HENNY ALLIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HENNY ALLIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Brittle bone disease. Eleven year-old boy with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) being helped to walk at school. OI is a brittle bone disorder, caused by an inherited abnormality of the gene for collagen, a vital protein found in bones. Sufferers either have too little, or have poor quality collagen. Consequently the skeleton is fragile and is prone to multiple broken and fractured bones. There is no treatment for OI. Instead, prevention and control of symptoms is accomplished by minimising the risk of fractures. Wheelchairs are often required by people with severe types of OI.
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