(Press-News.org) By Courtney Price, Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Texas A&M University researchers have been awarded a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study bone regeneration throughout the lifespan to ultimately benefit individuals with Down syndrome.
The new INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE (INCLUDE) Project grant will help scientists understand whether bone regeneration holds the key to helping people with Down syndrome recover from fractures.
“Individuals with Down syndrome typically have poor bone health and are more prone to fractures,” said Dr. Lindsay Dawson, an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology (VTPP) and a specialist in regeneration biology at the School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS), who is leading the collaboration.
“With this project, we hope to better understand the regenerative capabilities of the human body, and how we might use that information to improve bone health and fracture treatments for people with Down syndrome,” she said.
In addition to helping people with Down syndrome, findings from the new project will also aid treatment development for people with limb loss.
“Around 2.1 million people in the United States are living with limb loss, and that number is expected to double by the year 2050 because of the increase in vascular diseases like diabetes,” Dawson said. “Understanding how bone regeneration works is key to developing new treatments, including the possibility of regrowing entire limbs.”
The Dangers Of A Broken Bone
The grant is especially important given that VMBS researchers recently discovered that bone fractures in people with Down syndrome are unlikely to heal.
“Down syndrome causes a problem called non-union, where inflammation and other factors prevent correct bone repair,” said doctoral candidate Kirby Sherman, who led that research project. “Unfortunately, fractures that fail to heal can be fatal. This makes fractures a major health concern for the Down syndrome community.”
Non-union is becoming an even bigger issue for the Down syndrome population now that people with this genetic condition are living longer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has grown from 10 years in 1960 to 47 years in 2007 thanks to medical advancements, giving more time and opportunities for fractures to happen.
“We’ve known that bone mass is lower in this population, and the increased life expectancy of this population has allowed researchers to better understand the long-term implications of their lower bone mass,” said Dr. Larry Suva, VTPP department head and Sherman’s lab supervisor. “Today, there are people with Down syndrome in their 20s and 30s who have bone mass and bone architecture consistent with someone in their 60s. They’re active members of the community and they’re playing sports. Obviously, that’s great, but if they’re at increased risk of bone fractures that won’t heal, it’s also a concern.”
Tipping The Scales
The new project was made possible by discoveries that both humans and mice can regrow the ends of their fingertips.
“We don’t normally think of body part regeneration being common in mammals,” Dawson said. “It was actually discovered in humans completely by accident in the 1970s. A child lost the tip of her finger and was mistakenly sent home from the hospital without sutures to close the wound. Eleven weeks later, the child’s fingertip had grown back completely.”
Scientists have recently discovered that mice have the same regenerative capacity, making the idea of limb regeneration in mammals more promising.
“The more we understand about bone health and regeneration, the closer we get to replicating the process in humans,” Dawson said. “Because the fingertips are the one part of the human body that we know can regenerate after amputation, studying them may help researchers learn how to induce regeneration in the rest of the limb.”
The Bone Health Dream Team
By combining bone regeneration and Down syndrome-focused research, Dawson and her collaborators are hoping to find answers that will benefit many different groups of people.
“It’s been wonderful to work with so many people who have research interests that overlap with mine,” she said.
In addition to Dawson, Suva and Sherman, other members of the research project include Dr. Dana Gaddy, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences (VIBS); Dr. James Cai, a VIBS professor; Dr. Weston Porter, a VTPP professor; Dr. Ling Yu, a VTPP research associate professor; and Mingquan Yan, a senior research associate in Dawson’s lab.
It’s hard to say how long it will be before scientists figure out how to regrow human limbs, but researchers at the VMBS are working hard to make it happen. In the meantime, the findings from this project will go toward developing treatments, such as injectable bone regeneration agents, to help people with Down syndrome recover more easily from fractures.
Texas A&M receives $1.8 million NIH grant to support bone health in people with down syndrome
The project was made possible by discoveries that both humans and mice can regrow the ends of their fingertips
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Membrane raft redox signaling contributes to visfatin-induced inflammation and kidney damage
“[...] the exact mechanism of how obesity increases the advancement of chronic kidney disease is still uncertain.” BUFFALO, NY- December 5, 2023 – A new research paper was published in Aging (listed by MEDLINE/PubMed as "Aging (Albany NY)" and "Aging-US" by Web of Science) Volume 15, Issue 22, entitled, “Contribution of membrane raft redox signalling to visfatin-induced inflammasome activation and podocyte injury.” The number of obese patients with end-stage renal disease has ...
New study highlights COVID-19’s adaptive strategy for infection
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (12/05/2023) – Researchers have discovered a novel mechanism whereby the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, can vary its mode of infection in human cells. Published in the journal eLife, a team from the University of Minnesota and the Midwest Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Center found the virus can alternate between being highly infectious and avoiding detection by the immune system. This understanding is vital for grasping the virus' impact during the pandemic and for predicting its potential evolutionary developments. The spike protein of the virus, which is crucial for attaching ...
Type 1 diabetes: B cell-derived natural antibodies suppress autoimmune pathogenesis
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Researchers have discovered the novel mechanism that underlies a previously reported observation that infection by group A Streptococcus bacteria reduces the risk of later developing Type 1 diabetes. The Journal of Immunology reports that vaccination of neonatal mice with group A Streptococcus promoted a clonal expansion of innate-like B cells that produce antibody against N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, or GlcNAc. GlcNAc is a derivative of glucose sugar that is found as part of the cell wall of group ...
