ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
CANCER
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
CAREGIVING
Organ Donation Policies Vary Among Children's Hospitals
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
EYE CARE, VISION
It's a Whole New Outlook for Cataract Patients
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
Sleep and Do Better
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
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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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