For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Capezzuto
UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Participants Sought for New Treatment for Osteoarthritis of the
Researchers at the University
of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) are testing a new
drug treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee that appears to lubricate
the joint and minimize its inflamation.
The treatment involves
three to five injections of sodium hyaluronate into the joint and
a light exercise routine, according to the research team at UMDNJ-New
Jersey Medical School in Newark.
Osteoarthritis is a
disease of the joint cartilage associated with secondary changes
in the underlying bone, which may ultimately cause pain and impair
the function of the affected joint. The drug works by acting as
a lubricant, or a shock absorber, for the arthritic knee joint,
said Dr. Todd P. Stitik, a physiatrist at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical
School and principal investigator of the study.
"It not only will improve
the fluidity of motion, but also serve as an anti-inflammatory agent,
coating the pain receptors to reduce discomfort," said Dr. Stitik,
associate professor of medicine at the medical school.
"It acts like oil within
the joint, lubricating the parts of the joint that have dried out
from arthritis," he added. "Patients also will be asked to perform
a simple isometric exercise to help improve their ability to bend
The purpose of the study
is to determine whether the treatment can provide long-term pain
relief when combined with light exercise that can be performed at
home, Dr. Stitik said. Only one knee (the most painful) will be
treated during the study.
Individuals who are
interested in participating in the study can contact Lisa DeBilio,
the study coordinator, at (973) 972-2802. Eligible participants
must be at least 50 years old; have osteoarthritis of the knee or
have knee pain when walking; must not be allergic to eggs, feathers,
or novocaine; and not be taking Coumadin, a blood thinner. All subjects
will be given a $30 cash stipend for each office visit, up to a
total of $300.
The UMDNJ-New Jersey
Medical School is one of three medical schools of the University
of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. UMDNJ comprises New Jersey's
only medical schools, the state's only dental school, a nursing
school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health
related professions and a school of public health on campuses in
Newark, Piscataway/New Brunswick, Camden, Stratford and Scotch Plains.
It is affiliated with more than 200 health care and educational
institutions throughout the state.