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 Nasa team find 'new way' to spot osteoporosis

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Suzanne Sawatski

Number of posts : 31
Registration date : 2012-02-10

PostSubject: Nasa team find 'new way' to spot osteoporosis    Tue May 29, 2012 7:45 pm

NASA has developed a new technique to spot osteoporosis at its earliest stages. With bone loss a major problem for astronauts due to the microgravity in space, NASA developed this with them in mind. Currently, osteoporosis can go undected for years, only being diagonsed with scans after weakening of the bones has let to a fracture. The new test looks for traces of bone calcium in the urine which doesnt only identify bone loss, but can also give direct measurements of net bone loss. Through the study of calcium isotopes (different atoms of the element derived from bone each with their own specific number of neutrons), scientist were able to detect that the balance or abundance of the different isotopes change when bone is destroyed or formored. The changes in the isotopes can indicate early change in bone density. The technique was put to test, and found that it was able to detect bone loss after as little as one week of bed rest.
The next step is to see if it can work as expected in patients with bone altering disease, which would give this test clinical application. It is believe that this test can also be used to monitor other diseases that affect the bones, one of which is cancer. The possible ability to detect these diseases earlier and monitor some diseases with this test would be a great medical advancement. This technique also increases our understanding of bone disease, which may lead to other break through medical treatments or techniques to identify bone diseases.
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Cassidy Mozak

Number of posts : 46
Registration date : 2012-02-03

PostSubject: Re: Nasa team find 'new way' to spot osteoporosis    Wed May 30, 2012 10:33 pm

This new way of detecting bone density loss in its early stages, I believe, will become beneficial for all patients suffering from the condition, not only astronauts. With its early detection, it would allow healthcare workers to reverse the bone loss with medication and lifestyle changes before any major damage can be done to an individual. As well, the method of detection is as simple as providing a urine sample, much easier than having to book an appointment at a digital imaging clinic and waiting months to obtain the results. With the convenience, simplicity, and quick results, I can definitely see this method of detection being applied to all settings where bone density loss is concerned.
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Ashley Bacchus

Number of posts : 64
Registration date : 2011-02-06

PostSubject: Re: Nasa team find 'new way' to spot osteoporosis   Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:19 pm

I agree that this is a very great advancement and will definitely be beneficial to all those who suffer from or are at risk for osteoporosis. I find it interesting that this was developed by NASA and not medical scientists. Itís very impressive that they were able to detect bone loss in as little as a week. Hopefully it works just as well in patients and can be used in clinical applications very soon. And if thatís successful, then maybe theyíll go ahead and use it in monitoring other diseases that affect the bones, like cancer, which will help with the diagnosis and treatment of those diseases.
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