Study: Naked mole-rats reveal clues to treating arthritis
The naked mole-rat has genetic traits that might lead to better treatments for arthritis in humans, scientists have learned.
December 16th, 2011
09:17 AM ET

Study: Naked mole-rats reveal clues to treating arthritis

Experiments on naked mole-rats may lead to better treatments with fewer side effects for humans suffering from painful inflammatory arthritis, according to a new study published Friday in the journal Science.

The partially blind, hairless, wrinkly, cold-blooded mammals were good candidates for the study because of their unique insensitivity to acid-induced pain.

Native to sub-Saharan Africa, the naked mole-rat makes its home burrowed deep in huge colonies in underground tunnels, with access to very little oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide.

“Exposure to high levels of carbon dioxide in turn would evoke acidosis, but the naked mole-rat has evolved in a way to manage this acid load and to be able to live in acidic environments, which for most other rodents in the world would be uninhabitable,” said neuroscientist Ewan St. John Smith, the lead author of the study.

Scientists say in most mammals - including humans - exposure to acid stimulates special channels at the tips of sensory neurons, called nociceptors. Once these nociceptors are activated, they transmit a signal along the spinal cord to the brain.

But among naked mole-rats, although acid triggers the nociceptors, their pain-sensing neurons contain proteins with genetic mutations that prevent neurons from firing off pain signals in response to acid.

Inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis, are normally associated with acidosis, scientists say.

“If a drug could now be developed which acts on these particular proteins on the sensory neurons, you could limit the ability of acid to cause pain in patients with arthritis and other inflammatory disorders,” Smith said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50 million U.S. adults (about 1 in 5) report doctor-diagnosed arthritis. That number is projected to increase to 67 million by 2030.

“We can learn a lot from comparative physiology. By understanding how an animal adapts to its environment, this will teach us a lot of our own biological system,” said neuroscientists Gary R. Lewin, one of the authors of the study, conducted by the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany.

The naked mole-rat has been the subject of other groundbreaking studies.  The buck-tooth rodent has been found to have an unusually long life span; it can live three years longer than other rodents and is resistant to cancer.

Most recently, scientists sequenced and analyzed the entire genome, which Smith and his colleagues hope to be able to use for their next phase of research.

"It’s cool to know how things work, especially when things don’t work as you expect them to,” Smith said.

You can also follow @CNNLightYears.

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Filed under: Discoveries • News • On Earth
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Travis Gunawan

    Gout can present in a number of ways, although the most usual is a recurrent attack of acute inflammatory arthritis (a red, tender, hot, swollen joint)...-"*

    Most recent write-up produced by our online site http://healthmedicinejournal.comen

    June 21, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  2. BAB

    @Alan: also, just because there's a higher rate of arthritis in countries that consume more animal products does not mean that there is a direct link between arthritis and eating animal products. countries that consume more animal products are usually better off economically so there are many things which occur more in those countries. there are more carbon emissions, less exercise, and an overall higher rate of many diseases just to name a few off the top of my head. people need to look at all the things which occur more in a country in order to really see what is causing a disease.
    so, yes, it is "simple and naive" to think that just because there is more animal consumption and a higher rate of a certain disease, the two are directly related and to think that you can therefore set up a direct cause and effect relationship. that is no way to develop a sound theory. you have not looked at any other possible contributing factors and have narrowed yourself to one specific theory or idea. do some research and look for other factors which may also be increased in those areas and then look at their effect, or known relationship with arthritis, and you may find there are other things which can account for the prevalence of arthritis.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  3. BAB

    @Alan: I have had severe RA for two years now and i am only 25 years old. I have the misfortune of knowing that every joint in my body is affected except for shoulders and elbows. my spine is also affected tremendously. i think, no offense, that you need to look up "cure" in the dictionary. there is no cure for RA. there are many different treatments, medically and non medically, which can alleviate the symptoms and/or slow the progression to the point where you exhibit few if any symptoms. i have seen no evidence in my research to show that diet in any way cures RA. if that was the case, no one would need or want scientists to look for better ways to treat the pain. getting your acid levels back to normal and eliminating animal products may reduce pain and other symptoms of RA but it does not cure it. you still have the disease, it is still attacking your joints, and eventually the pain and other symptoms will come back. the best you can hope for is that eating vegan slows the progression of the disease to the point where you think it is cured. eating vegan may be perfect for people with mild to slightly moderate cases but i doubt for people with truly severe cases such as mine are going to get the same results someone like you did.
    Discover magazine talked about a cure in the future which is far more likely to actually cure the disease not just eliminate symptoms. but that is years down the road. to cure RA, the immune system has to be fixed. specifically the proteins or other cells which are responsible for attacking the lining of the joints. this will occur at the genetic level in each cell. the amount of acids we consume may affect the disease but they by no means cause or therefore cure the disease. the only way to cure a disease is to find the cause of the disease. and consuming animal products does not cause RA though it may affect it. therefore, eating vegan will not cure RA. it may reduce the symptoms or slow the progression but that is all. curing RA will require scientists to find the exact cause and fix that.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  4. SimpleMan

