Aging Bone, Muscle and Joint Program

Initiatives

The Aging Bone, Muscle and Joint Program within the Kogod Center on Aging brings together investigators from multiple disciplines to help define and understand how bone and muscle wasting are linked to fundamental cellular processes in aging.

The focus of the Aging Bone, Muscle and Joint Program is to research and develop new technologies and therapies that target dysfunction of the mesenchymal stem cells that cause problems in bone, fat, cartilage and many other tissues.

Focus areas

The labs within the Aging Bone, Muscle and Joint Program are engaged in research about:

  • The actions of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and their impact on bone loss
  • Basic and clinical research focused on osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a major focus of the Aging Bone, Muscle and Joint Program.

Osteoporosis used to be considered a natural part of aging. However, researchers within the Kogod Center on Aging have shown that osteoporosis is a specific and preventable disorder associated with aging.

Research by collaborative investigators within the Kogod Center on Aging recently led to the discovery that a certain IGF and IGF-binding protein can stimulate bone growth as much as 10 percent — a possible novel treatment for osteoporosis.

Mayo Clinic researchers also have discovered changes in cell function with aging that impact muscle wasting (sarcopenia), another common condition related to aging.

Program leadership

Director: Sundeep Khosla, M.D.

Watch a video about the Aging Bone, Muscle and Joint Program.

Transcript

Sundeep Khosla, M.D.

This is a very exciting time for the field of osteoporosis. We're on the threshold of potential cures for this disease, or even reversing the consequences of the disease.

Mayo has a unique place in the history of osteoporosis, as a disease that was defined initially at Mayo. Thirty, 40 years ago, osteoporosis was viewed as an inevitable consequence of aging. The most devastating consequence of the disease is hip fracture. And when people fracture their hip, about a quarter of them die in the hospital. Another quarter never actually make it back home.

When I would go to the osteoporosis clinic, really all I could offer my patients was calcium and vitamin D and perhaps estrogen. Now we have eight or nine new drugs, with more on the horizon. The Holy Grail really is to find new drugs that will essentially cure the disease, and I think we're very close to that.