ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
CANCER
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
CAREGIVING
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
Oregano Shown to be the Most Powerful Culinary Herb
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Sun, Smoke, Extra Weight Add Years to Skin
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'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
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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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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