Osteoporosis is a serious medical condition that weakens the bones. This chronic disease may put more seniors at risk, as weaker bones may mean higher risks of falls. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in three seniors age 65 and older are predicted to fall each year – in 2008 more than 19,700 seniors died due to fall-related injures.
Because of this, finding new methods to help sufferers deal with the disease may also help decrease their chances of having a serious fall.
A recent study published in Science Translational Medicine looked to see if using implantable wireless microchip drug delivery devices would work to ensure seniors took their medicine each day with the same level of accuracy as taking it orally or through injections.
To test this, researchers involved seven women between the ages of 65 and 70 who were both postmenopausal and diagnosed with osteoporosis. They had all been taking a common osteoporosis medication via injection before the study. During one month of testing, each participant was fitted with a microchip that provided daily doses of the medicine. Researchers tested their biological markers or bone formation and bone resorption to see if the microchip worked as well as or similar to the daily injections.
From the results, they found that the microchip did provide each participant with similar results to the injections.
Even if new methods of taking medication for osteoporosis are found, a cure for the disease has not, so falls can still happen. Those living alone might benefit from installing a senior alert system in their homes to have access to help should an accident occur.