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Researchers Identify Biomarkers For Spinal Osteoarthritis

Researchers Identify Biomarkers For Spinal Osteoarthritis


About This Blog:

  • Researchers at the Krembil Research Institute in Toronto, Canada, have discovered two biomarkers that cause joint degeneration in patients with spinal osteoarthritis.
  • This study was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight, and it is helping physicians better understand the cause of spinal osteoarthritis.
  • In this blog, Dr. Mark Giovanini of NeuroMicroSpine explains the results from this study and how they may affect the management and treatment of spinal osteoarthritis.

Degenerative disc disease and arthritis are two prevalent conditions that affect thousands of people worldwide. Unfortunately, experts do not fully understand what causes these conditions. That is, until today. Researchers from Toronto have discovered a pair of tissue biomarkers associated with joint degeneration in spinal osteoarthritis cases. This marks the first study to find biomarkers that cause inflammation, cartilage destruction, and collagen depletion.

Principal Investigator and Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute Mohit Kapoor noted the following; “These biomarkers are actively involved in increasing inflammation and destructive activities in spinal cartilage and assist in its destruction... By detecting them in the tissue biopsies, we have a tool for determining the stage of spine osteoarthritis.”

Unfortunately, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 30.8 million adults are affected by osteoarthritis today. Currently, there is no known cure for the condition, so scientists are working diligently to determine possible causes and treatments.

The study took tissue biopsies from 55 patients who underwent a decompression or discectomy at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. During the study, the team explored the role, function, and signaling mechanisms of two tissue biomarkers: microRNA-181a-5p and microRNA-4454.

Measuring the levels of these two specific biomarkers helped clinicians determine when the disease progressed and to what degree.

According to Kapoor, researchers were able to determine the stage of spinal osteoarthritis because the tissue samples are considered biologically active molecules. These biomarkers actively destroy cartilage and increase inflammation. They also cause cartilage cells to die and they deplete collagen.

Since discovering these biomarkers, researchers have put a major emphasis on whether or not they can be discovered elsewhere, like the patient’s blood. This would help clinicians study if it’s possible to reverse or cease spinal degeneration.

For more information on minimally invasive spine surgery or to make an appointment with Dr. Giovanini, please call (850) 934-7545 or visit http://www.neuromicrospine.com/request-appointment.

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The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.