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Daily vibration may help aging bones stay healthy
Date:10/25/2010

a more dramatic response. We don't know exactly why it affects the biology differently but it's likely because of the extent to which stem cells invade the injured area," Wenger said. They have found that vibration slows stem cell proliferation, which may sound counterintuitive, but likely means more stem cells differentiate into bone cells rather than continuing to just make more generic stem cells. With age, stem cells have difficulty differentiating.

To see if their findings translate to the trauma clinic, they are evaluating vibration tolerance in patients with lower-limb fractures and finding, surprisingly, that even two weeks after injury the subtle vibration is soothing, rather than painful, to most.

The bone group, based in the MCG Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, also is working with Georgia Prevention Institute scientists to explore vibration's potential to improve glucose uptake to see if vibration results in more insulin production or aids glucose clearance in some other way and whether, like exercise, it can reduce fatty liver disease in chunky, pre-diabetic children.

In related studies, postmenopausal women at the peak age of bone decline, experienced results similar to those of Wenger's aging mice. Wenger's studies used only male mice to mitigate the impact of fluctuating hormones and focus on aging. In the human study, led by Dr. Clinton T. Rubin at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the women receiving daily whole body vibration didn't gain appreciable bone but they did not lose it either.

While vibration lacks the same cardiovascular benefit of exercise, animal and human studies also have shown it can improve muscle strength and weight loss.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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