Although this year is off to a rocky start, this decade has been pretty fantastic – and this news about arthritis is a promising start to this new decade!
And it looks as if cats will be the winners in this race. There is a company that is doing research in developing an antibody against arthritis in cats. This is just “whoa!”. Antibodies are little proteins that are produced by the immune system to help stop intruders from harming the body. When an intruder enters the body, the immune system springs into action. These invaders, which are called “antigens”, can be viruses, bacteria, or other chemicals. These little antibody guys bind to the invaders and neutralise them.
Although the arthritis process in cats is less well understood, recent studies indicate approximately 90 percent of old cats have x-ray signs of arthritis and about half of these have clinical signs of pain associated with this joint disease.
In cats, we only have a handful of drugs approved to treat osteoarthritis. The rest of the medicine we use is off label. Which means: “Research and published but not on the label”. To put it in perspective. The hammer in my garage isn’t made to open jars, but if I use it in just the right way – it certainly helps!
It took researchers 25 years but now they have identified a nerve-growth factor (NGF) that plays a critically important role in the generation of pain signals in osteoarthritis…and if we can reduce the NGF we are going to take the pain away.
Arthritic joints produce NGF, so neutralising these are a great way to treat the symptoms of arthritis. Studies have shown that this works better than medicine to take arthritic pain away! And remember all medicine has to go through the liver and kidneys, so this treatment will spare these organs as well.
P.S and once we get it working in cats and dogs, human trails will just be a short footstep behind!