Osteoporosis Bone Fracture Treatment Discovery

osteoporosis bone fracture treatment

Researchers discover a central mechanism that regulates bone strength and the risk of being affected by bone fracture. This discovery could lead to a new osteoporosis bone fracture treatment in the future.

Osteoporosis is a devastating disease in advanced age. About 25% affected by hip fractures after the age of 80 die within a year as a result of the injury. Osteoporosis affects an estimated 200 million women worldwide the disease cause a new fracture every three seconds. How the disease occur is largely unknown. Current treatments work well to prevent fractures that can occur in the vertebrae, however it doesn’t work as well in preventing fractures in the hip or arm that have another type of bone.

Discovery of WNT16 could lead to new Osteoporosis bone fracture treatment

A new study conducted by researchers at Gothenburg University, Harvard University, Umeå University and the University of Turku have discovered a key player involved in causing the disease.

There are two type of bone in the body. Cortical bone, the hard outer layer of bone and spongy bones, a porous network on the inside of bones. The gene WNT16 gene determines cortical bone thickness and thereby fracture risk. This gene plays an intricate part in bone strength. The gene codes for a protein that stops formation of a type of bone cell called Osteoclasts. These cells are responsible for the breakdown of bone cells. When these cells form at a high rate it results in weaker cortical bones.

Researchers discovered that when they deleted WNT16 in mice these mice got spontaneous fractures in various bones. This demonstrated WNT16 being a key regulator of bone strength. Preventing WNT16 activity in people with osteoporosis could be the means of preventing bone fractures .

Finding a key regulator in the process of bone formation is a big step forward in understanding the disease. Having this gene target to focus on in drug development will make it easier to find a new effective osteoporosis bone fracture treatment.