Osteoarthritis: New compound may stop the disease

New research, published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, shows that an innovative blocking agent can stop the degeneration of the cartilage when injected into the joints.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that affects the bones and cartilage within the joints.

Although it occurs most often in the hands, hips, and knees, osteoarthritis can also affect the body’s spine.

Currently, at least 30 million adults in the United States are living with osteoarthritis, making the condition the most prevalent form of arthritis.

Full story at Medical News Today

A Simple Reason So Many Older Americans Are Overdosing on Opioids

As the body ages, it often aches. In the United States, 81 percent of adults over 65 endure multiple chronic conditions such as arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. There also can be emotional pain from the loss of relatives and close friends, and concerns about the continued ability to live independently.

For those whose physical ailments prove almost paralyzing and chronic, health providers often prescribe opioid painkillers, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. But that can lead to trouble. Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public-health emergency. The department has spent almost $900 million on treatment services and other initiatives, but still more and more Americans are dying of overdoses on opioids—in the forms of prescription pain pills, heroin, or synthetic drugs. While older adults are not the age group most affected by the crisis, the population of older adults who misuse opioids is projected to double from 2004 to 2020.

A lot of factors contribute to this rise among the elderly. Many undergo several surgeries and are prescribed opioids they use for a long time, which heightens their chances of developing a use disorder. Some take more than they need, because the opioids they’ve been prescribed aren’t holding their pain at bay. Older adults of color, who face more barriers to getting the medications they need for pain, may get prescriptions from friends or family without proper instructions. But a recent poll highlights just how widespread another factor might be: doctors failing to warn their own patients about the risks that come with prescription pain relievers.

Full story at The Atlantic

New genes linked to arthritis in bone marrow lesions

Researchers have found a pattern of genes which is characteristic of osteoarthritis and may be a step towards better treatments for this condition.

Pain is a major problem for people worldwide and arthritis is a major cause of chronic pain, especially in the elderly. Bone marrow lesions are parts of the bone which are linked to pain in osteoarthritis.

The genes found are involved in new nerve formation, pain sensitization, bone and cartilage renewal.

The lesions appear due to increased pressure on the joint and can be seen on MRI scans, but have never been investigated in this way before.

Full story at Science Daily

Depression linked to disease activity and disability in adolescents with arthritis

The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2016) confirmed a clear association between depression symptom severity and the level of disease activity and disability in adolescent patients with juvenile inflammatory arthritis (JIA). These findings highlight the importance of psychological health assessment for adolescents with JIA and underline the need for psychological support to be fully integrated into their routine care.

“We already know there is an association between depression and disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis. Children with JIA have also been shown to have depression, and this is associated with disability,” said Dr John Ioannou lead author from University College London, UK. “However, there has been much less work looking at depression in adolescents with JIA. Specifically, the association between depression and disease severity from initial assessment over a 48 month follow-up period has never been explored in this vulnerable age group with JIA,” Dr Ioannou explained.

Inflammatory arthritis is a chronic debilitating disease of childhood and adolescence. In the UK each year, an estimated 10 out of every 100,000 children will develop an inflammatory arthritis, with many subsequently being diagnosed with JIA, the most common chronic paediatric rheumatic disease. Although the disease course can be variable, with periods of activity followed by remission, previous studies have shown that up to 70% of children continue to report disability and limitation of their activities into adulthood, and the proportion is likely to be higher in those with adolescent-onset JIA.4.

Full story of depression linked to adolescents with arthritis at Science Daily

Simple Television Remotes Designed for Seniors

Big Button Remotes for SeniorsDear Savvy Senior:

Can you recommend some easy-to-use television remote controls for seniors? I got my 74-year-old mother a new HDTV for her birthday, but the remote control is very confusing for her to operate.

–Shopping Son

Dear Shopping:

It seems like most television remote controls today come with dozens of unnecessary buttons that make them very confusing to operate. Add in the fact that many people use two or three remotes to operate their home entertainment equipment (TV, cable box, VCR and DVD player, etc.) it compounds the problem even further.

Fortunately, there are several universal TV remotes available today that are specifically designed for seniors and the technically challenged. These remote controls have bigger buttons and fewer options that make them much easier to see, program and operate.

Simplified Remotes
Two popular senior-friendly products to consider are the Flipper Remote and the Super Remote SR3.

Full story of remotes for seniors at Huffington Post

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