Knee pain research extended to fife

Volunteers sought for study

A research study about knee arthritis has now been extended to the kingdom of Fife.

Older people living with knee pain and osteoarthritis are being asked to join a research study hoping to find a safer treatment for reducing pain and improving quality of life.

Researchers at the University of Dundee are examining the effects of spironolactone, an inexpensive and well known heart drug that has been on the market for over 40 years and which they believe may have potential to help people with osteoarthritis.

'Our research team has been delighted by the interest in our study, which is still looking for people to take part,' said Professor Marion McMurdo, Head of Ageing and Health at the University, who is leading the study.

'We have had calls from the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. Although we set out to target people with sore knees in Dundee only, we have now decided to extend the study to include the people of Fife.

'We receive fantastic support from the older community in Tayside and Fife for the research work we carry out, and are extremely grateful for that. Research is what drives the development of new treatments which improve people's lives.

'Spironolactone has never been looked at before in osteoarthritis. But we did a recent trial, funded by the Chief Scientist's Office, which suggested it could be a new approach to reducing pain and improving quality of life for older people with arthritis. If effective, spironolactone would provide a safer and more economically attractive prospect than many modern anti-inflammatory drugs. It only costs £1 per week and we know from its use as a heart treatment that it is relatively safe.'

The new study, funded by a £135,000 grant from Arthritis Research UK, is hoping to recruit 86 people from across the region who are aged 70 years and over with knee pain and osteoarthritis.

People will be given either 25mg spironolactone daily or a matching dummy tablet for 3 months. Each person who takes part will have a 50:50 chance of getting the spironolactone, and neither the researchers nor the patients will know who has got which.

The research team will measure pain, quality of life, stiffness and physical abilities using questionnaires, and take blood tests of inflammation and joint changes before the study begins and again after 3 months.

For more information about the study and how to take part, please phone Ageing and Health in Ninewells Hospital on Dundee 383086 during office hours.


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