Osteoarthritis Research

Scientists continue to try to better understand osteoarthritis and how to effectively deal with it. Some current areas of research on osteoarthritis include tools to detect the condition earlier, genes and their impact on osteoarthritis, and treatment strategies like gene therapy and stem cell transplantation. Talk with your healthcare provider to learn about the potential benefits of participating in research studies.

An Overview of Osteoarthritis Research

Osteoarthritis is not simply a disease of "wear and tear" that happens in joints as people get older. There is more to the disease than aging alone. In fact, as more osteoarthritis research is conducted, scientists are learning that this is an exceedingly complicated disease.
 
Doctors and scientists all over the country are conducting research in hopes of better understanding osteoarthritis. Research studies are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective. Such research already has led to many advances; and researchers continue to search for more effective methods of dealing with the disease.
 

Current Areas of Research on Osteoarthritis

Researchers are currently studying a number of different areas related to osteoarthritis, including:
 
  • Tools to detect the condition earlier
  • Genes and their impact on osteoarthritis
  • A wide range of treatment strategies
  • Alternative therapies.
     
Tools to Detect Osteoarthritis Earlier
Some scientists studying osteoarthritis want to find ways to detect the condition earlier so that treatment can begin earlier. They look for specific abnormalities in the blood, joint fluid, or urine of people with the condition.
 
Other scientists use new technologies to analyze the differences between the cartilage from different joints. For example, many people have osteoarthritis in the knees or hips, but few have it in the ankles. Can ankle cartilage be different? Does it age differently? Answering these questions will help us understand the disease better.
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