Researchers explore new treatments to end OA

Arthritis researchers from North America and Europe will convene in Chicago this week to present new osteoarthritis research that could lead to better ways to detect, treat, prevent and cure osteoarthritis (OA), which affects 27 million Americans. Hosted by the Arthritis Foundation, the Segal North American Osteoarthritis Workshop (SNOW) on March 25-27 will focus on specific forms of OA, such as those that follow joint trauma, obesity and the aging process.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting 50 million adults. The most common form of this highly prevalent disease is OA – a serious, painful and potentially life-altering disease, mainly affecting hands, knees and hips.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, the prevalence of OA is expected to increase significantly in coming years due to longer life expectancies, the obesity epidemic, and the first of the 78.2 million baby boomers reaching the retirement age this year. In addition, half of all adults will develop symptomatic knee OA at some point in their lives and that risk increases with obesity to two of every three obese adults.

"Findings presented at this workshop have the potential to significantly improve the outlook in osteoarthritis," says Arthritis Foundation Vice President of Research, Dr. John A. Hardin. "The goal of the conference is for participants to identify priority interventions that could be tested in a trial in the near future."

The following sessions will be presented at the conference:

* Pathophysiological mechanisms in distinct forms of OA

* Identifying the targets for therapeutic interventions for OA that are ready to be tested now

* Partnerships with the Arthritis Foundation that can enhance efforts to solve OA

* Advancing the care of patients with OA

* Potential new interventions for OA

* Recommendations for clinical trials for new interventions for OA that can be undertaken now

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