New Osteoarthritis Classification Methods Show Hope for Chronic Joint Disease

Targeted treatments for different types of osteoarthritis can lead to effective management of the chronic joint disease.

The new discoveries in the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis allow types of the disease to be better separated. In knowing whether the disease is in pain, trauma or obese-dominated will “allow specific targeted treatment in those in whom structural changes in either cartilage, bone, or synovial tissue dominated the disease” and will help to understand osteoarthritis, as stated in a press release.

The authors explain how different phenotypes of the disease can be identified to help decide the correct treatment, “A positive association between obesity and osteoarthritis has been reported for non-weight-bearing joints. …These reports suggest that joint damage might also be caused by systemic factors such as adipose factors, the so-called adipokines, which might provide a metabolic link between obesity and osteoarthritis, and which, in addition to weight loss, could become a specific therapeutic target.”

Another way that the authors feel would be helpful is if “still-imaging procedures and biochemical marker analyses [were] improved and possibly extended with more specific and sensitive methods to reliably describe disease processes, to diagnose the disease at an early stage, to classify patients according to their prognosis, and to follow the course of disease and treatment effectiveness.”

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