rewinding the tape, going back to when, younger, moving was no problem and there was no hindrance or pain in the joints. It is the dream of those suffering from osteoarthritis and, according to initial data collected from animal experiments, perhaps in the future it could come true: a study recently published in Protein & Cell by researchers from the Californian Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, it shows that two proteins produced in our body (alpha-KLOTHO and the receptor for TGF-beta) and involved in the synthesis of cartilage, if injected into joints with arthrosis, can repair the damage due to disease.

The cartilage pad

Between the bones that “meet” in every joint of the body there is in fact a sort of cartilage bearing which serves to cushion the friction between them: arthrosis is the consequence of the wear of this bearing which, according to the results of Californian study, however, could return to normal thanks to the two proteins, which in addition to regressing osteoarthritis also seem to be able to prevent the disease from recurring. The results were obtained in mice and, although they have been confirmed on cultured human cartilage cells, much testing will be needed before using this approach in the clinic.

Prevention

In the meantime, we must aim for prevention, since today there is no way to solve arthrosis once it has developed. This pathology, which complicates the days of millions of Italians and is among the most widespread chronic conditions, is the result of mechanical alterations to which numerous factors contribute, as explained by Antonio Marchetta, director of the rheumatology service of the Irccs Sacro Cuore Hospital in Negrar di Valpolicella (Vr) and national councilor of the Italian Rheumatologists College (CReI): «There is not a single cause of osteoarthritis, many elements contribute to altering the balance of the joints. It is a mechanical-degenerative pathology and therefore anything that alters the load on the joints can hurt, first of all the excess weight: weight overload leads to greater stress on the cartilage, which gradually thins. Traumas also have negative effects, as do mechanical stresses linked to work activities in which you spend a lot of time standing, lifting weights, kneeling a lot, as in the case of bricklayers or floor-builders; just as risky are some sports in which there is a high probability of trauma and an exasperation of physical performance, such as football ».

You can continue reading the article on Health Courier on newsstands for free on Thursday 17 September or in Pdf on the Digital Edition of Corriere della Sera.

15 September 2020 (change September 15, 2020 | 19:50)

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