Charlottesville Alert

Update 8/19: acac phone lines are not currently working. All clubs are operating on their regular schedule. We are working to install replacement equipment to restore our service and hope to resume by Monday evening. Need to reach us? Visit acac.com/contact. Thank you for your patience!

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The Albemarle Square Aquatics Center will be closed from Monday, August 20 – Saturday, August 25 for yearly maintenance. Members are encouraged to use the Waterpark or acac Downtown during this time. Click here for more information.

re-cap of January Brown Bag Lunch and Learn with Dr. Clark

re-cap of January Brown Bag Lunch and Learn with Dr. Clark

Did you miss our Brown Bag Lunch and Learn on Jan 16 about Osteoarthritis? We’ve got you covered!

We were pleased to host a lunch and learn seminar with Dr. James Clark this week. Dr. Clark is both an internal medicine physician (having practiced for 20 years) and is now the full-time Medical Director of Charlottesville Medical Research. Dr. Clark provided a presentation regarding treatments for osteoarthritis pain:

Osteoarthritis results from the wearing down of cartilage in the joints. The best ways to actively address osteoarthritis and the pain associated with it are losing weight, exercise (both range of motion and muscle building) or physical therapy. Medical interventions that now are available are medications or injections. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) reduce inflammation, but may have side-effects that prevent prolonged usage. Injections of steroids or gels are often used to alleviate acute pain. Although effective for most, these treatments are also not designed for long-term usage due to their attribution to more cartilage deterioration if used too often.

There are many new treatments being investigated. Gene Therapies, Stem Cell, and Botox® are all potential therapies that are in clinical trials. Most of the clinical studies for Gene Therapies are happening in Europe. Stem Cell and Botox® studies are happening in the U.S., but are limited in the number of research sites. There are, however, three tracks of clinical trials currently underway in Charlottesville:

NSAID Pain Patches: Cremes that deliver anti-inflammatory drugs directly to the site of the joint pain have been available for several years and were developed to allow daily use without the gastrointestinal side-effects. Although very effective, keeping them actively applied can be a problem. Several companies that have already produce effective patches of other pain medications are sponsoring clinical trials of NSAID pain patches in order to provide a more stable delivery platform.

Capsaicin Injection: Capsaicin is an active component of chili peppers, and has been used over the counter for pain relief. The mechanism of action for reducing pain via capsaicin has been ascribed to the reduction of substance P, a neuropeptide that when released is involved with the inflammatory response to injury. A pharmaceutical company is investigating delivering the capsaicin directly into the joint for pain relief.

Monoclonal Antibodies: A monoclonal antibody is a type of protein that blocks a substance called nerve growth factor (NGF). Nerve growth factor is a protein that causes pain. Blocking NGF may reduce pain. There have been many studies of monoclonal antibodies, and this are of science is evolving rapidly.

If you would like a more detailed description of any of these clinical trials for osteoarthritis knee pain, please call Dr. Clark at Charlottesville Medical Research at 434-817-2442.