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The Treatments Of Tomorrow For Osteoarthritis

1972 words - 8 pages

Arthritis in general is an intriguing topic because my close families have suffered through the symptoms that arthritis is associated with from swelling of the joints to degradation of the cartilage affecting the bone. Since there are several types of arthritis, the main focus of this research will be osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the reduction of cartilage in the joints (Zamli and Sharif 159-166). This is a widespread disease affecting almost 27 million of adults in the United States (Lawrence, Felson, and et al 26-35). The most common treatments are dependent on the severity of the osteoarthritis ranging from joint pain, rigid joints, to decreased range of movement (Hunter 623-643). The treatments used in osteoarthritis is anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen to ease the pain but in most severe cases, surgery maybe an alternative to manage the debilitating cartilage degradation, as the cases seen in total knee replacement (Teitel, Black, Slon, and Wang). Out of the treatments mentioned, they only offset or maintain the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis but there is no cure for its underlying cause. The focus is on the cells responsible in maintaining the cartilage which are the chondrocytes and due to changes caused by osteoarthritis, these cell die via apoptosis (Intekhab-Alam, White, and et al 1-6). There are two researches that use stem cells that are being studied that focus on the chondrocyte of the cartilage, those being bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and adipose mesenchymal stem cell. Even though bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells can be used as a treatment option for osteoarthritis, adipose mesenchymal stem cell should be used as a treatment instead because it is better equipped to protect chondrocyte from apoptosis, a factor in osteoarthritis, and is more conveniently attainable.
The body is composed of three types of cartilage; those are hyaline cartilage, elastic cartilage, and fibrocartilage (Kierszenbaum and Tres). Articular cartilage is composed of hyaline cartilage
In order to better understand how important it is to prevent apoptosis in chondrocytes, we must understand what apoptosis is and why osteoarthritis is a factor in apoptosis. Apoptosis is when a cell is exposed to certain stimuli it is programmed to die and this can either occur intrinsically or extrinsically (White). As one would imagine, one might ask why a cell would program itself to die. Considering the importance of the body in maintaining homeostasis, apoptosis of cells can be useful in regulating cells in the body. As previously mentioned, the chondrocytes the cells are responsible in maintaining of the cartilage. In healthy cartilage, they do this by balancing the anabolic and catabolic upkeep of the cartilage, while in osteoarthritic cartilage homeostasis is no longer kept and is overtaken by catabolism (White). Catabolism of the cartilage results in its degradation and in an augmented production of Nitric Oxide...

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