Health Headlines: Targeting the genes that cause osteoporosis
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Almost 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 44 million are at risk of getting it. It’s a disease that causes weak and fragile bones. And although there are medications to slow its progression, there’s nothing that can stop it, until now. New nanotechnology may be the key to preventing, treating, and destroying osteoporosis.
Patricia Bersche says, “I was walking from the living room to my bedroom and I fell.”
At 81, falling and breaking a bone terrifies Bersche.
Berscje says, “I fell so many times that it was frightening for me.”
One in two women, and one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Mehdi Razavi is using nanobubbles to destroy the genes that cause osteoporosis.
Razavi explains, “There are side effects including jaw osteonecrosis and gastrointestinal issues.”
A healthy body will continuously replace old or damaged bone tissue. But in osteoporosis, the bone damage increases faster than new bone can be formed. Many drugs used today can slow down the process, but the side effects can be debilitating.
“We develop nanobubbles that you can inject them inside your body. They are very small.” Explains Razavi.
So small that they are invisible to the human eye.
The nanobubbles Razavi is creating go into bone cells, then search and find the genes that cause osteoporosis and deliver treatment. An ultrasound is then used to supercharge the treatment, causing the infected gene to disappear.
Razavi says, “When you apply ultrasound into the bubbles, they start to expand and then rupture to deliver genes into the cell. Ultrasound alone can also increase bone formation.”
Razavi says these nanobubbles will not only stop osteoporosis from getting worse, but it can also reverse the damage done and prevent it from happening altogether.
Experts predict that by 2025, just two years away, that osteoporosis will be responsible for three million fractures and 25 billion dollars in medical costs annually.
Researchers hope the new treatment might also be useful in combatting Alzheimer’s. Right now, nanobubbles are being used to treat cancer patients.
Contributors to this news report include Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
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