A New Test to Detect Osteoarthritis Early– Will it Help-

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					                                                 Presented by Daniel Toriola

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                                 A New Test to Detect Osteoarthritis Early… Will it Help?
                                                                 By Nathan Wei

   Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It affects more than 20 million Americans
according to some estimates. Because osteoarthritis (OA) is primarily a degenerative process, the
incidence and prevalence of this disorder is expected to rise with the surge in Baby Boomers.

 OA affects weight-bearing joints such as the knee and hip. It is a disease of articular cartilage, the
tough, elastic material that cushions moving parts of joints. OA is the most common reason for
eventual total hip and total knee replacement surgery.

It has been felt that early diagnosis of this condition could potentially lead to earlier treatment.

 To date, treatment for osteoarthritis has centered on pain relief only. To that end oral non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin), aproxyn (Naprosyn), sulindac (Clinoril),
piroxicam (Feldene), nabumetone (Relafen), etodolac (Lodine), ketoprofen (Orudis), meloxicam
(Mobic), and celecoxib (Celebrex) have been used with varying degrees of success.

 Along with these medicines, analgesic medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), propoxyphene
(Darvon), and tramadol (Ultram) have also been used to manage symptoms.

 Other modalities such as physical therapy, braces, lateral wedge insoles inside shoe, arthroscopy
(entering the joint with a small telescope to remove damaged and diseased tissue), injections of
glucocorticoid (“cortisone”), and injections of lubricants, called viscosupplements, have also been used
to alleviate symptoms.

 Despite the mixed effectiveness these various treatments have had as far as pain control, they have
not been completely successful.

 The reason? The Holy Grail of OA treatment has been to identify treatments that can slow down and
possibly reverse cartilage deterioration.

 This is predicated on diagnosing the condition early. To date, diagnostic methods such as x-ray and
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) do not detect the disease until OA is in advanced stages when joint
damage may already have occurred.

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 Arthroscopy can detect early disease but is not practical because of the invasive nature of the

 A method for earlier diagnosis could open a window of opportunity for preventing or reducing
permanent damage. Recent evidence suggests that dietary supplements like glucosamine/chondroitin
might prevent further joint deterioration. A recent study demonstrating a new medical imaging
technology may provide physicians with an accurate test for early diagnosis of OA, scientists from New
York reported at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society

 "Our methods have the potential of providing early warning signs for cartilage disorders like
osteoarthritis, thus potentially avoiding surgery and physical therapy later on," says Alexej Jerschow,
Ph.D., who reported on the research jointly with Ravinder R. Regatte, Ph.D.

 He adds, "Also, the effectiveness of early preventative drug therapies can be better assessed with
these methods."

 Cartilage consists of collagen and proteoglycans. Proteoglycans are long chains of linked sugars and

 The new method uses a modified form of magnetic resonance imaging to determine the concentration
of a polymer known as glycosaminogycan (GAG), a proteoglycan that holds lots of water and gives
cartilage its tough, elastic properties. GAG also is a recognized biomarker for osteoarthritis.

 According to the scientists, a low concentration of GAG is known to correlate with the onset of
osteoarthritis and other cartilage disorders.

 The diagnostic test utilizes a method that "tags" the hydrogen atoms attached to the GAGs in a way
that makes them emit a signal that can be picked up by an MRI machine to determine the
concentration of GAG and assess cartilage status.

 The advantage of such a test is not only to detect early OA but also to assess the effectiveness of
newer disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADS), which are currently being studied by a
number of companies.

Nathan Wei, MD FACP FACR is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist. For more
info: Arthritis Treatment and Tendonitis Treatment Tips

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                                   What To Expect From A Home Pregnancy Test
                                                  By Sarah Mitchell

 A home pregnancy test is a quick and efficient way of finding out if you’re pregnant. They have a high
accuracy rate (about 97%) and are available from most drugstores. If you are unsure how a pregnancy
test works, read on!

How does a home test work?

When a woman is pregnant, she starts developing a hormone called HCG. Basically, these tests
measure the amount of this hormone in your urine. Home pregnancy tests vary in sensitivity so
depending on the one you have purchased, some may detect pregnancy earlier on than others. If you
are unsure to this, read the instruction or back of packs and they should be able to tell you how
sensitive that particular home test is.

When to take a pregnancy test

There is no one answer as to when to take a pregnancy test. Again, this is dependent on the particular
brand of pregnancy test you purchase. Some tests state they are able to detect pregnancy as early as
six days after ovulation but the most accurate tests are those that detect pregnancy about 14 days
after ovulation. For most women, this falls mid-way through their ovulation cycle. Even if your
menstrual cycle is very regular, it is safest to wait at least a week after your period was last due before
taking a pregnancy test. This ensures the most accuracy.

How accurate are home pregnancy tests?

Research suggests that pregnancy tests are about 97% accurate. Although false positives can occur,
this is very rare. As long as you follow the given instructions, these tests should give you a reliable
result. Taking a test before your period is due is not recommended. As aforementioned, for the most
reliable results, it is best to take a test after your last period is due. Negative tests which later on turn
out to be positive are generally not due to the product being faulty or unreliable, but rather, the test was
probably taken too early. Of course the most accurate way to find out whether you’re pregnant is to see
a doctor.

Should I take a home pregnancy test?

If your period is late or if you are suffering from possible morning sickness and sore breasts, more than
likely you are pregnant. Before taking the next big step in seeing a doctor, taking a home test is a great
alternative. If your period is late, this means that you are already post-ovulation and this is the best
time to take a test.

Remember that whilst the pregnancy test is very reliable, it is customary to go see a doctor to confirm
the results and to wait the 3 month safety period before announcing the news.

Article written by Sarah Mitchell of ( Here is another

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