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NIAMS Funds Grants in Osteogenesis

Research on osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a genetic disorder characterized by bones that break easily, has received a boost from the award of five new grants by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The grants, which total $1.6 million, support research activities ranging from cutting-edge gene and cell therapies to testing drug treatments in mouse models.

The new studies include: Development of a Treatment for Osteogenesis Imperfecta, University of California, Davis; Alendronate Use in Models of Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City; Evaluation of Cellular Gene Therapy for Osteogenesis Imperfecta in an Animal, University of Pittsburgh; Mutational Effects on Collagen's Structure and Stability, Stanford University; Expansion of Stem Cells for Skeletal Tissues, Tulane University Medical Center.

Osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disorder affecting 20,000 to 50,000 adults, children and infants in the United States. Bones break easily, often from little or no apparent cause. There are at least four types of OI, representing extreme variation in severity from one person to another.

There is no cure for OI. Current treatment is directed toward preventing or controlling the symptoms, maximizing independent mobility and developing optimal bone mass and muscle strength.

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