Can a $16,000 thermalscanner used to find defectsin computer circuit boardsspot the early signs of handarthritis? A study out of DukeUniversity found supportingevidence. Finger joints in thefirst stage of osteoarthritistend to be warmer, and thescanner is sensitive enoughto pick up fluctuations assmall as a tenth of a degreeFahrenheit.
The study involved 91individuals with clinical handarthritis in both hands. Theresearch showed majortemperature differences betweenhealthy joints andjoints affected by arthritis.The researchers said thatthe scanner was crucial indetecting those differences,according to the study reportedrecently in Rheumatology.