, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 62-63
Date: 23 Dec 2011

The Osteoarthritis Initiative: A NIH Public–Private Partnership

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Introduction

Osteoarthritis affects over 27 million individuals in the USA [1]. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has long supported research to improve outcomes for patients with this debilitating disease. Knee osteoarthritis is associated with significant pain and development of disability over time. People who are severely compromised have few effective treatment options other than joint replacement. Differences exist in the prevalence, incidence, and severity of osteoarthritis between men and women. Furthermore, the course of disease is frequently associated with significant morbidity and disability. Currently no disease-modifying agents exist for the treatment of osteoarthritis, although new treatments are currently under development. The discovery of osteoarthritis biomarkers, including structural characteristics that can be observed with MRI, could lead to identification of new treatment targets and mechanisms for shorter, more efficient trials of disease-modifying agents.