SIMON FRASER / DEPT. OF NEURORADIOLOGY, NEWCASTLE GENERAL HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SIMON FRASER / DEPT. OF NEURORADIOLOGY, NEWCASTLE GENERAL HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Magnetic resonance image (MRI) of the spine of a 78 year-old woman suffering from osteoporosis (brittle bone disease), revealing a collapsed vertebra at T12 (the lowermost thoracic backbone). Bone debris compressing the spinal cord appears as a pale notch in the grey tone of the cord to the right of the backbone at upper centre. Osteoporosis describes a reduction in bone density, resulting in an increase in brittleness and a greater risk of fractures, particularly of the vertebrae & the head of the femur. Its higher incidence in women is attributed to a decline in hormone production following the menopause.
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