Could arthritis patients benefit from gene therapy?

Could arthritis patients benefit from gene therapy?

Arthritis patients may benefit from gene therapy, which delivers drugs directly to the effected cells.

A new study at Georgia Health Sciences University found that a DNA-covered submicroscopic bead that delivers drugs directly into cells has a therapeutic value by increasing the expression of an enzyme that calms the immune response that causes arthritis symptoms.

Researchers used an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis to enhance the expression of indoleomine 2,3 dioxygenase to reduce joint swelling and inflammation.

What's more, results were observed just hours after the injections, indicating a potential new quick and effective form of pain relief.

Dr Andrew L Mellor, corresponding author of the study, commented: "It's like pouring water on a fire. The fire is burning down the house, which in this case is the tissue normally required for your joints to work smoothly."

The study also had wider implications and suggests that the gene therapy could be used to treat other autoimmune diseases, such as Type 1 diabetes and lupus.

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