A United States study has determined a link between a woman’s skin wrinkles and her bone fracture risk, medical experts say. As medical research continues to find new ways to determine someone’s osteoporosis risk, drug manufacturers of popular medications such as Fosamax are just as anxious for newer and safer alternatives.
Presented at the Endocrine Society meeting at Boston, Massachusetts, this study makes the distinction that people with more resilient skin tend to have better and stronger bones. Researchers found that certain similar proteins that may be found in skin as well as bones are directly linked to bone health and their osteoporosis fracture risk.
Up to 114 postmenopausal women were asked to participate as part of an ongoing study in the US called the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study. The researchers visually studied 11 locations on women’s faces and necks using a device called a durometer. The device was used to determine the rigidity of the skin on the forehead and cheek. An x-ray and ultrasound were used to measure bone mass and density.
The study authors determined that having deeper skin wrinkles were further indicators related to also having lowered bone density among the study’s participants. It seemed that there was a direct correlation between the severity of the wrinkles and loss of bone mass, which seemed to indicate that among the women who had worse wrinkles, they also tended to have lower bone density. It also seemed apparent that this finding was independent of factors that influenced age and other factors known to influence bone mass.
The significance of these findings seems to indicate that the appearance and physical properties of the skin may play a vital role in reflecting the state of skeletal bones among post-menopausal women on the surface without having to undergo expensive and time consuming tests.
This relates to other previous findings on osteoporosis being linked to people with collagen problems as well as premature aging of the skin. However, as interesting as this study’s findings are, they would still need to be corroborated in further studies that would confirm its reliability and consistency in determining future fracture risk and bone density loss.
Researchers have found four proteins that direct bone loss, a new medical study shows. Four autophagy proteins help to regulate old and new bone tissue through the osteoclasts. These proteins are allowing the scientists of Washington University School of Medicine to consider new treatments which inhibit or disable these proteins from causing bone breakdown.
Currently the most popular osteoporosis drugs on the market are bisphosphonates which prevents bone loss by destroying osteoclasts. Many recent studies into the side-effects of bisphosphonates have scientists theorizing that destroying osteoclasts may not be the best treatment of osteoporosis as evidenced by multiple numbers of Fosamax related lawsuits. It’s for this reason many scientists are looking for alternate ways to preserve bone density other than how bisphosphonates function.
While the scientists have come up with a way to inhibit these autophagy proteins from directing osteoclasts to break down bone, the arrested proteins also prevented the remodeling of bones preventing any new bones cells from being made. While this issue still needs to be addressed, the quest for a treatment that prevents osteoporosis continues as researchers continue to study how bone is naturally formed and life.
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