    My Girlfriend has Rhumatoid Arthritis and she takes remicade for it. However I hope this naked mole rat research results in new medicine as Remicade is no longer having the benifits it did. Flare ups are awful and I wouldn't wish this disease on my worst enemy. I pray for any of you who have to endure the pain of any type of arthritis. In all honesty, I think alternative medicine may be closer to a cure from the root than modern medicine. Modern medicine seems to be in it more for profit than finding permanent solutions. I guess solutions can in many cases come second to the bottom line. Many autoimmune diseases are proven to be dietary disease meaning we put things in our body that are foreign and don't belong, causing our immune system to attack different areas of the body including joints. Say no to foreign proteins.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  5. Luke Davies

    this is awful that everyone is overlooking the fact of animal cruelty.

    'the naked mole-rat makes its home burrowed deep in huge colonies in underground tunnels' – WELL THESE RATS DONT – they live in a small glass tube.

    Get a grip US.

    December 19, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • SciChick

      @Luke Davies – if you don't like drugs to be tested on animals then I have a fantastic job for you and your family. They can be lab people! Lab people live in free apartments with all the food and water they need. The only caveat is that they must be experimented on, but I'm sure you and your family will be okay with that because of all the rats you are saving!

      Your ignorance of animal testing is staggering. Scientists like me work very hard to use a few animals as possible and treat them as well as possible. In fact, I now work on alternatives to animal models. However, I understand that we will never be able to stop testing on animals without sacrificing human health and safety.

      If you don't like animal testing, next time you or your loved ones are sick, then don't take any medications.... they are ALL tested on animals.

      December 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • cfo

      I pray that you never suffer from any painful ailment, be it chronic or acute.

      December 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm |


    December 17, 2011 at 2:34 am |
    • fimeilleur

      You're not too familiar with "trickle effect" are you?

      December 17, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  7. CCCDaughter

    I am thankful to every Doctor, Researcher and Scientist that does constant research, in combating diseases, that help ease the suffering of many people.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  8. Pusher

    Let's develop an overpriced drug that will most likely create deficiencies in the body, disrupt symbiosis and metabolism over time rather than focusing on ways to diminish the acidic environment ... nothing like masking the real problem... nociceptors are meant to transduce pain.

    December 16, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Christine

      What do YOU propose to do to help people who suffer from RA and other painful diseases?

      December 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  9. brat

    there are real bums who work in insurance companies whose job it is , to ste there and dream up ways to deny benefits to people who pay and pay !!!! now theyll have or dream up another excuse and another somebody will dream up excuses to make this very rare !!! in deed hang em high boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 16, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  10. Ross

    I love rats. They are one of the most under-appreciated mammals in the world. They are extraordinarily intelligent and sensitive. Survival experts always espouse the intelligence of the rat, and say that in the event of a disaster, always follow a rat since they are masters of survival.

    December 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  11. Alan

    One thing ALL arthritis sufferers have in common is that they eat animal based foods especially dairy products. Stop these and the arthritis goes away. The nations with the highest incidence of arthritis and gout are also the highest consumers of dairy produce.

    December 16, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Larry H

      Such and simple and naive statement. Limiting or eliminating certain foods helps some people, but certainly not "all".

      December 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
      • Alan

        What's "simple and naive" about a direct correlation between the level of dairy consumption and prevalence of arthritis in any country on earth. You also will not find a person with arthritis who does not consume animal products in some form or other. Try it, you will find that I am correct in this. If you are an arthritis sufferer, try stopping all animal based products and you will see an immediate improvement in the level of pain and damage reversal starting within a few months. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, try it! The added benefits include normal blood pressure and colesterol within days and normal weight within a few months ( a year or so if extremely obese).

