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MRI 'could detect early osteoarthritis'

MRI 'could detect early osteoarthritis'
16th August 2011

Powerful new MRI technology could detect osteoarthritis in its early stages, improving the treatment options of those with the condition, who may want to find a care home.

Advanced MRI techniques were able to detect changes in the balance of water, chondrocytes, collagen fibres and protein molecules that make up joint cartilage microstructure.

This could identify which individuals are developing osteoarthritis and allow physicians to plan for long-term preservation of joints rather than the eventual reconstruction often used to combat the condition.

New York University's Laith Jazrawi, lead author of the paper, commented: "With an active and aging baby boomer population beginning to experience joint pain associated with age, we think there is great potential for bringing these imaging techniques from the lab to the benefit of patients."

This follows comments from Neil Betteridge, chief executive of Arthritis Care, who said it is essential that rheumatoid arthritis is detected as early as possible, as new therapies are proving to be "quite powerful" when implemented soon enough.

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