Breakthrough Gel for Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis is a crippling disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Some suffer only mild symptoms but at its worst it is truly debilitating and extremely painful with treatment bringing patchy relief for many. Both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are characterized by often debilitating pain in the joints and a new method of relief could be at hand.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the USA) report on an injectable gel that could spell the future for treating these diseases and others. Among its advantages, the gel could allow the targeted release of medicine at an affected joint, and could dispense that medicine on demand in response to enzymes associated with arthritic flare-ups. Arthritis is a good example of a disease that attacks specific parts of the body. Conventional treatments for it, however, largely involve drugs taken orally. Not only do these take a while (often weeks) to exert their effects, they can have additional side effects. That is because the drug is dispersed throughout the body, not just at the affected joint. Further, high concentrations of the drug are necessary to deliver enough to the affected joint, which runs the risk of toxicity

Nor could this new development be limited solely to arthritis but researchers believe could be useful for multiple medical applications including the localized treatment of cancer, ocular disease, and cardiovascular disease.

Jeffrey Karp, leader of the research and co-director of the Center for Regenerative Therapeutics, recently won the coveted SFB Young Investigator Award for this work. It is currently of course possible to inject a drug into the target area, but it won’t last long–only minutes to hours–because it is removed by the body’s highly efficient lymphatic system. There are also available implantable drug-delivery devices but these have drawbacks: most are made of stiff materials that in a joint can rub and cause inflammation on their own and they generally release medicine continuously–even when it’s not needed. Arthritis, for example, occurs in cycles characterized by flare-ups then remission.

A series of experiments confirmed that the gel can release encapsulated agents in an on-demand manner and although the team has yet to test this in humans, they did find that in mice the gelremained stable for at least two months. Further, the gel withstood wear and tear representative of conditions in a moving joint.

Additional tests in mice are underway and a patent has been applied for so they can start research on human subjects.

Can your dentist help your arthritis?


If you are one of the half a million people in the UK who have rheumatoid arthritis, and I include myself among them, then going to the Dentist doesn’t usually suggest itself as a cure. However, some new studies published in the Journal of Periodontology show that there is definitely a link between a healthy mouth and a healthy body.

Research by the Case Western Reserve University School in Cleveland USA supports existing reports linking gum disease with arthritic pain and inflammation. Arthritis is definitely inflamed by toxins in the body and tooth decay and gum disease are both natural homes for toxins. They monitored 40 people with moderate or severe periodontitis and severe rheumatoid arthritis to see if dental treatment made any difference to their arthritis. If the subjects had toothache or painful teeth then extracting them seemed to have a positive impact on arthritic pain. It was made even better if the dental treatment was combined with taking anti-inflammatory drugs.

Gum disease no joke
A huge number of us will suffer gum disease at some point in our lives, with some estimates putting it as high as 19 in 20 people. There are significant potential risks as gum disease has been linked to not only arthritis, but heart disease, strokes, diabetes and premature births.

Arthritis pain relief

November 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Healthy Ageing, Natural Medicine

Damp, cold days can set off arthritic aches and pains, and we have certainly had more than a few of those recently. Taking non steroidal anti inflammatories such as Nurofen is the conventional route, but if you want a natural solution pop down to Boots or your health store and get some Arnica cream from the Natural Remedies section. You simply rub it onto the affected area to relieve the pain, but don’t use it if your skin is raw or cut in any way.

Rose hips & arthritis

I have mentioned the benefits of rosehips before, and now a new study shows that it could be a more effective pain-reliever than standard drugs for people with arthritis, a new study suggests.

A powder form of the wild variety of rosehip, Rosa canina, is better at relieving pain among osteoarthritis patients than paracetamol and the nutritional supplement, glucosamine according to researchers from Frederiksberg Hospital in Copenhagen.

All three therapies were tested on a group of 300 patients, who tested each in turn for three months. Overall, the patients reported that the rosehip preparation was almost three times more effective than paracetamol, and 40 per cent better than glucosamine. Rosehip also didn’t come with the side effects associated with paracetamol, including constipation and drowsiness. The researchers concluded that rosehip is so effective because it also reduces the inflammation in the joints, which is characteristic of osteoarthritis.

If you want to try it, I did a quick Google search and came up with two websites for you to look at – though there are undoubtedly plenty more – and you might also find it in your local health store. These are what I came across: and