Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Treating the aging knee as an organ

15.02.2011
The human body is made up of several organs composed of tissues that enable them to perform a particular function. The heart circulates blood; the brain is the micro-neuro center of the body; the lungs bring in oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

The failure of any one of these tissue systems can cause serious health issues, even death. When components of the organ are fixed, typically the organ functions better. For instance, unclogging a blocked artery with a balloon stent improves blood circulation to and from the heart.

Henry Ford Hospital researcher Fred Nelson, M.D., suggests that viewing the knee as an organ in the same way doctors examine the heart for heart disease could lead to better therapies for treating osteoarthritis, one of the five leading causes of disability in elderly men and women. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons asserts that the risk for disability from osteoarthritis of the knee is as great as that from cardiovascular disease.

An exhibit that in part examines degenerative knee arthritis as an organ in failure will be displayed at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Feb. 15-18 in San Diego.

"For years we've looked at the aging knee strictly from a mechanical perspective recognizing the critical role of articular cartilage. We keep forgetting that other structures about the knee are also affected," says Dr. Nelson, director of Henry Ford's Osteoarthritis Center. "The underpinnings of research about a degenerative disease like osteoarthritis should take into account the bone, cartilage, ligaments, nerves and circulating chemicals and how these components collectively work together to affect the function of the knee."

Osteoarthritis of the knee is a leading cause of disability and loss of independence. It is most typically a slow, progressively degenerative disease in which the joint cartilage gradually wears away due to trauma, aging or infection. As the cartilage thins, the surrounding bone may thicken. Often bones rub against one another and may be the individual's source of pain. In most cases, normal activity becomes painful and difficult.

Current treatments include drug therapies like anti-inflammatory medication or pain relievers, physical therapy, support devices, health and behavioral modifications such as weight loss, and joint replacement surgery.

"Our strategies are directed at anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Yet, we don't look at the origins of pain, which can be a product of dysfunction of joint tissue, bone and nerves," Dr. Nelson says.

"The feed back of nerve signaling can have a direct effect on the cartilage cell itself. Knowledge of the back and forth messaging between the tissue components may lead to better interventions for pain. But we can't know that until we start looking at the knee with a broader view."

The exhibit is funded by the Orthopaedic Research Society.

David Olejarz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hfhs.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Chances to treat childhood dementia
24.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>