Biomarkers are biologic molecules that are useful for detecting the presence or progression of a disease or the effects of a particular treatment. When we hear about biomarkers, it's usually related to rheumatoid arthritis. Biomarkers have been more difficult to identify for osteoarthritis.
Researchers at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital, in collaboration with University of Guelph in Ontario and University of Toronto, have identified two molecules that appear to be promising as biomarkers for measuring cartilage damage associated with osteoarthritis. The molecules, called non-coding RNAs, were identified in 30 patients who were one year post-op from reconstructive surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Researchers, excited about the discovery, say the next step is to study more patients and determine if the concentration of non-coding RNAs in blood can be used to predict whether cartilage damage will worsen.
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