More research into Pentosan Polysulfate to potentially "cure" arthritis for millions
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Please read so you can understand that this can really work. It could change the lives of anyone suffering with this condition (including you when you're older)
Facts and stats about Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition which causes your joint cartilage to deteriorate and a reduction in synovial fluid within the joint (works as a lubricant), which leads to pain whenever you are moving that joint. If I am honest, I do not know whether it affects all joints however I know it can affect most. Arthritis currently affects about 350 million people in the world. Out of the 7 billion total this may seem a little small however from 2010-2012 roughly 50% of adults 65 years or older reported doctor-diagnosis arthritis, and then of course you are more likely to be affectly by it as you get older. So this global number of 350 million does not reflect the chance of people diagnosed with arthritis in a modern world where people live longer. Arthritis is a serious problem which causes a lot of pain and worry for the patients which is terrible for these people. Here are some more statistics relating to arthritis (http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis-related-stats.htm
The current way we deal with it
When diagnosed with arthritis there are many drugs which you are offered (some people may get joint surgery for serious cases).
The main two things these drugs do are:
- Pain relief
- Slows down the disease
None of the medication do the job of actually reversing the effects to a point where the patient can feel comfortable and not have to worry about the symptoms coming back in future.
The potential treatment has been around for many years and the main one is called "Pentosan polysulfate". This drug is in use at the moment however not for human arthritis. Currently it is being used to treat bladder pain (https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a602007.html and for animal arthritis at veternary clinics (http://www.cartrophen.com/for-vets/what-is-cartrophen-vet/ It is useful to note that this drug is most effective when used during the early stages of arthritis. If you use pentosan polysulfate when you have a serious case then it is unlikely that it will be able to reverse as many of the very prominent symptoms. Therefore, it is important that you get a diagnoses and begin the course as soon as you notice your pet may have any pain in their joints (but remember that animals have an instinct to hide their pain so it will be easier to diagnose a human earlier compared to a pet for arthritis).
But we are not dogs
We are not dogs however we are both mammals and affects to treatment are extremely similar. If you test on rats you can be confident it will work when used on a human (not always the case though!). There has been one study where people tested Pentosan polysufate for arthritis on human knee joint cartiledge and the results came out positive (http://bmcclinpharma.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6904-10-7 There was improvement in all patients, cartiledge was rebuilt and their joints were producing more synovial fluid to aid smooth movement! We can be very confident that this drug will be effective on humans.
Why wasn't this tested further
These types of studies take an incredible amount of time and money to do. If there is not money in something then no one cares! Don't forget that money is the main drive to sell and distribute items currently.
Why isn't there money in it? (anything in brackets on this paragraph is me thinking like a pharmaceutical company)
The pharmaceutical companies who are selling the current arthritis medication are trying to make as much money as possible since they are a company whos main goal is profit. With pentosan polysufate, once you have completed the initial course it requires a boost every 3 months. This means you'd have to buy only one dose every 3 months after the initial course (whaat! We cant make much money off that!). Currently the pharmaceutical companies sell painkillers that the patient needs to take everyday (yes we can make lots of money doing that). And that is why they are not interested in this drug. In fact, even on the artiritus.org website there is no mention of this drug. http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/medication/drug-guide/search-by-condition.php?v=6&condition=Osteoarthritis
No one cares about old people (I do though)
If we solve the arthritis problem then older people will be happier. Happiness increases your lifespan. More old people does mean more people will need to look after them and I am not sure who will do this. However, I can be almost certain that if older people do not have to go through this pain and suffering then they can live much a more free lives in their later years and not have to depend on people to look after them as much. I would personally love to see both my grandparents with the ability to freely move their joints as they could when they were much younger since from personal experience I know how much it effects them both physically and mentally.
Stand with us and ask the UK NHS and its partners to lead the way on researching this potentially life changing drug for millions of people.
You can find more of my work here: ilovefuture.wordpress.com
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