Osteoarthritis could be re-categorised as two groups of disease, leading to better treatments
Osteoarthritis could be better treated by dividing people affected into two disease groups, reveals research in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Analysis of thousands of genes in the cartilage of 60 people with knee osteoarthritis showed that key genetic differences mean two groups of disease may be a more appropriate context for osteoarthritis.
A list of biomarkers was developed that could help distinguish between them by analysing the synovial fluid, which is found in the cavities of joints.
The variations between the two categories could be used to predict responses to treatment, and go some way to explain why treating osteoarthritis as one condition has proven relatively unproductive.
Dr Devi Sagar, research liaison manager at Arthritis Research UK, comments:
“Although it’s still very early days, this study is good news for people with osteoarthritis and helps us to build on our understanding of the condition. We have known for some time that osteoarthritis is something of an umbrella term, with people having similar symptoms, but different responses to treatments.”
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