Understanding causes of musculoskeletal diseases

How the size, shape, and structure of bones and joints contribute towards the development of common age-related diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis will be investigated by an international research team thanks to a £1.6 million Wellcome award.


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Musculoskeletal diseases are the main source of handicap in the UK’s rising maturing populace, basically because of low back pain, breaks, and infections, for example, osteoarthritis. The aggregate cost of joint substitution and hip crack surgery is moving toward £9.5bn yearly and speaks to a noteworthy weight on society and the NHS.

Thus scientists at the Cardiff University want to explore how the size, shape, and structure of hips, knees, and spines contribute to the development of fractures, osteoarthritis and back pain. The examination is expected to diminish the effect of these basic musculoskeletal issues by giving a premise to enhanced methods for illness expectation, counteractive action, and treatment.

Scientists will then use this demonstration to develop novel strategies for identifying those at risk, slowing disease progression and treating those with established disease.

Dr. Deborah Mason, from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences, said: ‘We are particularly interested in revealing the mechanical drivers of musculoskeletal diseases and have developed a 3D bone model to identify mechanical responses in bone. This model will be used to reveal whether genetic variants that are associated with the development of fractures, osteoarthritis and back pain have a mechanical basis. Understanding these processes could reveal new risk factors for these important diseases and improve targeting of physical and pharmacologic therapies.”

Professor Jon Tobias, from the University of Bristol, added: “The sheer scale of UK Biobank in terms of the number of participants involved and detailed amount of information collected represents a unique resource for the international research community. This study will help us to realize the potential of UK Biobank for understanding the causes of common diseases and reducing their impact on health.”


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