Tuesday, 05 May 2015
A blood test that detects biomarkers responsible for the breakdown of cartilage will be available in Belgium before the end of the year, claims Professor Yves Henrotin, from Liège University. He spoke about this test during the World Conference organised by the International Society for Research on arthritis (OARSI). The conference took place in Seattle, in the US, this weekend. There is currently no method to detect the first signs of arthritis, a disease that limits the movement of patients by up to 80%.
“This test will performed by GPs”, says Professor Henrotin. “It will be a good way to detect the disease, and means the patient can see the specialist before their condition has already deteriorated. Up to now, we haven’t paid as much attention to arthritis as we should have done.”
Virginia Krauss, president of OARSI, added that other researchers have analysed 12 biomarkers, including 5 “very good” ones, which can be used to measure the level of pain and deterioration of the cartilage. “Thanks to these markers, we can see which patients need to take more medication and which patients are at risk of the disease developing faster”, she explained.
Figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that arthritis affects 26% of the world’s population who are more than 60 years old. “When we have detected it, it is generally too late and the cartilage is already too damaged”, Professor Henrotin says.