Biomarkers and Joint Pain in Military Osteoarthritis Study (Bio-Mil-OA)

Disease - Osteoarthritis, knee pain, traumatic fracture

Lead applicant - Group Captain Alexander Bennett

Organisation - Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Headley Court

Type of grant - Special Strategic Award

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £292,852.32

Start date - 1 January 2017

Reference - 21076

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

Current evidence suggests that those exposed to trauma have an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis and associated symptoms, however to date no long term studies have been carried out to prove this theory. Using blood tests, this research hopes to determine the markers of risk for osteoarthritis development in military personnel who have and have not been exposed to trauma, to then allow us to predict who will go on to develop osteoarthritis.

Why is this research important?

This research is a sub study of a larger study called the ADVANCE study which is comparing medical and psychosocial outcomes in military personnel who have, and who have not, sustained battlefield trauma. The funding for this particular research will be used to take blood tests in the ADVANCE participants at the starting point of the study and 5 years after the start of the study. The blood test results will then be linked with x-rays collected as part of the study. This will allow the researchers to determine whether blood tests can be used to predict the risk of disease development before the x-ray changes or symptoms are present.

How will the findings benefit patients?

Osteoarthritis is currently a major burden on society. By studying the military population who have been exposed to trauma, and are expected to develop arthritis rapidly, the researchers hope to identify markers of the disease in a relatively short period of time. These disease markers will be translated to the general population. Predicting the onset of osteoarthritis many years before symptoms appear will allow clinicians to provide targeted, preventative treatments and lifestyle changes in order to delay and maybe prevent osteoarthritis development in individuals who are at risk and reduce the burden on society as a whole.