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Biomarkers ID Disease Activity in Elderly With Low Back Pain

Findings among older adults with axial low back pain; no correlation for MRI measurements with pain

Biomarkers ID Disease Activity in Elderly With Low Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Serum biomarkers can be used for assessment of active disease in older patients with low back pain, according to a study published online Nov. 3 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Gwendolyn A. Sowa, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues conducted a single-center cross-sectional cohort study involving 43 individuals aged 60 years and older with axial low back pain. The authors assessed the correlation between serum biomarkers and self-reported pain intensity and pain-related function.

The researchers observed no significant correlations between composite magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements and pain or pain-related function. In addition to the explanatory power of MRI-based results, associations with pain and pain-related function were seen for basal levels and changes in serum biomarkers in response to activity, particularly neuropeptide Y and RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted).

"Serum biomarkers may be a metric for assessment of active disease in older adults, in whom imaging changes are ubiquitous," the authors write. "In addition, changing levels of biomarkers in response to activity suggests that they may be useful as metrics to measure treatment responses in future studies and may reflect potential targets for use in designing personalized treatment for older adults with low back pain."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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