        December 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Winona

      This is the most incorrect statement I have ever read. I have been a vegan with no dairy my ENTIRE life, and I suffer from severe arthritis. Both of my parents were vegans as well, and my father suffered from it as well. I will also mention that I am 72 years old, and I am in perfect health besides my arthritis.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
      • Alan

        I'm willing to bet that something you are eating has whey in it. A lot of processed foods and suppliments have whey.

        December 16, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
      • Pusher

        December 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • driranek

      Aspargus is about the only common food with enough uric acid to kick off a gout attack. How does that fit in?

      December 16, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
      • Alan

        You know, when I still ate meat and dairy, my doctor told me to avoid asparagus, cauliflower, and brocolli which all seemed to help a bit but once I stopped the animal products I could eat all the above without a hint of joint pain. After months of being vegan and no pain I decided to start eating meat and cheese again and the arthritis returned within a week.

        December 16, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  12. dim

    "we can develop a drug". isn't that special of you, doc? you wouldn't want to suggest that decreasing acidity in the body would help with every disease you treat with expensive drugs. now, would you?

    December 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  13. bob, bob johnson

    Masking the pain is wonderful, but that's still not a cure. The ultimate solution is to resolve what's causing the problem in the first place. If it's acidosis, then the Ph of the body is too acidic, and needs to be reduced. I'd want to begin by looking at the overall diet of the patient, take several baseline blood tests – morning, afternoon, evening. Then adjust the diet and reduce the Ph. Reducing the Ph should reduce the inflammation, and by extension – the pain caused by that inflammation. Simply masking the pain isn't going to reduce the inflammation – in fact, it'll likely continue to get worse, which will require more pain masking – ad infinitum.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Alan

      I agree totally! I suffered with arthritis for years and had several deformed joints and lots of pain. I eventually discovered that it was dairy products causing the arthritis. I stopped all dairy, including products with whey, and I am now completely cured. It has been seven years now and even the deformed joints have returned to normal.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  14. simon coor

    What about ALL the arthritis in knees especially that is actually misdiagnosed Lyme as it is now found the blood test that has been used is over 70% wrong with false neg...therefore also covering the fact that its been epidemic and mis diagnosed as fibro tremendously,and everything under the sun as it goes thru your entire body,bones,nerves organs and brain.They suspect not just ticks but fleas carry it too.Talk about a major savings for ins companies if they would start using the new test from the sept 2011 press release in Pennsylvania with Advance labs!!! And the new test is not that expensive,and the cure if Lyme is caught in the first 2 weeks(which there's another whole story with doctors being told Not to give the 30 days and only 2 weeks which only puts it into dormancy and WILL cause different strains...which they are discovering ALOT of...that 30 days of that antibiotic if you had NO insurance is under 15 lousy bucks...vrs tens of thousands PER person for the rest of their lives...and it is in epidemic proportions,but unknown as over 70% have been missed,even if you do have a target rash,which only about 50% do,and most don't even remember getting a bite as it messes with short term can be just a very itchy bug bite look....but you don't remember it can go dormant,it can go inside the cells and hide from your own immune system,it can hide in cysts to come alive at a later about over trillions of dollars of savings if only that test was made more available and ins paid for it and the govt would allow doctors to give out more than 14 days of antibiotics at a about making a super bug!!!!! ANd a life sentence to a life that is beyond hell...and senselessly costing every taxpayer SO much.I just dont get it!! They scream one thing,but do another always! There is a better test and doctors should NOT be afraid to treat it even after the first 2 weeks are missed with simple antibiotics...this makes no sense money wise or healthcare wise at all!!! a major part of chronic lyme that supposedly doesn't exist...and some wonder why herx from antibiotics..if you had microscopic wormlike things trying to be killed and they dont die easy ,in your muscles....the nerves are telling the truth....and if you feel better 2 to 3 months later after strong and the right antibiotic from your arthritis...that should be a clue,even thou it is short lived as the spirochete just repopulates as it takes ALot to kill them off

    December 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Burbank

      It's OK to leave white space between paragraphs. Your comment is extremely hard to read.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • James

      Agreed, they will do what their stats help them raise profits.

      "(about 1 in 5) report doctor-diagnosed arthritis" vow make new pills for them because if it is cured we are doomed !

