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Study highlights underlying mechanisms of fractures associated with osteoporosis drug

Medical News Today—August 3, 2017

Medical News Today reported on a new study by HSS adjunct scientist Eve Donnelly, PhD, which examined the long-term effects of common drugs used to treat osteoporosis, also known as bisphosphonates. According to the article, Dr. Donnelly led a team of researchers to determine if bisphosphonates, which have been proven to combat bone loss and fragility, can ultimately make the bone more brittle and susceptible to an atypical femoral fracture (AFF). This particular fracture is a break in the shaft of the femur that can occur as a result of little or no trauma.

Dr. Donnelly observed biopsies of cortical bones from postmenopausal women during fracture repair surgery and analyzed the samples. Dr. Donnelly explained the cortical bone continuously sheds its layers and grows a new bone every 10 years. In her research, she observed bisphosphonates slow down the shedding process and makes existing bones become brittle over time, and therefore leads to a risk of AFF.

"What we have observed is really the result of long-term treatment, well beyond what the FDA is recommending for these drugs now. Our work explains some of the underlying mechanisms of AFFs and can inform the refinement of dosing schedules for patients at risk of fragility fractures," said Dr. Donnelly.

Read the full article at medicalnewstoday.com


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