Harper Government Strengthens Bone Health Research

Research teams aim to improve quality of life of Canadians by developing more effective treatments and understanding of bone health issues

HAMILTON, ON, July 19, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced funding to support three research teams that will aim to improve care for patients with wrist fractures and find new ways to prevent or treat bone loss.

"Our Government is committed to helping Canadians lead healthy, active lifestyles," said Minister Aglukkaq. "I am pleased that we are supporting research to help people maintain strong bones, providing the foundation for healthy lives."

The three projects announced today address ongoing challenges in bone health:

  • Dr. Joy MacDermid at McMaster University will study how to better manage patients with wrist fractures.
  • Dr. Michael Glogauer at the University of Toronto will seek new ways to identify bone loss in gum disease.
  • Dr. Robert Young at Simon Fraser University will investigate new drugs to promote bone regeneration.

The projects are funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

"These projects emphasize the important connection between bone health, physical activity and overall health," said Dr. Philip Gardiner, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis. "We extend our sincere congratulations to the funded teams and wish them every success as they begin working on their projects."

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

Fact Sheet

Investing in research

The Harper Government is investing $7 million to support three bone health research teams through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

  Principal Investigator   Project Title   CIHR Funding
(over 5 years)
  Dr. Joy MacDermid
McMaster University
  Evidence-based fracture management supports to
optimize fracture recovery, future bone health and
optimal physical activity after distal radius fracture.
  Dr. Michael Glogauer
University of Toronto
  Identifying Novel Markers of Alveolar Bone loss:
Developing New Diagnostic Approaches for the
Most Prevalent Forms of Bone Loss.
  Dr. Robert Young
Simon Fraser University
  New Mechanisms, Therapeutic Targets and
Technologies for Bone Health.

The teams were funded through a peer-reviewed research funding competition led by the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis. The competition responded to research priorities identified at a Bone Health Consensus Conference, convened with stakeholders in 2009.

Importance of bone health

  • Human bones are constantly being broken down and reformed in a process called remodelling. Men and women reach peak bone mass in their mid-thirties.
  • Aging or certain diseases can interfere with the remodelling process, weakening bones and increasing the risk of fractures.
  • Osteoporosis is a common disorder that causes thinning of the bones and leads to fractures most commonly in the wrist, hip and spine. Osteoporosis affects 1.5 million Canadians over 40.
  • In periodontal or gum disease, bacteria attack the soft tissues and bone that support the teeth, causing bone loss and eventually to the loss of teeth.



SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information:

Cailin Rodgers, Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, 613-957-0200
David Coulombe, CIHR Media Relations, 613-941-4563

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