New hormone drug addresses what steroids could notCartilage is a sponge-like shock-absorbing layer that keeps our bones from grinding against each other especially during high-impact activities such as running and jumping. The cell responsible for maintaining strong and healthy cartilages are called chondrocytes.

Mechanical stresses often results to cartilage damage especially prominent as we age. As cartilages deteriorate, it could lead to a degenerative disease called osteoarthritis (OA).

OA is often characterized by pain and a certain degree of inflammation.

Usually, steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve the pain and inflammation. However it can do nothing to prevent or minimize cartilage loss.

An early study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research last September 12, showed a drug that could potentially address OA issues that steroids or NSAIDs could not.

Teriparatide is parathyroid hormone in drug form. Researches done in rats showed that it could significantly lower or prevent cartilage loss in subjects with OA. Furthermore, the drug could also help in cartilage re-generation.

Results of studies showed a 27% increase in joint cartilage after 12 weeks of treatment using teriparatide, compared to those who received ordinary saline solution.

This shows that teriparatide could be a potential treatment in OA patients to help in slowing down joint cartilage degeneration.