New arthritis model paves path for future research

December 5, 2012

Topic: orthopaedic research

New arthritis model paves path for future research

New orthopaedic research published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research discusses the first mouse model of the second most common form of arthritis - diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH). Between 6 and 12 percent of individuals living in North America have the condition.

Researchers from Western University's Bone and Joint Initiative examined mice that were genetically modified to lack a certain membrane protein, causing them to develop unusual calcification changes in the backbone that closely resembled what humans patients with DISH experience.

"This model will allow us for the first time to uncover the mechanisms underlying DISH and related disorders. Knowledge of these mechanisms will ultimately allow us to test novel pharmacological treatments to reverse or slow the development of DISH in humans," said corresponding author Cheryle Seguin.

Approximately 21 million American adults have a kind of arthritis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of these individuals have DISH. The symptoms of the joint condition can range in severity from mild to disabling, and can be treated with medication, non-pharmacologic therapies - like physical therapy and splints - and surgery.

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