Posted by: ShellyManning
Why This Successful Arthritis Treatment Is UselessAfter billions of dollars spent on research and testing, scientists have come up with a medication that can successfully tackle arthritis on a genetic level.
So why isn’t everyone jumping up and down in the streets?
Because there is one major problem with these drugs that may or may not be successfully dealt with. And it’s not side effects.
A team of scientists led by the University of San Diego has just discovered why rheumatoid arthritis drugs work for some people but not for others, and for some joints but not for others.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly identifies the linings of your joints as threats. In response, it attacks these linings and breaks them down.
It often occurs because of defective genes. Roughly speaking, these genes inside the linings of your joints are activated, which leads to the destruction that follows.
Scientists thought they would be clever and design drugs that block the activation of these genes inside your joints. No gene activation, no joint destruction. Brilliant!
This may have been a nice idea, but the San Diego scientists have now realized that the gene activation in your joints cannot be blocked in this way.
During their examinations of the replaced joints of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis patients, they found that the genes were activated differently in different joints.
There is a process called DNA methylation that occurs in all our body tissues. It is the process whereby a methyl group is added or removed from a DNA molecule. This addition and removal of methyl groups activate and suppress genes.
The scientists worked out that DNA methylation in the hips and knees of rheumatoid arthritis patients differed. In fact, they calculated that in the joint linings they examined, there were thousands of different DNA methylation signatures and dozens of pathways related to these signatures, meaning that it should not be surprising that all the joints do not use the same ones.
The reason why these drugs often failed is then straightforward. The drugs target a specific range of DNA methylation signatures and pathways that scientists have up to now believed caused arthritis in all joints. But, actually, the DNA methylation signatures and pathways responsible for arthritis differ from joint to joint and will have to be individually targeted.
How about osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis does not involve the immune system breaking down joints, but the speed at which Cartilage is destroyed by mechanical wear and tear and the speed at which this cartilage can be rebuilt are influenced by genes in the joints.
The San Diego team found that the hip and knee joints of osteoarthritis patients also used different DNA methylation signatures and pathways, meaning that one drug will probably not work for all joints of osteoarthritis patients either.
So now that drugs have failed, what do you do?
Luckily, natural health researchers have been much more successful to tackle arthritis than the traditional medical system.