Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Maintaining our health as we age depends in large part on maintaining a healthy musculoskeletal system. Osteoarthritis is the primary cause of disability in adults, resulting in substantial physical, psychological, and financial costs to individuals and society. There are no treatments available to alter the course of osteoarthritis because our understanding of this complex disease is incomplete. Our lab focuses on understanding how aging and obesity–the two greatest risk factors for osteoarthritis–interact to make joint tissues more susceptible to the damaging effects of unhealthy diets and altered joint loading. The goal of this work is to develop new treatments and patient health guidelines to prevent or slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Our lab also studies how moderate exercise reduces osteoarthritis pain to develop new drug treatments that are effective and safe for long-term use.
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