New study seeks to find the role of proteins in osteoporosis

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently received a $1.76 million grant to identify new methods of diagnosing and treating osteoporosis.

The Medical News reports that researchers from the institute are conducting a five-year study on what role the proteins osteocalcin and osteopontin play in bone fractures over time. The new study builds from past research into the effects of modifying the molecular composition of certain proteins in bone by Deepak Vashishth, professor and head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer.

"Age-related bone fractures are a major health problem in the U.S., and the risk of suffering this kind of fracture increases as we get older and our bones grow more fragile," Vashishth said. "Our study examines how the proteins osteocalcin and osteopontin may impact bone fragility and fracture. We're confident that our results will lead to new methods of diagnosing osteoporosis, provide new targets for drug development, and advance the fight against this devastating disease."

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 34 million Americans are estimated to have low bone mass and are at higher risk for osteoporosis. 

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