A compound discovered by Novartis researchers prompts regeneration of cartilage in mice — and may pave way for the development of treatments to reverse painful osteoarthritis.
About 27 million Americans with osteoarthritis know with painful clarity that — unlike the cells of the skin, liver and stomach — the cells of the cartilage don’t regenerate. When the cartilage — that supple, slippery tissue covering joints — wears down, bones rub against each other, causing much pain and disability.
Currently, the only treatments for arthritis are anti-inflammatory and surgery and in severe cases, the joints are replaced. There’s still no way to reverse the disease, even as it affects most elderly people — it affects half of all 50-year-olds, 60 percent of 60-year-olds and an increasing proportion of people as they grow older.