Can We Slow Down and Reverse Osteoporosis?
Scientists from Barcelona and Madrid have discovered a way of reducing the risk of osteoporosis and slowing down the process in the early stages following diagnosis by reinforcing bone mass.
Researchers from the National Cardio-Vascular Investigation Centre (CNIC) in the two cities, together with their counterparts in Belgium and France have discovered a way of monitoring the cells which 'eat' bone mass.
They are studying the use of a drug normally employed in treating surface lymphomas – Bexarotene – as a way of blocking the formation of osteoclasts, the cells which 'attack' bone mass.
According to the team led by Dr Mercedes Ricote, whose main researchers are Dr María Piedad Menéndez and Dr Tomás Roszer, the formation and spread of osteoclasts can be controlled by a protein found in the bone cells known as a retinoid X-receptor, or RXR, which carries vitamin A derivatives and lipids, or fat cells.
RXR controls the development, immunity and metabolism of bone cells as well as the presence of a key molecule, known as a MAFB, which generates osteoclasts.
Laboratory tests on genetically-modified mice has shown that the loss of RXR gives rise to 'gigantic' osteoclasts, and have worked out how to control the 'bone-eating' function in these by doctoring the amount of RXR fed into them.
This way, they have discovered how male mice, in normal physiological conditions, develop much denser bones, and have ascertained how to protect bone mass in female mice when this diminishes as a result of loss of oestrogen after their fertile era has ended.
Osteoporosis is particularly common in post-menopausal women due to the loss of oestrogen, the female reproductive hormone, but a significant minority of men of a similar age suffer it, explains the team.
Every year, millions of osteoporosis patients suffer fractures and deformities.
The risk of osteoporosis increases with age and is also linked to diet and body weight.
Malnutrition in youth or early adulthood - such as in women with eating disorders - and, conversely, excess body weight are risk factors, as is a diet low in calcium.
Physical exercise, particularly weight-bearing, or strengthening activities such as Pilates, are helpful defences against osteoporosis.
Spanish researchers warn that with the ageing population in the country caused by people living longer and a lower birth rate, patients being treated for fractures and disabling deformities could rise in number over the next few decades given how osteoporosis is more common in old age.
LG launches purpose-built smart TV for hospitals
LG Business Solutions USA has announced two new hospital TVs that are designed to improve patient management and engagement while adhering to critical safety standards for healthcare facilities.
One of the TVs is LG's biggest ever screen for a hospital - the 65-inch 4K Ultra HD model. It has LG’s NanoCell display technology, enabling it to display vivid pictures, and provides built-in support for hospital pillow speakers and embedded broadband LAN capability, so hospitals can deliver video on demand without requiring a separate set-top box in the patient room.
It also includes configuration software with an intuitive interface for setting up the TV to work in a hospital setting, plus a software-enabled access point feature that turns the TV into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The second TV screen is the 15-inch Personal Healthcare Smart Touch TV with a multi-touch screen. It is designed to be installed on an adjustable arm for use in shared spaces or smaller patient rooms and will support LG's new, modular LG AM-AC21EA video camera, and HD video communication.
Both include support for video conferencing, and are UL Certified for use in healthcare facilities, a global safety standard. They also feature LG’s integrated Pro:Centric hospital management solutions, allowing hospitals and LG’s patient engagement development partners to personalise a patient's room, providing entertainment, hospital information, services, patient education, and more.
Additionally its communication platform makes it possible to conduct video calls between patients and clinicians or family.
“Our newest LG hospital TVs reflect ongoing feedback from the industry and include capabilities integrated to meet the unique needs of a critical market” said Tom Mottlau, Director of Healthcare Solutions, LG Electronics USA.
“Our healthcare patient engagement development partners requested an upgradable version of webOS for our Pro:Centric smart TV platform so they could more easily introduce new features for their hospital customers. For the latest versions of webOS, LG worked closely with our partners to make their request a reality and to deliver a hospital TV platform that can evolve over time.”