      I think same is true for curable treatments for diabetes and such.

      The Right wing stand comes as no surprise against stem cell research ! Our supporters will be out of business come on let us worry about 'life' that is not yet created (and leave the living humans on their own) !!

      Man it is a SAD state of affairs in country like ours where we have people being persuaded by 'such' issues.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Bill

      There is very little profit in a cure.

      December 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  15. James

    They still do not get !

    Instead of focusing on how to trick the brain not to realize the pain, why not spent time in figuring out 'how to avoid arthritis or stop it" .

    If one has arthritis and he is masking the pain does not mean the damage is stopped, he will still have to undergo same process of surgery or intervention like we have today !

    The day the medicine would focus on causes rather than superficial treatment it would be a great day in 'medicine'.
    This can only happen if we were to free medical studies from the lobby of BIG pharmacies. Until then be ready to eat more of their pills and 'raise' the cost of health care !

    I guess this is what 'free' market can really do if you let them loose, surprise, surprise !

    December 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Jenna NYC

      I'm with you James!

      December 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Toz

      Unfortunately, James, significant research has been done on inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis. We actually know what causes it; the problem is how to stop it. Current medications are designed to reduce inflammation, which is what actually causes the damage. Developing a pain-suppressant would go far in alleviating the symptoms while a "cure" is found. It is unfortunate that you are so misinformed.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
      • Burbank

        Lots of knuckle scraping idiots on this blog that think they know everything. Most of them have never even heard of gout which is what they are talking about in this article.

        December 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Burbank

      You don't know what you are talking about here. They are talking about gout, it's genetic, so until they can learn how to repair the faulty gene, there won't be a cure. Until then, something to help people in chronic pain would be nice, I don't think any of us will still be alive by the time they learn how to cure it.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Burbank

      Since it's caused genetically, how about stem cell research – Hmm? Are you ready to let the "free market" loose on that one???

      December 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  16. palintwit

    Scientists studying at the prestigous Sarah Palin University (Floyd County, Arkansas campus) have determined that naked mole-rats are best served up with "Sweet Baby Ray's" barbeque sauce. Through extensive research they were able to determine that this is a favorite of teabaggers in nearly every trailer park in the US.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  17. jc12

    An incredibly effective treatment for arthritis is topical cannabis. Companies in Colorado and California make creams that are infused with cannabis oil, unfortunately you need a medical marijuana card in order to purchase. Check out Apothecanna in Colorado and Doc Greens in california.

    December 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Burbank

      Thanks for that useful bit of information. I have a card and also gouty arthritis which is what they are talking about in this article. I'll look into the CA facility.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Tha Chikin

      Thank you for saving me from having to say it!

      WAKE UP AMERICA!! MJ is and always has been a wonder drug!

      December 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
      • duuuuuude

        Yeah...all my friends smoking it wonder what I'm talking about...wonder where they parked...wonder where the chips and salsa are...wonder why they can't hold down a job....

        wonder drug alright.

        December 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  18. Jim

    So, the article says that these rats have arthritis, but they just don't feel the pain? How useful is this discovery?

    December 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • dbrock

      I was kind of thinking the same thing.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Burbank

      Well duh! They want to figure out if what causes them not to feel the pain can be applied to humans.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  19. Pete

    Death stops all the pain.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • James

      Can expedite it else it is suicide right ? We hope no one in our country wants to go that route..

      My heart bleeds when I hear Vets and their suicide rates that just appeared on CNN.

      Where the republicans who sent them over there in the first place !

      I am sure the solution will sound liberal by the 'conservatives' because they would term it as one more 'welfare' .
      Shame on them.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  20. FatAmerican

    Just what we need more drugs to MASK the pain. What happened to the people who lived 10,000 years ago? Damn, we should continue to degrade the genepool by introducing more drugs to combat problems in people that natural selection has deemed necessary.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • C.sean

      They suffered and died in pain is what happens.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Ralf The Dog.

      They lived to the age of 30, then they died.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Sandra

      They died very young – probably well before most could get arthritis. They either survived pain and blood loss or died from infection/disease. I have arthritis – I would love a cure but would be very happy to have some painless days – or less painful.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • who, me?

