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Grasping the workings of the human hand

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Grasping the workings of the human hand
Dr. Heather Baltzer

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Dr. Heather Baltzer works with patients like Michael Widdifield who live with chronic arthritis conditions.​

​New clinical trial aims to focus on osteoarthritis of the small joints of the hand and wrist

Osteoarthritis (OA) often strikes feet, knees, spines, hips and hands. When this cartilage-destroying condition targets hands, many times the hitchhiker's tool bears the brunt of the damage.

Exceptionally common and painful, OA of the thumb can become debilitating. This often-overlooked digit comprises 40 to 50 per cent of hand function. Yet, research into hand and thumb OA, as well as what can be done to improve the condition, has not been wide-ranging or abundant.

Scientists at the Krembil Research Institute are now conducting a clinical trial in which biomarkers are being collected from surgery patients for analysis. Biomarkers are measurable, organic substances whose presence can indicate disease, infection or environmental exposure. Learning more about biomarkers could help scientists find a control or a cure for OA.​​