Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Connection Between Depression And Osteoporosis Shown By Hebrew University Researchers

Date:
October 31, 2006
Source:
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
Depression can cause a loss of bone mass, leading to osteoporosis and fractures, say researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Leading figures in the research on the connection between depression and osteoporosis are (from left): Prof. Raz Yirmiya, Prof. Esther Shohami and Prof. Itai Bab.
Credit: Image courtesy of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Depression can cause a loss of bone mass, leading to osteoporosis and fractures, say researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The researchers say their findings constitute a significant step forward in understanding the interaction between the mind and the skeletal system. Based on their findings, the researchers have already been able to demonstrate the efficacy of anti-depressant drugs in preventing bone mass loss.

The findings of the Hebrew University researchers are being published this week in the American journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

Participants in the project were researchers from the university's Brain and Behavior Laboratory, headed by Prof. Raz Yirmia; from the Bone Laboratory, headed by Prof. Itai Bab; and from the Brain Trauma Laboratory, headed by Prof. Esther Shohami. Also participating were doctoral students Inbal Goshen, Alon Bajayo , Tirza Kreisel, Sharon Feldman and Yosef Tam

Loss of bone mass is the leading cause of osteoporosis and bone fractures among the aged in general and among post-menopausal women in particular. Several studies indicate that people with major depression generally have a lower bone mass density compared to control samples; however, no direct link between these two conditions has been established.

In order to examine the connection between depression and bone mass loss, the researchers used a model involving laboratory mice. Following the induction of a depression-like condition, the mice developed behavioral symptoms mirroring those seen in depressed humans, including a reduction in pleasurable activity and in social interaction.

After four weeks in a depressed state, the laboratory animals showed a dramatic bone mass loss, including in the hip bone and vertebrae. This loss was caused by impairment in the bone renewal process, which is essential to maintaining normal bone density. This impairment was caused by a reduction in the number of bone-building cells, which are called osteoblasts.

The laboratory tests showed that chronic use of an anti-depressant drug halted not only the depression itself but also the loss of bone density.

The researchers were also able to describe the process connecting depression to the skeletal structure. They found that depression sets off a neural system connecting the brain to the internal organs, including the skeleton. This system is called the "sympathetic nervous system." Its activation causes the secretion within the bone of a chemical compound called noradrenaline, which has a detrimental effect on the bone-building cells. The researchers were able to show that chronic treatment with a drug that blocks noradrenaline in the bone also blocks the detrimental influence of depression on the bone.

This research serves as the basis for new, efficient drugs for treatment of osteoporosis, which is the most prevalent degenerative disease in western society. The Hebrew University's technology transfer company, Yissum, has applied for a patent for treatment of osteoporosis through anti-depressants.

"The connection between the brain and the skeleton in general, and the influence of depression on bone mass in particular is a new area of research about which we still know very little," said Prof. Yirmiya. "The new findings, which we have discovered in the Hebrew University laboratories, point for the first time to depression as an important element in causing bone mass loss and osteoporosis."

Prof. Bab said that "together with other research which we have published in the past year, we have developed a new area of research that we call 'neuro-psycho-osteology,' which deals with the connection between the brain, mental states and the skeleton."

The research at the Hebrew University was carried out with funding from the Bikura program of the Israel National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Connection Between Depression And Osteoporosis Shown By Hebrew University Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030183243.htm>.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2006, October 31). Connection Between Depression And Osteoporosis Shown By Hebrew University Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030183243.htm
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Connection Between Depression And Osteoporosis Shown By Hebrew University Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061030183243.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins