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Osteoporosis patients unable to work out might get help soon

7 April 2010 Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Osteoporosis handsOsteoporosis patients unable to work out might get help soon, after scientists discovered precisely how exercise promotes new bone growth. The research might open the doors for new therapies and drugs that cause the same benefits to the bones as working out.

The research published online in the FASEB Journal shows that bone cell use cilia, a microscopic hair-like projection, to turn on bone-forming genes in response to mechanical loads.Researchers hope that the mechanism identified in this study could lead to new treatments for bone loss and other diseases involving cilia.

“It’s easy for doctors to tell osteoporosis patients that they need to get a good workout a few days each week, but the reality is that many patients are too frail to do so,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “This ground-breaking study details the exact biochemical signals used by bone cells to turn the daily work-out into new bone. This research pinpoints new targets for drugs that will allow physicians to break this cycle of frailty, bone loss, and incapacity, so that patients can live longer, healthier, and more active lives.”

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