ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
CANCER
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
CAREGIVING
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Atkins Diet Tougher on Heart After Weight Loss
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
EYE CARE, VISION
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
New Methods Could Speed Production of Flu Vaccines
Good Sleepers More Likely to Eat Right
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teen Stress May Have Roots in First Three Years of Life
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Countdown to Hair Loss
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
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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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