According to the CDC, Osteoarthritis affects over 32-Million people in the United States alone. While there currently is no cure, some Doctors are researching ways to reverse the damage caused by this disease. We visited a Research Center in Altoona that is currently conducting several trials to hopefully find a Cure. The Altoona Center for Clinical Research is looking for participants suffering with knee pain or knee arthritis to participate in their Clinical Trials.
According to the CDC, Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Some people call it degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. One of the most common places for this to occur is a person’s knees. With the cartilage of the joint breaking down, many people are left with aching pain, stiffness and a decreased range of motion. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, recently researchers have been testing gene therapy.
Alan Kivitz M.D of the Altoona Center for Clinical Research saying: “We have various treatments for knee pain and knee arthritis but none of them are very successful for long term treatment. We have no such treatment that can actually help the cartilage regrow. In arthritis of the knee the cartilage wears away. Eventually, if it’s bad enough the bone rubs on bone. What we’re now testing in clinical trials are medications that can actually try to not only relieve the discomfort and pain but also to try to regrow the cartilage. There’s no such thing right now but there are various things that are being tested in research that look very promising and these are the programs that we’re doing right now to try to help people with knee arthritis.”
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, approximately 600,000 total knee replacements are performed in the United States each year as a result of osteoarthritis. Dr. Kivitz adding: “We’ve been doing research for knee arthritis for many years but the whole concept of trying a medication to help to regrow cartilage is relatively recent in the last few years. We had one program that started a few years ago. We have one of our patients who are in that program with us today and she is having results of improvement almost two years after one injection which is something that I’ve never seen in my career before.”
That now-former patient is Lorraine Woida. She tells us she has been affected by osteoarthritis for over eight years, but since entering the medication trials she’s experienced significant improvement. Lorraine Woida adding: “When I got the injection it was like I’d be walking along and all of a sudden I’d think my knee doesn’t bother me and I don’t even think about it and it was a really nice feeling, for over a year or so and it still continues.”