Features November 2007 Issue

A New Drug to Prevent Joint Destruction?

While treatments for osteoarthritis (OA) have traditionally been targeted at controlling the pain that comes with the loss of articular cartilage, none has been shown to block the joint-destroying processes of OA—until now. Calcitonin, an amino acid hormone produced by the thyroid gland, has been shown to reduce the breakdown of bone while increasing bone density. Widely used in the treatment of osteoporosis, calcitonin was recently also found, by researchers in Denmark, to potentially protect postmenopausal women from cartilage damage.

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