Cable-Dunlap, Chi, Smith and Thornton named ORNL Corporate Fellows
Four researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been named ORNL Corporate Fellows in recognition of significant career accomplishments and continued leadership in their scientific fields. Corporate Fellow is the highest recognition for members of the ORNL research staff. Paula Cable-Dunlap, Miaofang Chi, Scott Smith and Peter Thornton have been recognized by the laboratory for their standing in the international scientific community as exceptional and influential researchers and as role models and mentors among peers and early career researchers. “Paula, Miaofang, Scott and Peter represent ...
UofL secures $6.5 million to enhance training for nursing professionals
The University of Louisville has received $6.5 million through two federal grants to help increase Kentuckians’ access to health care, particularly in underserved rural and urban areas. The UofL School of Nursing will use the funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to develop and implement an accelerated Licensed Practical Nurse-to-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (LPN-to-BSN) pathway in medically underserved areas of Kentucky. The second HRSA-funded project aims ...
Reverse metabolomics: new method finds biomarker for inflammatory bowel disease
In recent years, microbiome research has started to shift its focus from the microbes themselves to the molecules they produce. After all, it’s these molecules that directly interact with human cells to influence a person’s health. But trying to identify which molecules are being made by a person’s microbiome is quite challenging. A typical metabolomics study can only characterize about 10% of the molecular data from a human microbiome sample. In a new study published on December 5, 2023 in Nature, microbiome experts at University of California San Diego ...
Older organs accelerate aging in transplant recipients
Most organ transplantations involve supply from older donors to younger recipients. Aging cells can become senescent, a condition in which they stop multiplying and secrete chemicals that negatively affect neighboring cells. Senescent cells accumulate in older donor organs, and have the potential to compromise transplant outcomes. A study led by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, found that in preclinical models, transplanting older organs can trigger ...
Pregnant women are missing vital nutrients needed for them and their babies – and situation could worsen with plant-based foods
Pregnant women are not getting the essential nutrients they and their babies need from modern diets say scientists, who have warned that the situation will likely worsen as more people turn to plant-based foods. A study looking at the health of expecting mothers from high-income countries, including the UK, New Zealand and Singapore, found that 90 per cent were lacking key vitamins necessary for healthy pregnancies and the wellbeing of unborn infants. Scientists from the University of Southampton, working with experts worldwide, surveyed more than 1,700 women and found most were missing essential nutrients found in abundance in meat and dairy products. These included vitamins B12, B6 and ...
Cell-type-specific genetic risk contributes to distinct stages of Alzheimer’s disease progression
Developing treatments for Alzheimer's disease (AD) is difficult because complex underlying mechanisms drive different types of cells that may contribute to the disorder. Microglia and astrocytes, resident immune and support cells in the central nervous system, are known to exclusively express several genes linked to risk of AD — particularly AD dementia. However, it was previously unclear exactly how and when these genetic risk factors contributed to other, distinct stages of AD progression, such as the accumulation of amyloid-β plaques and tau tangles. Researchers led by a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare ...
Argonne physicist recognized for “Top Cited Paper” by Institute of Physics
A paper co-authored by physicist Filip Kondev of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has earned a “Top Cited Paper Award” from IOP Publishing, the publishing arm of the Institute of Physics. The paper, “The NUBASE2020 evaluation of nuclear physics properties,” provides researchers with recommended values of the basic nuclear physics properties for all known atomic nuclei. These data are provided for each nucleus in its ground state, its lowest energy level, and in its excited, isomeric state, a higher energy level that lives longer than what is typical. These data constitute the fundamental ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:
Detection of suicide-related emergencies among children using real-world clinical data: A free webinar from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
Editor-in-Chief of Sustainability and Climate Change Madhavi Venkatesan named USA TODAY Woman of the Year for Massachusetts for leading plastic bottle ban efforts
Tests show high-temperature superconducting magnets are ready for fusion
Zika vaccine safe, effective when administered during pregnancy
Firearm ownership is correlated with elevated lead levels in children, study finds
Role of African women and young people in agricultural service provision investigated in new CABI-led study
26th International Conference of the Redox Medicine Society Set for June 2024 in Paris, France
Geologists explore the hidden history of Colorado’s Spanish Peaks
Webb unlocks secrets of one of the most distant galaxies ever seen
3D-printed skin closes wounds and contains hair follicle precursors
Discovered a RNA molecule that helps prevent DNA replication errors
Small and overlooked: Amount of repetitive DNA in blood hints at cancer early
Study determines the original orientations of rocks drilled on Mars
Illinois study: Supporting disease-challenged broiler chickens through nutrition
Communities severed by roads and traffic experience a larger number of collisions in New York City
Study shows new class of antivirals that works against SARS-CoV-2
Cost of direct air carbon capture to remain higher than hoped
Unraveling the mystery of chiton visual systems
Case Western Reserve University-led research team discovers new method to test for oral cancer
Firearm access and gun violence exposure are common in Black and native communities
New AI smartphone tool accurately diagnoses ear infections
Screen time and parent-child talk when children are ages 12 to 36 months
Firearm access and gun violence exposure among American Indian or Alaska native and Black adults
Associations of medical debt with health status, premature death, and mortality in the US
Low-cost liquid tames tooth decay
More than 1/3 illicit drugs sold on the dark web contain unexpected substances
A better way to deliver fetal therapy for serious genetic disorders
Researchers develop amphibian-inspired camouflage skin
Network of quantum sensors boosts precision
Robotic hip exoskeleton shows promise for helping stroke patients regain their stride[Press-News.org] Texas A&M receives $1.8 million NIH grant to support bone health in people with down syndrome
The project was made possible by discoveries that both humans and mice can regrow the ends of their fingertips