ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
CANCER
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
CAREGIVING
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
More Educated Choose Healthier Foods, But Pay More
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
EYE CARE, VISION
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
FITNESS
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Go To Work But Skip The Car
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
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Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The pain caused by osteoarthritis may be as damaging as the disease itself, according to a new study.

According to a University of Rochester study published Monday in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, the nerve pathways carrying pain signals between the arthritic joints and the spinal cord transfer inflammation to the spine and surrounding cells and back again.

"Until relatively recently, osteoarthritis was believed to be due solely to wear and tear, and inevitable part of aging," Stephanos Kyrkanides, associate professor of dentistry at the school's Medical Center, said in a university news release. "Recent studies have revealed, however, that specific biochemical changes contribute to the disease, changes that might be reversed by precision-designed drugs. Our study provides the first solid proof that some of those changes are related to pain processing and suggests the mechanisms behind the effect."

The study gives strong evidence that this two-way "crosstalk" may first enable joint arthritis to transmit inflammation into the spinal cord and brain, eventually leading to it spreading through the central nervous system.

The researchers genetically engineered mice to study levels of a pro-inflammatory signaling chemical called interleukin 1-beta. Their experiments showed that higher levels of the chemical in a peripheral joint caused higher levels to be produced in the dorsal horns of the spinal cord and in spinal cord cells called astrocytes, which cause more osteoarthritic symptoms in joints.

In the mouse experiments, shutting down the signaling reversed the crosstalk effects. Some existing arthritis drugs, such as Kineret (anakinra), block the ability of interleukin 1-beta to send a pain signal through its specific nerve cell receptor, and Kyrkanides' group is experimenting with them as in osteoarthritis treatment.

More information

The Arthritis Foundation has more about osteoarthritis.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: University of Rochester Medical Center, news release, Sept. 29, 2008

Last Updated: Sept. 29, 2008

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