The 11th of January is Paget’s awareness day. But what is Paget’s disease?
Paget’s disease affects the bones and the normal repair and renewal of bones. Throughout life, our skeleton goes through bone remodelling. This is the replacement of old bone with new bone.
There are two main cells present for this. Osteoclasts absorb the old bone and osteoblasts make the new bone. With Paget’s disease, the osteoclasts absorb the bone too fast, much faster than they normally would. The osteoblasts then try to produce new bone more quickly resulting in the new bone being larger and weaker than normal.
The history behind what causes Paget’s is unknown, but it is thought to be inherited genetically.
One bone or many can be affected. It is commonly seen in the skull as well as the hip and legs. Around the age of 55, it is found in approximately 2% of the population with the likelihood of the disease increasing with age.
Symptoms include pain and stiffness. It can’t be cured but there are many treatments available. Bisphosphonates are a type of medication that help control bone regeneration to prevent the bone from growing too large and weak.
Paget’s causes bones to be more fragile making them easier to break. If they do indeed break the bone will regenerate even weaker due to the Paget’s. It could possibly cause hearing loss if the skull is affected and can cause too much calcium to be present in the blood.
Help us uncover the true cause of the death of Anton Orlov at the 2022/23 tour of The Post-Mortem Live!