      What makes you think the our big brains and ability to create modern medical treatments aren't a result of natural selection? Your point is facile

      December 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Burbank

      They are talking about gout. It's a genetic predisposition for a person's body to produce too much uric acid resulting in the body depositing needle like crystals in the joints. If the body becomes too acid it can result in your own immune system attacking you causing extremely painful swelling in these joints, most commonly the big toe/foot region.

      Besides drugs, it can be controlled by a diet that avoids meat, seafood, alcohol and processed foods plus drinking tons of water to keep the acid flushed out of the body. Just try staying completely away from any and all processed food! That's why they want drugs to help combat the pain. You are probably one of these jerks that think organic food is unamerican!

      I think the gene pool and general intelligence of the human race would be vastly improved if you shot yourself with one of your NRA pieces! Knuckle scraping idiot!

      December 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • ObeseMajority

      Get back to work.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • RDMetalgeek

      Arthritis is an autoimmune disease and some sufferers have found significant relief in making diet changes such as eliminating gluten and/or dairy from their diet. The more natural diets of 10,000 years ago didn't contain either of these. Of course, this does require the effort of making a life style change and doesn't have the convenience of just taking a pill to fix things. It also won't be supported by the disease management industry since diet changes don't generate profits.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • charlotte

      You might have a point if you were talking about diabetes or some other likely fatal disease. But this is arthritis, which is painful and debilitating but not instrinsically lethal. 10,000 years ago, as others have pointed out here, people didn't live past 20 or 30 years old, so their joints didn't have time to develop arthritis. Today we are living typically into our 70s and 80s – some thanks to medicine, some thanks to evolution – but the body evolves unevenly. Our skeletons haven't caught up so we get arthritis and we are in pain. Our teeth haven't caught up so we have to get the wisdom teeth removed because they no longer fit well in most of our jaws. And so on. I have osteoarthritis in one knee and so my running and figure skating days are over, but I almost never take pain medication. The day will probably come when I need to do so. I just wish they wouldn't torture animals – no matter how homely – to design new treatments. It's unfair, and IMHO, unethical.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  21. Searching4answers

    Thanks "Healthy Living" & to everyone else who tries to help others on does make a difference!! (Pain, the silent war we all one way or another.)

    December 16, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  22. Kristina

    I have arthritis in my knuckles and I use Apple Cider Vinegar everyday and I have no pain and no swelling at all. If I stop taking it, it comes back in a few weeks. My mom had gout and she drank Black Cherry Juice and it cleared up, but she had to keep drinking a glass a day to keep it at bay. Our bodies are starved for certain things and rebel when they don't get it. IBS inflammation? I have that too. Licorice clears up the inflammation for that. I always go natural when I can. It's easier on the body, and I have had no side effects. But everyone should consult their Doctors before taking natural products since some things can react with medications and certain conditions.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • james

      You sound like you're pitching a line of all-new natural medical supplies.

      December 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
      • Eric

        Yeah no kidding that's what I thought too.

        December 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Randy

      Do you think it would work for reactive arthritis like I have that only gets bad when I run alot?

      December 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Jenna NYC

      I read a book several years ago written by an M.D. who said that arthritis is caused by fungal infections, including yeast...well, we eat a tremendous amount of sugar and yeast, also take a lot of antibiotics which can cause yeast overgrowth...the vinegar kills off yeast. Also, I believe, eccinacea.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  23. Jenna

    I'm thrilled to hear that scientists are learning something. In the meantime all the quacks will interpret this information as meaning they should eat alkaline foods. There will be new diet books to sell, and seminars to go to. Movies to make. People will sell gypsum to ward off arthritis pain. Your relatives will be calling you to buy into a new pyramid scheme.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  24. Healthy Living

    If inflammatory disorders are associated with acidosis (as they claim scientists say), then why not examine how to reduce the acid load in the body to see if it results in a lessening of symptoms? I suppose a pill is easier to take than having to change certainly has more profitability.
    If you have an inflammatory type of arthritis or disease and have not had much success with traditional medicine or are looking for a way to treat yourself without terrible side effects, you should research the Antibiotic Protocol. You can read more here: I swear, it has been a lifesaver for many I know.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • charlotte

      I'm not sure that's a leap of logic intended by the research. If that were true, why, then, is the treatment to inject hyaluric acid into the joint?

      December 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  25. numbnut

    No one has a problem with a mole rat evolving, but not okay with human evolution (just coming off the blogs on the Tebow story)? Very interesting.

