Treating arthritis with algae

Researchers are pursuing a new approach to treating arthritis. This is based on a polysaccharide, a long-chain sugar molecule, originating from brown algae. When chemically modified, this ‘alginate’ reduces oxidative stress, has an anti-inflammatory effect in cell culture tests and suppresses the immune reaction against cartilage cells, thereby combating the causes of arthritis. The research is, however, still in its infancy.

Hibernating control cells or why inflammations become chronic

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common autoimmune disease of the joints. It causes a chronic inflammatory response, with the body’s own immune cells attacking the joint, including the cartilage and bone. This process does not cease spontaneously. Medical researchers have now managed to identify an immune system cell type that can be used in a targeted attempt to control the inflammatory response in arthritis patients.

Rheumatoid arthritis risk and noxious airborne agents

New research indicates that certain occupations may put workers at an elevated risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. The findings suggest that work-related factors, such as noxious airborne agents, may contribute to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Environmental factors are thought to play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis by triggering autoimmune reactions in susceptible individuals.

Rain increases joint pain? Google suggests otherwise

New research indicates that weather conditions in 45 US cities are indeed associated with Google searches about joint pain. But it might not be the association you’d expect. The findings suggest that people’s activity level — increasing as temperatures rise, to a point — is likelier than the weather itself to spur online searches about knee and hip pain, the investigators say.

Tuning out arthritis pain with radio energy

A noninvasive treatment for knee arthritis has been developed that uses cooled radio energy to target and interrupt pain signals.  Known as “Coolief,” the procedure can provide several months of relief from chronic arthritis pain for patients for whom surgery is not an option.