Top 10 Arthritis Advances Of 2007

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A team of engineers have recently created a new framework upon which cartilage tissue can be grown. The novel scaffold is porous, so the fabric can be seeded with cells and transplanted into a joint damaged by arthritis. The woven "fabric" will be absorbed by the body, leaving only healthy, strong cartilage for those who suffer from osteoarthritis or other cartilage injuries. This is just one of the top 10 most significant arthritis advances of 2007, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

The Arthritis Foundation's annual Top 10 Arthritis Advances also includes a survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) quantifying the high cost of arthritis, in which arthritis-attributable work limitation affects one in three working-age adults (aged 18-64 years) with doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Another important advance this past year was the first ever quantification of the number of children with juvenile arthritis and documentation of the severe shortage of pediatric rheumatologists to provide diagnosis and care for children with juvenile arthritis in the United States. Moreover, several approaches were identified to increase access to subspecialty care by pediatric rheumatologists, which include enhancing the availability and financing of fellowship training to increase the number of trainees in the field and also improving the financial viability of pediatric rheumatology practices in academic settings.

"As the prevalence of arthritis continues to soar in the United States, advances made in 2007 provide the groundwork for improving the lives of the 46 millions people who live with arthritis now and the 40% more projected to be affected by 2030," said John H. Klippel, M.D., president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation. "With arthritis being the most common cause of disability, advances in research and the development of more effective and safer treatments will continue to contribute in helping to improve the quality of life for people with arthritis."

The Arthritis Foundation's Top 10 Arthritis Events of 2007 include:

-- Passage of FDA Legislation on Drug Regulation and Safety

-- Quantification of Work Limitation and Earnings Losses

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-- Projections of Increases in Doctor-Diagnosed Arthritis and Arthritis-Attributable Activity Limitation

-- Identification of RA Susceptibility Genes STAT4 and TRAF1-C5

-- Uncovering the Importance of Cadherin-11

-- Development of a Woven Mesh for Cartilage Engineering

-- Approval of Lyrica for Treatment of Fibromyalgia

-- Availability of NIH's Osteoarthritis Data and Images

-- Quantification of Children with Arthritis and Number of Doctors Needed

-- Evidence of Benefit and Safety of Biologic Therapy in Children

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