Our bones are living tissue, and our bodies are constantly replacing old bone with new bone. In Paget's disease, however, old bone is broken down and replaced at a faster rate than normal. Typically, Paget's disease occurs in just one or a few bones. The new bone is larger and weaker than normal bone, resulting in bone pain, fractures and arthritis in the joints near the affected bones.
Information about Paget's disease of bone, which affects an estimated one million older Americans, has been added to NIHSeniorHealth (www.NIHSeniorHealth.gov ). This Web site, which was designed especially for older adults, is a joint effort of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which are part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“The good news is that Paget's disease of bone is treatable, especially if it is diagnosed early,“ says Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), which developed the content for the Paget's disease topic on NIHSeniorHealth. “Information about diagnosis and treatment that can stop or slow the disease's progression is easily accessible on NIHSeniorHealth.”
Older Americans increasingly are turning to the Internet for health information. In fact, 66 percent of "wired" seniors surf for health and medical information when they go online. NIHSeniorHealth, which is based on the latest research on cognition and aging, features short, easy-to-read segments of information in a variety of formats, including large-print type sizes, open-captioned videos and even an audio version. Additional topics coming soon to the site include clinical trials, nutrition and falls. The site links to MedlinePlus, NLM's premier, more detailed site for consumer health information.
The NIA leads the federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The NLM, the world's largest library of the health sciences, creates and sponsors Web-based health information resources for the public and professionals. The NIAMS supports research into the causes, treatment and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases. All three institutes are components of the NIH in Bethesda, Md.
The NIH – The Nation's Medical Research Agency – includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov