Osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of joint disease that affects more than 250 million people around the world.
It’s a serious problem that’s growing every year, causing long-term disability.
OA is a tricky disease to deal with. Various factors such as obesity, joint injuries, and genetics can lead to its development.
The disease damages the joints, and over time can cause them to fail. Despite being so common, there aren’t any approved drugs that can modify the disease (DMOADs).
Current pain relief strategies aren’t always effective, and many people end up needing joint replacement surgery, which doesn’t always work well.
A New Study on TSG-6 Protein
Recently, a study published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage looked into the role of a protein called TSG-6 in OA.
Researchers also studied a fragment of the TSG-6 protein, known as Link_TSG6, and how it could be used in treating OA.
What did the researchers find? Well, they found out that Link_TSG6 can stop the production of enzymes that cause damage to cartilage, a soft tissue that helps protect our joints.
This is a big deal because damage to the cartilage is a key feature of OA. Moreover, when Link_TSG6 was administered, it decreased the breakdown of cartilage, which points toward its potential as a DMOAD.
It also lessened pain that’s triggered by touch, which could mean it can help manage pain.
Why is this Important?
Caroline Aylott, Head of Research Delivery at charity Versus Arthritis, who co-funded the research, said that the results are promising.
“There is a critical need for treatments that slow down the progression of osteoarthritis to delay or avoid joint replacement surgery and to reduce the pain that so many experience,” she said.
She added that even though the research is still in the early stages, Link_TSG6 could potentially lead to a new class of drugs for treating OA.
The study showed that Link_TSG6 can mimic the protective properties of the full-length TSG-6 protein, but with greater potency.
Furthermore, cartilage taken from OA patients who had knee-replacement surgery responded well to Link_TSG6 treatment. This suggests that this protein could potentially benefit a large number of OA patients.
Professor Tony Day from the University of Manchester and Chief Scientific Officer of Link Biologics, who co-authored the study, said, “This study has identified a potential new treatment for OA with disease-modifying and analgesic properties.”
He added that the preclinical data was compelling, and they plan to start human clinical trials for Link_TSG6 in the next few years.
In simple words, this discovery could be a game-changer. It could mean new, more effective treatment options for people suffering from osteoarthritis, and maybe even a way to slow down the progression of the disease.
If you care about pain, please read studies about why cholesterol-lowering drug statins can cause muscle pain, and this pain reliever may increase your risk of hip fracture.
The study was published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.
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