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The Knee Injury Cohort at the Kennedy (KICK) study has completed a significant milestone this week with the recruitment of all required participants – 150 individuals aged between 18 and 50 with recent knee injuries.

The Knee Injury Cohort at the Kennedy (KICK) study has completed a significant milestone this week with the recruitment of all required participants – 150 individuals aged between 18 and 50 with recent knee injuries.

After a joint injury, around 50% of people will go on to develop premature osteoarthritis. Chief investigator Dr Fiona Watt says: “Following the 150 participants in KICK over the next five years will help us to understand why a joint injury leads to osteoarthritis in some individuals, but not others. This will allow us to develop tests which identify those at greatest risk. We hope that this will ultimately enable us to intervene in key pathways following a joint injury to prevent this disabling condition”.

Other work in the Kennedy Institute has identified specific markers of inflammation following injury; KICK aims to determine whether it is possible to predict the development of osteoarthritis from this initial molecular response of the joint to the injury. The study also hopes to identify novel targets for preventing or treating early disease.

KICK is run at The Arthritis Research UK Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis, based in the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, at Oxford, and benefits from a range of collaborations, namely with Andrew Williams, leading UK sports knee surgeon working at Fortius Clinic, London. Commenting on the recent milestone, he said: “This is a great achievement. Understanding the key detrimental humoral 'players' that lead to osteoarthritis will open the possibility of providing therapies to prevent development of osteoarthritis after trauma which is especially prevalent in the young and increasingly so. The need for this is one of the most pressing goals in medicine today.”

KICK is funded by the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research, with additional infrastructure support from Arthritis Research UK.

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