, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 58-69
Date: 17 Dec 2011

New understanding and treatments for osteoporosis

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Abstract

To summarize promising areas of investigation in osteoporosis and to stimulate further research in this area, as discussed in a recent international conference. Over the recent years, there has been an improvement in the knowledge of molecular pathways involved in bone formation and resorption with the development of new drugs to treat osteoporosis. Intact parathyroid hormone, teriparatide, and anti-sclerostin monoclonal antibody are anabolic drugs, whereas denosumab and odanacatib are anti-resorptive drugs with more reversible effects as compared to bisphosphonates. Anabolic and anti-resorptive agents have different effects on bone, and research in this area includes the efficacy of combination and sequential therapies with them. New insights in the molecular pathways of bone remodeling have clarified the mechanisms responsible for skeletal fragility in several forms of secondary osteoporosis, such as that occurring in type 2 diabetes, following drug exposure and systemic inflammatory diseases. Future research is needed to address the efficacy of anti-osteoporotic drugs in these more recently recognized conditions of skeletal fragility. Osteoporosis continues to be an important field of biomedical research.