Mechanical Factors and Bone Health: Effects of Weightlessness and Neurologic Injury
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Bone is a dynamic tissue with homeostasis governed by many factors. Among them, mechanical stimuli appear to be particularly critical for bone structure and strength. With removal of mechanical stimuli, a profound bone loss occurs, as best observed in the extreme examples following exposure to space flight or neurologic impairment. This review provides an overview of the changes in bone density and structure that occur during and after space flight as well as following neurologic injury from stroke and spinal cord injury. It also discusses the potential mechanisms through which mechanical stimuli are postulated to act on bone tissue.