I don't know if anyone has seen this yet.
Drug could treat arthritis by stopping immune system from attacking joints
By REBECCA SEALES
Last updated at 2:01 AM on 6th March 2012
A drug that could ‘stop arthritis in its tracks’ is being tested in a British laboratory.
In ‘very exciting’ but early-stage tests, the drug prevented the inflammation responsible for the pain, swelling and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis.
Much more work is needed but the research could lead to an effective and inexpensive way of treating the condition that affects 350,000 Britons.
An arthritic hand: This coloured X-ray shows joint damage caused by severe rheumatoid arthritis. As the cartilage is worn away, new bone grows as part of the repair process, causing stiffness and deformity of the fingers
The disease causes chronic pain and inflammation in affected joints, and is triggered when elements of the immune system attack the body.
White blood cells known as T-cells are integral to the process.
Study leader Dr Graeme O'Boyle, from the University of Newcastle, said of the research development:
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'Imagine that the damaged joint is covered in flags which are signalling to the white blood cells.
'Traditional treatments have involved pulling down the flags one by one, but what we have done is use an agent which in effect 'blindfolds' the white blood cells.
'Therefore, they don't know which way to travel and so won't add to the damage.'
The research was funded by the charity Arthritis Research UK, and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Using tests on a genetically engineered mouse with a human-like immune system, the team discovered that a compound called PS372424 blocked the ability of T-cells to invade joints.
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