    December 16, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  26. Jesse

    Really, why are we talking about a 4 year old story with scientific inconsistencies. There is no such thing as a cold blooded mammal.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Veronica

      Actually, naked mole rate are one of the few mammals that could be considered "cold-blooded", or more accurately, endothermic poikilotherms. Although they can regulate their own body temperatures internally, at colder temperatures they don't so that their internal body temperature is that of the environment. Just one of those things that make naked mole rats so interesting.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  27. D

    Quit it science! Just pray the arthritis away!

    December 16, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • bachmanntwit

      Michelle Bachmann's husband, Marcus Bachmann, tried to pray away his own gay but it didn't work.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:54 am |
      • Burbank


        December 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  28. AJ

    Want to point out that the 50 million adults reported to have arthritis have been diagnosed with either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment in this article appears to be geared toward treating rheumatoid arthritis, which affects a much smaller percentage of people.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • JeramieH

      You're right, if you can't solve the biggest problem, don't solve any problems at all.

      Because we can only solve one problem at a time.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Burbank

      You don't know what you are talking about at all. There is another kind of arthritis called gout. Its the most painful form of arthritis there is and is caused by the body becoming over acid. This is the form they are talking about here but the writer never mentioned it by name. I think CNN has a lot of unpaid interns writing thier articles for them. Either that, or the writing staff has drinking problems! They make some really lame mistakes and omit important facts all the time.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  29. Wobbles

    I have visions of scientists dipping mole rats into vats of old battery acid and seeing if they squeal and writhe in pain.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Biggerdawg

      DO NOT consider a career in research.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:17 am |
      • Wobbles

        Actually, I have a plan to test if someone is a witch. It involves trussing the test subject up, throwing them into a lake and if they float, they are a witch.

        December 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  30. palintwit

    Teabaggers and birthers love these things as pets. Then they eat them when they die.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Biggerdawg

      Ow, my ribs.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • bannister

      You're an idiot.

      December 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  31. Loryncello

    This sounds more like a treatment for pain and less like a treatment for arthritis. There's no mention of reducing joint damage or the other ways in which inflammatory arthritis harms the body, but a relief from pain is promise enough.

    December 16, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Sylvester

      I really, really need relief from my everyday pain. Most anti-inflammatory medications like Celebrex that I was on raise the blood pressure...even Advil etc does so I am limited and cannot take them most days. I am only 47, in great shape otherwise but some days are a real challenge. Unless you suffer from chronic, everyday pain, you just cannot understand fully the hell that it is.

      December 16, 2011 at 10:53 am |
      • Margjones

        I suffered for decades (late 1970's to 2005) from chronic (24/7 -5+ out of 10) pain, especially when walking or standing. I live in a big city now. I have been going to a pain specialist since 2005, and now I am pretty much pain free when sitting when I take pain medication – still get in too much pain if I stand or walk for a bout 5-10 minutes . Since starting with my pain specialist, I had my second hip replacement, have had injections aound my facet joints, had surgery on my neck because one of my vertebra was not in alignment and was pinching my spinal cord (felt pain in lower back – but problem was in neck, making it hard to make a diagnosis), and shots for sciatica. It was a long hard road, but my pain specialist is great. Not all of yhem are, but I have been lucky, and I would give up, but I always eventually came back. I didn't like how it felt, but cymbalta is a drug that they created for depresion, but found out that it helped with nerve pain. I hope you hang in there and find a pain specialist that can help you. Good Luck. I will keep you in my prayers.

        December 16, 2011 at 11:48 am |
      • Deborah

        I can relate. RA, three years so far. However, this article was a "Bingo" moment for me, because I found something earlier from another RA patient who claims she found something worth while in her time of research, and it was in regards to PH balance, and how our diets are way to acidic. She has references and such, I would site her, but don't have my bookmark on me at this time, but will try to post later. None the less, what they are trying to do is treat the symptoms, but not cure it, however, when the article talks about acidosis. That was my bingo moment. So now I have more correlations to research, and perhaps try eating a more alkaline diet. Wish me good luck. I wish you the same.

        December 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Burbank

      Drinking lots of water will help flush the crystals from the joints. I know, I did it and now the gout is gone from my hands where there were crystals in every knuckle.

      December 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  32. WomenOnGuard

    Seems to be very promising for people with arthritis. Hopefully they can come up with something that doesn't have many side effects!

    December 16, 2011 at 10:18 am |


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