Highlights from the ASBMR Topical Meeting: Bone and Skeletal Muscle Interactions
In the summer of 2012, AIM member American Society for Bone and Mineral Research hosted a symposium on leading research addressing links and interactions between bone and skeletal muscle. Both osteoporosis and sarcopenia are serious public health concerns, as they are the primary causes of frailty and disability in our nation’s growing older population. Studies exist on the role of muscle and bone, but leading research reveals a complex, cellular interaction between these tissues that involve numerous neurobiological and endocrine processes that scientists are only beginning to understand.
The meeting, which was organized with the help of AIM Science Advisory Board member Roger Fielding, covered topics that ranged from preventing and treating bone and muscle loss through nutrition, exercise and lifestyle interventions to mechanisms that influence muscle and bone development, among many other emerging areas of promising research. Fellow AIM advisor Stephanie Studenski also spoke on issues of changes in bone and muscle throughout the aging process, particularly as it relates to mobility and falls in older patients.
Though the meeting highlights the exciting progress that researchers are gaining in understanding the intricacies of the bone and muscle disablement processes, as Dr. Studenski pointed out in her discussion, the challenge remains in “making the science useful and practical to clinicians.” It is imperative that researchers, clinicians and advocates continue to raise awareness around the issues of frailty and functional decline in the elderly and tremendous promise that this research holds, and that we push forward on a regulatory pathway that will allow for greater ease in the development of treatments for sarcopenia, osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal-related causes of disability.
AIM applauds the great efforts that ASBMR has done in this promising and important area of research, and we look forward to more great work from them in the future. All past ASBMR topical meetings can be found here.