Repurposed medication could ease hand osteoarthritis

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – There’s new hope for millions of people who suffer from hand osteoarthritis.

Patients with the disease have a genetic mutation that impacts levels of retinoic acid which is associated with higher inflammation in the tissue.

Dr. Jorge Gonzalez, head of the Institute of Regenerative Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, said researchers found that a medication originally developed for skin disorders could be repurposed to modify the course of the disease.

“At the moment we don’t have a cure, but this is extremely exciting news because we might have an option now to prevent or at least slow down the natural progression of degeneration and therefore can help a lot of patients hopefully,” Gonzalez said.

The study showed that the drug Talarozole can boost retinoic acid levels and reduce inflammation levels in the joints.

And the American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated the guidelines for treating children and teens with obesity.

Comprehensive obesity treatment now includes nutritional support, physical activity guidance and behavioral support.

Medications and bariatric surgery have been proven to be safe and effective, but the academy noted that only teens age 13 and older with severe obesity should be considered for surgery.

The academy also emphasized the need for greater social support.

“Obesity is really highly dependent on the social environment in which we live and that includes our family and household structure but also the social environment of our neighborhoods, schools and recreational areas so they really took all of that into account,” said Dr. Roy Kim with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.

The academy plans to discuss obesity prevention in an upcoming policy statement.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.