Cholesterol drug increases bone strength

8/1/2008

NEW YORK Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics may have found a way to treat neurofibromatosis type 1.

Using mice that exhibited bowing of the shinbones similar to that in NF1 patients, the researchers anesthetized them and drilled 0.5-mm holes in their shinbones to better mimic the effects of the disease. They then gave the mice the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin.

Mice that received lovastatin improved significantly compared to mice in the control group. The drug appeared to accelerate repair of the bones.

NF1 causes fractures and incomplete healing of the shinbones, also known as the tibias. It often requires amputation.

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