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Protein to Treat Brittle Bone Disease

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Last Updated: Jul 30, 2016

Scientists discovered in mice that protein can help treat bone diseases.

The study conducted involves mice bred with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), which is a condition that causes extremely brittle bones.

The scientists found out that if there is intense activity of protein in the mice, there is an improvement in the bone somehow treating the OI.

This finding could provide a new treatment for brittle bones, however, scientists said the experiment was done on mice and it may not yet work on humans.

1 out of every 15,000 person in the UK has OI. This is an inherited condition that weakens the bones due to abnormalities in the genes that controls the collagen. Think of the character that Samuel Jackson played in Unbreakable opposite Bruce Willis.

There are severe OI cases where people will have over 200 broken bones when they turn 18 years old, according to the Brittle Bone Society. There are no known treatments for this condition yet.

University of Texas Baylor College of Medicine scientists compared normal mice and mice with OI and their reactions to protein. The scientists found that the growth factor beta (TGF), which manages bone shaping and reshaping, was abundant in mice with OI.

When TGF was disrupted by antibodies, the bones were stronger and withstood the possible fractures.

Baylor College of Medicine molecular and human genetics professor Dr Brendan Lee said there is a big possibility that the study will be tested on humans very soon. This could easily be in a clinical trial stage any time this year or the first quarters of next year, he said.

There are a lot of doctors and pharmacist who are open to having protein as the treatment for bone diseases especially that this method has been used to teat other diseases such as kidney problems.

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