Osteoporosis, which means porous bones, is a disease that thins and weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. The vast majority of individuals affected by osteoporosis are women. Although the disease can strike at any age, the greatest risk for fractures from osteoporosis occurs after menopause. This is because women’s bodies produce less oestrogen after menopause, and oestrogen plays an important role in helping to prevent bone loss. As the EU population continues to age, the occurrence of osteoporosis becomes an increasing source of worry. But the good news is that osteoporosis can be prevented and treated. The European Commission is involved in research studying the impact of diet and gene-nutrient interactions on calcium and bone metabolism, and a novel isotopic tracer method is also being evaluated to study and quantify these processes. This new method will be compared to already-established methods (bone mineral density, biochemical markers) in an effort to protect and improve the quality of life of Europe’s ageing population. Further research on the biomechanical aspects of bone structure and strength, and on the reliability and safety of prosthetic implants is also being carried out at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) to address the area of post-fracture treatment strategies. These projects are funded by the European Commission’s Directorates General for Research, Health and Consumer Protection, and the JRC.
Commissioner Philippe Busquin expresses his own concern: “Fractures are the most frequent and serious complication of osteoporosis. Any bone can be affected, but of special concern are fractures of the hip and spine. A hip fracture almost always requires hospitalisation and major surgery. It can impair a persons ability to walk unassisted and may cause prolonged or permanent disability and reduce the quality of life. Hospital costs for hip fractures alone amounted to over 3,500 million Euro in the EU in 1999. And the problem will only increase, as it has been quoted that the proportion of the EU population aged over 80 will triple over the next 50 years. EU action is therefore essential to tackle this problem.”
Menopause is the single greatest risk for osteoporosis; others include gender, age, family history, hormone deficiencies, low calcium, excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, and cigarette smoking. In many cases, bones weaken when levels of calcium, phosphorous and other minerals in bones are low. As the prevalence of osteoporosis increases it must be considered as a serious public health concern.
Catherine Shiels | European Commission
Enabling technology in cell-based therapies: Scale-up, scale-out or program in-place
23.07.2018 | SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)
FAU researchers identify Parkinson's disease as a possible autoimmune disease
23.07.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
23.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.07.2018 | Information Technology
23.07.2018 | Health and Medicine