ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
Rheumatoid Arthritis Hits Women Harder
CANCER
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
CAREGIVING
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
Low Vitamin A, C Intake Tied to Asthma Risk
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Are Medical Meetings Environmentally Unfriendly?
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Air Pollution May Cause Appendicitis: Study Reveals
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
FITNESS
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
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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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