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Newly Discovered Type of Blood Vessels in Bones Could Lead to New Treatment for Arthritis

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Newly Discovered Type of Blood Vessels in Bones Could Lead to New Treatment for Arthritis

Newly Discovered Type of Blood Vessels in Bones Could Lead to New Treatment for Arthritis
February 07
18:09 2019

I guess at 67, I’m lucky to only have some minor arthritis in my thumbs and knees. I often have to use an over-the-counter rub or cream on my thumbs and then use a wraparound brace while I work on the computer.

As for my knees, the arthritis has set in over the years because I’ve partially torn the ACL and MCL in both knees at least twice and have never had them surgically repaired. In 1975, a doctor in the Air Force told me that the cartilage in both knees looked like grapefruit pulp. I can easily put either knee out of place if I want to if I’m not careful. I’ve learned to walk and pivot in such a way as to not put my knees out of joint, but if it does happen, I’m usually able get the knee back in place myself or with the help of my wife.

I’ve known others that have more severe forms of arthritis. A couple have large knots on their knuckles and their fingers are permanently bent.

A woman in our church years ago was crippled for life with arthritis and the treatment the doctors gave her. She was in her twenties and engaged to be married when she was struck with the arthritis. Doctors gave her large amounts of steroids to try to combat the arthritis. However, the steroids ate away most of cartilage in her body, permanently crippling her. She never married and was cared for by her parents until they passed away and then she spent her last years in a nursing home.

While in college, I worked as a night orderly in the intensive care ward of a nursing home. Several of the people I care for had crippling arthritis. One lady I remember was mentally lucid, but was so crippled with arthritis that she could not stand, walk and even had difficulty holding a fork or spoon and needed help being fed. Sadly, she was bitter and angry and felt that it was unfair that she was trapped inside such a frail and painful body.

A recent discovery has some researchers hopeful of finding a new way to treat arthritis:

“A new kind of blood vessels in our bones has been discovered by scientists.”

“The newly-discovered capillaries – called trans-cortical vessels (TCVs) – penetrate the hard shell of bones in mice.”

“Researchers found they provide most of the blood supply to the bones.”

‘They also act as a ‘shortcut’ by carrying immune cells from the bone marrow to the injured area of the body – rather than the cells having to be ‘picked up’ by blood as it enters one end of the bone, travel through bone marrow, and exit the other end.”

‘When analysing humans, the scientists found we too have similar blood vessels in the larger bones of our bodies.”

“The researchers hope their finding will lead to the development of new therapies that use this blood flow and immune cell migration to help treat inflammatory conditions, such as osteoarthritis.”

To begin with, it is amazing that these scientists discovered a new physiological structure in the human body, but they did. Now, if that discovery can be used to help treat arthritis, it would be wonderful for millions of people worldwide.

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