STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoporotic bone. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a fractured finger bone affected by osteoporosis (brittle bone disease). There is a lack of spongy (cancellous) bone at the centre of the finger. Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that causes a reduction in density and an increase in porosity, resulting in increased brittleness and a greater risk of fracture. It commonly affects post-menopausal women, who experience a decrease in levels of the hormone oestrogen. It may also develop following injury or infection. Oestrogen replacements and drugs that slow the rate of bone loss are used to treat the disease.
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