London: Drugs used to treat osteoporosis --the brittle bone disease -- could make limbs easier to breakif used for too long, new studies have found. According to two studies -- presented at the annualmeeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons` inNew Orleans -- overuse of the drugs upset the mineral andcrystalline structure of bone, causing weaknesses that canlead to fractures.
Researchers collected samples of bone from each patient`sthigh bone and analysed it. They observed less structuraluniformity in the bone tissue from bisphosphonate-treatedpatients. This could result in weakness and contribute toout-of-the-ordinary fractures, the researchers said. "Patients who had been treated with bisphosphonatesshowed a reduction in tissue heterogeneity, specifically withmineral content and crystal size compared with the controlgroup," said researcher Brian Gladnick, from HSS. "This tells us that there may be some measurabledifferences in bone quality parameters in patients onlong-term bisphosphonate therapy, which might contribute tothe development of atypical fractures," Gladnick said. The scientists believe bisphosphonates suppress thebody`s natural ability to remodel bone, but say more researchis needed to assess the long-term effectiveness of the drugs. PTI
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