Researchers from Qatar University (QU) and the University of Warwick (UoW), UK, collaborate to develop a blood test for the early detection of osteoarthritis. This discovery is particularly significant since it allows for treatment and assistance to be provided for arthritis before joints have suffered irreparable harm. The test also detects the type of arthritis, which gives doctors a leg up in determining the best course of action. Maintaining a fit, self-sufficient, and productive workforce will benefit both individuals and society as a whole.
The blood test measures the amount of modified amino acids that are released into the blood during the early stages of the development of arthritis from proteins in the joints. In particular, the type of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other inflammatory joint disease that frequently heals itself, is characterised by the quantity and pattern of these molecules.
The researchers created diagnostic algorithms based on levels and combinations of these modified amino acids that could determine whether or not arthritis was present. They then developed algorithms that could differentiate between early-stage osteoarthritis, early rheumatoid arthritis, and other self-resolving inflammatory joint disease.