Arthritis is an umbrella term used to refer to the more than 100 medical conditions that affect the joints. The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
While arthritis is often considered a disease of old age, it is not a natural part of ageing: in fact, more than 60% of the 3.85 million Australians affected by arthritis are of working age. Trends suggest that the number of Australians affected will rise to 7 million by 2050. Arthritis costs the Australian economy more than $23.9 billion each year in direct and indirect costs.
There is no cure for osteo- or rheumatoid arthritis, but early recognition and treatment can minimise or delay joint damage and complications. Researchers at SVI are seeking new therapeutic targets to treat these common debilitating diseases by studying the cells that build bone (osteoblasts), the cells that destroy bone (osteoclasts), and the way these cells interact with each other and their environment. Ultimately, the aim is to identify new ways to keep the joint healthy.
Learn more about arthritis:
SVI's Bone Cell Disease and Biology Unit