A new medical study claims to have uncovered a potential new method of treatment for the late stages on osteoarthritis (OA).
German researchers have found that concentrations of the sex hormones, testosterone in men and oestrogen in women, can have a positive effect on the regeneration of cartilage tissue, according to an article in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) state that 9.6 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women aged 60 or over have OA symptoms and the organisation believes that by 2020 the condition will be the fourth leading cause of disability.
Study leader Dr Nicolai Miosge said further investigation was needed, but injection of sex hormones directly into joint fluid appeared to increase the regeneration capacity of cartilage.
OA is characterised by soreness, inflammation and difficulty of movement in joints, the WHO claims, adding that it should be seen as the "final common pathway" for all afflictions, abuse and injury to a joint.
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