World Arthritis Day: 12th October 2016

October 12th is World Arthritis Day, a global initiative which aims to bring people together to raise awareness of this common condition. Celebrated annually on October 12th but worked on tirelessly all year long, the awareness day works to support the 350 million people worldwide currently living with arthritis.1

Arthritis Explained

Arthritis causes pain and inflammation in a joint, which is the area where two bones meet. Often associated with older people, it also affects children and has no limits in terms of gender, ethnicity or lifestyle. In the UK alone, it was recorded that around 15,000 children and young people are affected by arthritis.

The NHS have identified the two most common types of arthritis as:

  • Osteoarthritis

This type of arthritis is most common in those over 40 years old, although it is not limited to this age group. Osteoarthritis initially affects the smooth cartilage lining of the joint, making movement increasingly difficult, eventually leading to pain and stiffness.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Again, this type of arthritis holds no boundaries to who it affects but it has been shown to be most common in females aged between 40-50 years old. Occurring when the body’s immune system targets affected joints, the results are pain and swelling.

The outer covering (synovium) of the joint is the first place affected. This can then spread across the joint, leading to further swelling and a change in the joint’s shape. This may cause the bone and cartilage to break down.2

Common Symptoms

Symptoms of arthritis are generally unique to the person as they can range from moderate to severe and remain the same or progress over time. The most common symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and a decreased range of motion.

Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and difficulty walking/moving. Worryingly, only some symptoms are visible as in some cases, the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.3

The symptoms of arthritis experienced will vary depending on the type of arthritis a person has, as well as how they respond to it. This is why it’s important to be diagnosed accurately.

Research Studies

Studies have shown that TH17 cells including IL-17, TNFα and GM-CSF are a key marker of inflammation. IL-17 specifically, has become an important target for drug discovery for the treatment of various forms of autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.

In a study of mice, it was also highlighted that Il-17 is detectable in the rheumatoid synovium and joints of the mice suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, IL-17-deficient mice exhibited decreased disease severity, while those with higher IL-17 levels displayed exacerbated affects.4

Randox Biosciences Offerings

At Randox Biosciences, we are dedicated to improving health worldwide through scientific discovery, drug development and diagnostics. This World Arthritis Day, we will take you through some of our key products that have been developed to effectively diagnose those with arthritis in an efficient and effective manner.

For over 30 years, we have been developing and manufacturing polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies, proteins and fragments (sdAb, scFv, Fab) for use in Randox diagnostic kits including our patented Biochip Array Technology and ELISA testing kits.

We offer a wide range of inflammatory cytokine markers including:

  • Interleukin 17 (IL-17)
  • Interferon γ (IFNγ)
  • Tumour necrosis factor α (Tnfα)
  • Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)

Using some of our raw materials, we have also developed cytokine arrays* that are utilised on our patented and award-winning, Biochip Array Technology.  As cytokines play a central role in the immune system and are involved in a variety of immunological, inflammatory and infectious diseases, they have been linked to many disease states such as autoimmune diseases including arthritis.

We offer a comprehensive menu of cytokines, cytokine receptors and growth factors, over 5 multi-analyte arrays. The combination of highly specific antibodies and advanced chemistries enables up to 12 cytokines and growth factors to be detected simultaneously in a single sample. This provides valuable information relating to each cytokine under test and possible associations between cytokines in each sample, resulting in a complete patient profile to enable an accurate diagnosis.

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1 – Medicine Net

2 – NHS Choices

3 – Arthritis Foundation

4 – E Bioscience

 *for research use only