Study investigates arthritis nutritional program

Published 20 February 2008

People suffering from osteoarthritis of the knees are being invited to take part in a new study to investigate the effect of a nutritional supplement program in reducing knee pain, fatigue and other symptoms many people experience as they get older.

The study is being conducted by Southern Cross University’s NatMed-Research Unit under the supervision of Dr Joan O’Connor.

“We are looking for individuals who have a confirmed diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the knees, but otherwise in good general health, who are aged between 45 and 85 years,” Dr O’Connor said.

The study will investigate the safety and efficacy of a commercially-available nutritional program in improving the quality of life, reducing fatigue and improving memory in participants diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee.

“Arthritis is a leading cause of disability. The market for arthritis drugs and therapeutics is set to significantly increase over the next 5-10 years, reaching an estimated US$21 billion by 2010,” she said.

“Arthritis is very common, affecting about one in six Australians and nearly one in four Americans. Osteoarthritis is the most frequent cause of disability among adults in the developed world.”

Dr O’Connor said participants in the study would need to attend three clinics at the Lismore campus over a period of eight weeks.

“We are expecting that there will be a reduction in fatigue and an improvement in memory,” she said.

Participants will be interviewed over the phone and, if they meet the study criteria, be invited to attend an assessment clinic. People who do not have x-ray confirmation of their arthritis will be asked to attend North Coast Radiology to have an x-ray (at no cost).

Anyone interested in taking part should contact Dr O’Connor on 66203649 or email joan.oconnor@scu.edu.au

Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University, communications manager 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.