Osteoporosis: Pathophysiology and therapeutic options

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Ursula Föger-Samwald
Peter Dovjak
Ursula Azizi-Semrad
Katharina Kerschan-Schindl
Peter Pietschmann


Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease that, on a cellular level, results from osteoclastic bone resorption not compensated by osteoblastic bone formation. This causes bones to become weak and fragile, thus increasing the risk of fractures. Traditional pathophysiological concepts of osteoporosis focused on endocrine mechanisms such as estrogen or vitamin D deficiency as well as secondary hyperparathyroidism. However, research over the last decades provided exiting new insights into mechanisms contributing to the onset of osteoporosis, which go far beyond this. Selected mechanisms such as interactions between bone and the immune system, the gut microbiome, and cellular senescence are reviewed in this article. Furthermore, an overview on currently available osteoporosis medications including antiresorptive and bone forming drugs is provided and an outlook on potential future treatment options is given.

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How to Cite
Föger-Samwald, U., Dovjak, P., Azizi-Semrad, U., Kerschan-Schindl, K., & Pietschmann, P. (2020). Osteoporosis: Pathophysiology and therapeutic options. EXCLI Journal, 19, 1017-1037. https://doi.org/10.17179/excli2020-2591
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