Animal studies suggest that adding flaxseed oil to the diet could reduce the risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and women with diabetes, according to a report to be published in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health. Mer Harvi and colleagues at the National Research Center, in Cairo, Egypt, have studied the effect of diabetes on bone health and evaluated how flaxseed oil in the diet might delay the onset of osteoporosis. The researchers studied 70 female albino rats of which 30 had their ovaries removed (ovx) to simulate the post-menopausal state and experimental diabetes was present in one group of rodents. The researchers then classified the rats as control, sham, diabetic, diabetic received flaxseed oil in the diet, ovx, ovx-diabetic and ovx-diabetic received flaxseed oil in the diet. After two months, the team collected urine and blood samples from the rats and measured serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and the bone-creating protein osteocalcin.
Nearly half of women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as the birth control shot, will experience high bone mineral density (BMD) loss in the hip or lower spine within two years of beginning the contraceptive, according to researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The study, reported in the January 2010 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was the first to show that women on DMPA who smoke, have low levels of calcium intake and never gave birth are at the highest risk for BMD loss. The researchers also found that high risk women continued to experience significant losses in BMD during the third year of DMPA use, especially in the hip - the most common facture site in elderly women. DMPA is an injected contraceptive administered to patients every three months. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, more than two million American women use DMPA, including approximately 400, 000 teens. DMPA is relatively inexpensive compared with some other forms of birth control, has a low failure rate and doesn't need to be administered daily, which contributes to the contraceptive's popularity.
It's important to finish what you start, say Jeong-Sun Ju and researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. In the December 14, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology, Ju et al. reveal how a mutant ATPase blocks autophagy partway through to cause a multi-tissue degenerative disease. Mutations in VCP, a member of the AAA ATPase family, cause inclusion body myopathy, Paget's disease of the bone, and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD), a rare disorder that mainly affects skeletal muscle, brain, and bone. Patient muscle contains aggregates of membrane and proteins called rimmed vacuoles, which accumulate and disrupt cellular architecture. This pileup of membranous trash is inconsistent with VCP's known involvement in proteasome-mediated protein degradation. Ju et al. thus wondered whether the ATPase might also be involved in garbage disposal via the autophagy pathway. Knocking down or expressing mutated VCP in cells increased levels of the autophagy markers p62 and LC3.
UroToday.com - Advanced prostate cancers regularly metastasize to the skeleton, and better treatments are needed to decrease morbidity and increase survival in men with end-stage disease. Metastatic prostate cancer cells alter the bone microenvironment in two ways: 1) they stimulate formation of disorganized new bone with poor biomechanical quality; 2) they stimulate bone remodeling by activating osteoclasts. These two steps offer unique adjuvant targets to supplement conventional anti-tumor therapies. Drugs against osteoclasts include classes of anti-resorptive agents developed against osteoporosis. In addition to the approved bisphophonates, inhibitors are in Phase III trials against osteoclast-selective targets cathepsin K and RANK ligand. Pathological bone in osteoblastic lesions may be caused by prostate-secreted endothelin-1, whose actions are blocked by endothelin receptor antagonists in Phase III trials. The status of these drugs is reviewed in the linked title article. Bone metastases provide a novel paradigm for cancer treatment: adjuvant therapy aimed at the metastatic microenvironment (rather than the tumor itself) can reduce tumor burden and decrease morbidity and mortality.
UK scientists curious to discover why unlike the weight-bearing bone in our limbs, skull bone does not get thin as it ages, even in post-menopausal women, have found some quite remarkable differences between the two bone types that could help develop new treatments and prevent osteoporosis. Researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, led the investigation, which was published last week as a study in the open access journal PLoS ONE. Lead author, Dr Simon Rawlinson, Lecturer in Oral Biology at Queen Mary, University of London, told the press that the discovery was exciting because it tells us why our skulls remain tough while the bones in our arms and legs weaken as we age; thus helping us understand osteoporosis better: "And this has opened up many new lines of research into how the disease could be treated or even prevented, " he added. Osteoporosis causes bones to become fragile and easy to break: it is more common in older people, especially women past the menopause.
