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affect osteoporosis," osteoarthritis studies show”
are that "scientists have found a gene that may affect the odds of
developing osteoporosis." It is called the DARC [Duffy antigen receptor
for chemokines] gene, and it "makes a protein needed to help break down
bone," according to research on mice published in today's issue of
Genome Research. Medical News Today (3/29) adds that according to lead
researcher, Dr. Subburaman Mohan, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Loma
Linda VA Medical Center and a professor of medicine and biochemistry at
Loma Linda University, "interesting differences between African
Americans and Caucasians" could be associated with the DARC gene. Dr.
Mohan explained, "African Americans exhibit significantly higher BMD
compared to Caucasians. Also, African Americans generally do not have
the Duffy protein on red blood cells, while Caucasians do."
reported on 3/28/07 was that a gene mutation that may be linked to
osteoarthritis. Variations in a cartilage gene, GDF5, "may increase the
odds of developing osteoarthritis," according to two studies on
Japanese and Chinese patients, which was published in Nature Genetics.
HealthDay (3/29, Billingsley) reports that the protein decoy receptor 3
(DcR3), a member of the large tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR),
may be linked to rheumatoid arthritis, according to research published
in the April issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism. The researchers
found that that "DcR3 works with another member of the TNFR family to
slow the normal cell death of synovial fluid cells, resulting in the
hyperplasia that causes some of the inflammation characteristic of RA."
While "DcR3 was present in the same amounts in the fluids of both the
RA and osteoarthritis patients, when the TNFa was introduced, DcR3
production increased in the fluid of the RA patients, slowing down the
Fas-induced cell death. The rate of cell death did not change in the
fluid of the osteoarthritis patients."
pain may be exacerbated by fear, emotions. Medpage Today (3/29,
Osterweil) reports that "scans suggest that arthritis pain and fear go
hand in hand." A study in the April issue of Arthritis &
Rheumatism indicates that "when arthritis patients feel knee pain,
regions of the brain involved in processing of fear, emotions and
aversive conditioning -- the medial pain matrix -- light up on PET
HealthDay (3/29) adds that the brain
activity of "12 people with knee osteoarthritis" was measured as the
patients "experienced osteoarthritis pain, pain caused by heat
application, and no pain." While "both osteoarthritis and heat-induced
pain activated" two parallel systems (lateral and medial) of the
brain's pain matrix, "osteoarthritis pain caused heightened activity in
the medial pain system. This suggests that arthritis pain may have more
of an emotional impact and stronger association with fear and distress
than experimental pain, the researchers said." Moreover, they found
that "osteoarthritis pain triggered increased activity in the
prefrontal cortex and the inferior posterior parietal cortex." The
activation of these areas "during osteoarthritis pain may be the result
of patients' focusing on strategies to cope with their arthritis pain,
the researchers said."
WebMD (3/29, Boyles) provides a summary of an interview with lead
author Anthony K.P. Jones, M.D., professor of neuro-rheumatology,
University of Manchester Rheumatic Diseases Center, Manchester,
England, who said, "the fact that high concentrations of natural
opiates are found in the medial pain system has implication for
researchers searching for new drugs to treat arthritis and other
chronic pain conditions."
HealthDay (3/29) includes a summary of a study, which appeared in this
week's Journal of Neuroscience, on pinpointing areas of the brain that
"are involved in determining the location of pain."
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