ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
CANCER
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
CAREGIVING
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
Omega-3 Fatty Acid May Help 'Preemie' Girls' Brains
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Greener Neighborhoods Mean Slimmer Children
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
EYE CARE, VISION
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
Hoping for a Happy Family Holiday? Here's How
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
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Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage

THURSDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The first direct proof of how osteoarthritis destroys cartilage has been discovered by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers.

They said their finding could lead to preventive treatments for a disease that affects almost 21 million aging Americans and is the leading cause of disability in the United States.

Until now, little was known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms that cause the break down of the cartilage in joints. Previous research suggested that higher levels of signaling protein called beta-catenin were associated with osteoarthritis (OA), but there was no direct evidence to confirm that link.

The University of Rochester Medical Center team genetically engineered mice with high levels of beta-catenin and found the mice lost most of their articular cartilage -- the protective layer that covers the ends of bones within joints. The mice also developed the same bony growths and microfractures that occur in people with OA.

In a companion experiment, the researchers also found much higher-than-normal beta-catenin levels in cartilage cells taken from patients with severe arthritis.

"We have created the first model in a living animal that shows exactly how osteoarthritis causes damage. That, of course, puts us in position to interfere with the processes that contribute to the damage in a new and powerful way," study author Dr. Di Chen, an associate professor in the department of orthopedics, said in a university news release.

The study was published Sept. 2 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

"The first step was to prove that beta-catenin is central to OA development, and I think we have done that," Chen said. "Now, we are seeking to confirm that mechanical loading and meniscal injury create higher levels of beta-catenin in osteoarthritis joints, and that this and meniscal injury [the meniscus is the sponge-like layer of cartilage between the bones of the knee] create higher levels of beta-catenin in osteoarthritic joints, and that this in turn causes cartilage destruction and too fast differentiation of cartilage into bone."

More information

The Arthritis Foundation has more about osteoarthritis.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: University of Rochester Medical Center, news release, Sept. 2, 2008

Last Updated: Sept. 04, 2008

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