Holiday shopping and holiday feasting may make you a prime candidate for a case of plantar fasciitis. Prolonged walking or standing and an increase in body weight are two leading causes of plantar fasciitis, a painful overuse injury affecting the sole of the foot, warns the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS). According to the AOFAS, plantar fasciitis typically starts gradually with mild heel pain. The pain classically occurs with the first step in the morning. Treatment options include stretching exercises, and modifying activities until the initial inflammation goes away. Ice application to the sore area for 20 minutes three or four times a day may also relieve symptoms. Your orthopaedic surgeon may also prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. But your best course of action is a routine of home exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Benedict DiGiovanni, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Rochester Medical Center (NY) and active AOFAS member, treats many patients with plantar fasciitis.
Using a technique that provides detailed images of nanoscale structures, researchers at the University of Michigan and Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital have discovered changes in the collagen component of bone that directly relate to bone health. Their findings, published online Dec. 16 in the journal Bone, could lead to new methods of diagnosing osteoporosis and other diseases affecting collagen-containing tissues. Bone is a composite material made up of a flexible collagen matrix impregnated with and surrounded by a stiffer, stronger mineral component. Though much is known about the importance of bone health to overall health, there's a critical lack of knowledge about the sub-microscopic structure of bone and how collagen and mineral - and the interactions between them - contribute to properties of healthy and diseased bone. "Our initial question was, could we discover more about the nanoscale structure of the collagen in bone, using the technique of atomic force microscopy, " said Mark Banaszak Holl, a U-M professor with joint appointments in chemistry and macromolecular science and engineering.
The following summarizes findings reported last week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. ~ Anthracyclines: New research suggests that anthracyclines -- a class of chemotherapy drugs commonly used to treat breast cancer -- could cause more harm than benefits for breast cancer patients because they can be damaging to the heart, the Wall Street Journal reports. Researchers from the Breast Cancer International Research Group studied the effects of two courses of breast cancer treatment: anthracyclines taken in conjunction with Herceptin -- which is used to treat women who have HER-2-positive cancer -- and Herceptin taken with non-anthracycline drugs. A third control group was treated with just anthracyclines, such as doxorubicin and epirubicin. At the symposium, researchers presented data from the five years of the 10-year study showing that women in both Herceptin groups were more likely to remain alive after five years than women in the control group. There was no significant difference in mortality between the two Herceptin groups, but the study did detect significantly higher levels of heart damage, including congestive heart failure, for women in the Herceptin plus anthracycline group.
Independent Advisory Committee Recommends Continuation Of Phase III Oral Calcitonin Studies For Osteoporosis And Osteoarthritis
Unigene Laboratories, Inc. (OTCBB: UGNE) announced that an independent Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) has recommended that Novartis and its partner Nordic Bioscience proceed as planned with their ongoing oral calcitonin Phase III studies for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Its recommendation is based on the committee's recently completed "futility" analysis of the data obtained from all patients enrolled for at least twelve months in these studies. That analysis included an assessment of both safety and efficacy parameters. It is the committee's opinion that there are no major or unexpected safety concerns and it unanimously recommends to proceed with the studies to evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of oral calcitonin as planned. "The report of the DMC is an important benchmark in the conduct of these trials and it provides the first preliminary indication of the drug's performance, " commented Dr. Ronald S. Levy, Executive Vice President of Unigene Laboratories, Inc. "Unigene has a vested interest in the success of these studies both from a milestone and a royalty perspective, and we are encouraged by this committee's recommendation.
Whiplash, or WAD (whiplash-associated disorders) refers to a series of neck injuries caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck - hyperextension (over-extension) injury to the neck. In many cases whiplash is the result of being struck from behind, for example, by a fast moving vehicle in an automobile accident. In a typical case the victim's body is initially pushed or accelerated forward while the head remains behind for an instant, making the head rock up and back, stretching and/or tearing some muscles, tendons and ligaments. The muscles react automatically (reflex motion) to bring the heard forward - sometimes this is overdone and the head may rock forward violently, further stretching and/or tearing muscles, tendons and ligaments. Tendons are tissues by which muscles attach to bone. Tendons are flexible, fibrous and tough. Like ligaments, tendons are tough flexible cords. Ligaments go from bone-to-bone while tendons go from muscle-to-bone. Although tendons and ligaments are tough, they are known as soft tissue (because they are usually compared to bone or cartilage).