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    Describe the (disease) process at work in people who have been diagnosed with the bone disease known as "Osteoporosis"

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    Describe the (disease) process at work in people who have been diagnosed with the bone disease known as "Osteoporosis" and describe how the disease process at work in Osteoporosis represents an alteration in normal bone structure and function

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    Osteoporosis literally means "porous bone," which is an apt description for a disease which is defined by loss of calcium phosphate from bones. Calcium phosphate is the mineral that makes bones hard. Without it, bones become fragile and prone to fracture. To qualify as having osteoporosis, and individual must have a bone mass index that is 2.5 standard deviations below normal. In other words, a person with osteoporosis has a bone density (standardized level of bone mineralization) that is lower than about 99% of the rest of the population (World Health Organization, 2004).

    In normal bone, the rate of breakdown is balanced by the rate at which the bone is built up. The bone is not a static structure, but is constantly undergoing remodeling. Bone remodeling, repair, and maintenance occurs in four basic stages as follows:
    A. Quiescent Phase
    B. Resorption Phase
    C. Formation Phase
    D. Quiescent Phase Post Remodeling

    Quiescent Phase
    So in the first phase, the bone is quiescent or resting. Within the bone, osteocytes secret a hormone called sclerostain, which inhibits Wnt signaling in stromal cells. In the blood, pre-osteoclast cells are circulating.

    Resorption Phase
    The next stage, resorption, is triggered by changes in the stress on the bone, which causes microfractures to appear. Osteocytes near the crack undergo apoptosis or programmed cell death, which in turn triggers other nearby osteocytes to secrete prostaglandins and nitric oxide. Then, in a process that is not well understood, cells that line the bone matrix pull away to form a connection with the blood vessels ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution of 1021 words gives background details on the condition of Osteoporosis and how the disease process works. References used is included.