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Irish scientists positive about new treatments for arthritis sufferers

Arthritis affects around 400,000 people in Ireland and nearly 70 million people in the European Union suffer from the condition. A group of Irish scientists based at NUI Galway are part of a new EU funded research project that could potentially lead to new and effective treatments for the most common types of arthritis within five years. The project is called ADIPOA and it involves investigating how stem cells from fat tissue in adults can be used to regenerate cartilage.

This could potentially lead to new treatments being created for the condition osteoarthritis. The scientists have said that the initial phase of their research has been a success and their findings could lead to a new and effective treatment for osteoarthritis could become available in the next few years.

Prof Frank Barry, scientific director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway and a partner in the ADIPOA project has said “Until now there were just two possible outcomes for suffers of this progressive and debilitating disease – joint replacement surgery, in the case of advanced disease or, life-long pain management. From the clinical trials conducted so far, we have seen the first signs of finding a cure for this truly incapacitating disease which affects so many.”

He believes that the conclusions of their research have been very positive and that a breakthrough in arthritis treatment is not far away adding “While we are still in the early stages of clinical trials, the results so far are extremely positive, such that the use of stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis could become a reality for patients within the next five years.”


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