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Non-Invasive Diagnosis Of Bone Diseases Seen Possible In The First Human Trial

Update Date: Dec 01, 2014 09:39 AM EST
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For the first time, a research has enabled detection of a genetic 'brittle bone' disease known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) by simply scanning a patient's limbs. Up until now, bone diseases have been diagnosed through X-rays, history of fractures and other clinical symptoms and, in the case of OI, genetic testing. 

The findings of the study could lead to the early diagnosis and treatment of chronic, debilitating conditions such as 'brittle bone' and osteoporosis. It might also help improve the lives of tens of thousands of sufferers in UK alone. 

The researchers used a technique known as Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) to test for the condition. 

"Bone is a complex material that has both mineral and protein components," said Dr Kevin Buckley from STFC's Central Laser Facility, one of the team working on this project, in the press release. "Traditional X-ray methods that are used to study bone can only see the mineral but this technique can see both components"

"The results confirm that SORS can detect abnormalities in the bone composition", added Dr. Buckley. "Osteogenesis Imperfecta is relatively rare, but the hope is that the technology will now allow the early detection of other bone diseases. That would be a step forward because earlier detection would mean earlier treatment and enhanced quality of life"

The study was published in the journal IBMS BoneKEy. 

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