Anorexia and bone mass
A multidisciplinary paediatrics research team has been awarded the “Amagoia” prize by the Sociedad Vasco-Navarra de Pediatría for its work, “Study of bone mass and its determinant factors in female children and adolescents affected by eating habit disorders”. The research was led by Dr. Cristina Azcona, responsible for the Paediatric Endocrinology Unit at the Department of paediatrics at the University Hospital in Navarre.
The patients affected by eating habit disorders are at greater risk from developing osteopenia and osteoporosis compared to the healthy population, mainly due to their state of malnutrition and hypogonadism. The aim of this research was to measure the bone mass in female children and adolescents with eating habit disorders by means of two techniques of measurement: bone densitometry (a technique also known as DEXA or Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) and osteosonography.
The technique conventionally employed to assess bone mass is DEXA although, in recent years, the systems using ultrasounds (such as osteosonography) are being more frequently applied – especially amongst women during menopause. The use of osteosonography in child patients is not widespread as yet. Measurement systems applying this technique generally determine the bone mass in the calcaneum (the great bone of the heel) or the phalanges of the hand. This last system is the one that was used for this research.
It has the advantage of being portable, cheaper than DEXA and does not emit radiation, and so was thought particularly suitable for measuring bone mass in children and adolescents. The process of acquisition of bone mass starts at infancy and, during adolescence, the mineral content of the bone experiences a huge growth - compared to the rates at other stages of growth and child development.
From the perspective of primary prevention it is very important to have non-harmful methods at hand that evaluate bone mass in children given that, if the maximum bone mass is acquired during this period, the risk of suffering fractures during old age is reduced.
The research carried out at the University Hospital shows that, with both techniques for the measurement of bone mass, patients show values inferior to that of healthy children and adolescents. Comparing both techniques, it was observed that, paradoxically, osteosonography is a more suitable technique for the measurement of bone mass in those children and adolescents who have a body composition that is normal for their age, sex and puberal development. “It could be, nevertheless, a complementary method for monitoring the evolution of bone disorder in these patients and thus avoid tests that use radiation, although the DEXA continues to be the reference technique”.
The research also studied those determinant factors that may regulate the acquisition of bone mass. To this end, the Pediatrics Laboratory was the centre for the analysis of several polymorphisms of the vitamin D receptor genes, the collagen I-alfa-1 gene and the oestrogens receptor genes that are involved in determining bone mass.
The genetic markers for bone mass can help and identify patients who, because of their genetic make-up, are more prone to getting osteopenia and, in those cases of anorexia nerviosa thereby, may cause more severe complications in the osseous system.
Current treatments do not restore totally the lost bone mass and so, at least, one has to ensure an adequate ingestion of calcium and vitamin D from the outset of the illness.
Garazi Andonegi | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...