Arthritis and its counterpart osteoarthritis are conditions that affect millions of people and according to recent data even the young generation is being affected by these conditions. In general they are not serious diseases but they can be unbearable painful impeding the affected person in the performance of its daily tasks.
According to recent figures almost 9 million people suffer with osteoarthritis in the UK and 30 million in the US.
There is a beam of hope on the horizon for these people as there is a vaccine that can relieve the excruciating pain.
Namely, the Oxford University researchers have found a vaccine that can block NGF – nerve growth factor accountable for the ongoing pain and discomfort.
CuMVttNGF – The New Hope for Arthritis Patients
This vaccine has been animal tested on mice and showed efficacy in triggering the immune system to work against the naturally occurring NGF thus numbing the pain.
The co-author of the study released in Annals of Rheumatic Disease, the Professor Tonia Vincent states the following, quote: “This is the first successful vaccination to target pain in osteoarthritis, one of the biggest healthcare challenges of our generation.”
The mice who received this vaccine had uneven distribution of weight across the hind legs indicating the occurrence of painful osteoarthritis. These subjects were administrated with this vaccine that triggered the immune system to produce antibodies that could work against the NGF.
This could be an effective way to treat the pain in patients suffering from arthritis as this vaccine could reverse the pain. The positive effects of the vaccine were almost immediately demonstrated on the mice that instead of leaning to one side as a result of the pain in their leg, the mice could stand with their weight more evenly distributed.
The blood testing in these mice has shown higher levels of antibodies, which “appeared to be associated with an analgesic response”.
Here it is what Professor Vincent said: “Whilst there are still safety issues that need to be considered before these types of approaches can be used in patients, we are reassured that this vaccine design allows us to control antibody levels and thus tailor treatment to individual cases according to need”.
CuMVttNGF was efficient in pain relief on mice before and after the occurrence of pain.
Arthritis affects the productivity of people and according to the figures of Arthritis UK the lost working days due to arthritis will reach up to 25.9 million by the year of 2030 which on yearly basis it will cost £3.43billion. These figures will even go higher and by 2050 will reach to 27.2million working days and an annual cost of £4.74billion.
Patients with arthritis are taking pain killers to alleviate the pain but their long-term use can cause severe side effects, and less than 25% of patients receive proper pain control for their condition.
According to the X-ray studies at least 50% of the older generation in the age above 65 suffer from osteoarthritis, yet the treatment options are still limited.
Therefore, the team at Oxford considers this vaccine as a more effective way for pain control and also it is an affordable one.
This research was being funded by Charity Versus Arthritis and Dr Stephen Simpson reflects his thoughts regarding the results of this research, quote:
“We know that for the ten million people with arthritis, persistent pain is life changing. Too many people living with pain do not get effective relief from the treatments that are currently available. And that is why the development of more effective pain killers, with fewer side-effects, is vital for people living with arthritis”.
“Although at an early stage, this is highly innovative research and these results are very promising. We are proud to support research such as this, which aims to tackle this urgent problem and discover new ways to help people overcome pain.”