Health and Beauty

Osteoporosis Queensland

Gene map offers osteoporosis hope

An atlas of genetic markers may hold the key to unlocking new treatments for osteoporosis, thanks to University of Queensland researchers.

The team identified more than 500 genetic markers which determine bone mineral density, one of the strongest risk factors for osteoporosis.

Researchers hope the atlas will lead to the development of treatments by highlighting a select set of genes.

UQ Diamantina Institute geneticist Dr John Kemp said the study examined DNA from more than 400,000 individuals in the UK Biobank.

“Within those samples, our study identified hundreds of potential drug targets for future osteoporosis therapies,” Dr Kemp said.

“We discovered which genetic markers had the greatest effect on improving bone density and reducing the risk of fracture.

“This will allow pharmaceutical companies to narrow their search for a solution to preventing fractures in people who are predisposed to osteoporotic fractures.”