The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) is using a four year, $450 thousand grant from the VA's office to try and find a way to make osteoarthritis medicine safer and more effective for military veterans.
Veterans, especially ones who are older, are feeling the wear and tear of training and active duty. Because of that, doctors said they're twice as likely to develop osteoarthritis compared to the general population.
At this time there isn't medicine that Veterans can take to slow the progression of osteoarthritis, they can only treat the pain. But pain medication can only be taken for a limited time, and comes with the risk of addiction or side effects.
This is why OMRF scientist are using federal grant money to research how different things like exercise effect osteoarthritis pain, with the ultimate hope of then developing medicine that's more effective for these veterans.
"For people who already have this disease they need something now," said Dr. Tim Griffin, a research biologist with the Oklahoma City Veterans Administration. "That's why we are targeting the pain response, veterans have given a lifetime of service and I think we owe it to them as many healthy years as possible."
OMRF said diseases like arthritis can lead to other health problems including early death. Which is why they are so eager to find solutions in the next four years.