A worthy joint effort

By Connie Orcutt • Published: June 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

University of Florida researchers are looking at ways to help both humans and horses fight osteoarthritis.

This disease causes painful inflammation and joint destruction in about 27 million Americans and is also debilitating to many horses. The large, weight-bearing joints in people, like hips and knees, are similar in size, structure, and weight-bearing stance to joints in horses.

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, and medical treatment offers only limited relief …. and sometimes results in unwanted side effects. Researchers are hoping to use viruses as “good guys” by programming them to deliver genetic material to horses’ joints for production of a therapeutic protein.

The goal is a one-time treatment with long-lasting effects. Clearly, a lot is riding on this joint effort.