Therapies for musculoskeletal disease: Can we treat two birds with one stone?

Christian M. Girgis, Nancy Mokbel, Douglas J. DiGirolamo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Musculoskeletal diseases are highly prevalent with staggering annual health care costs across the globe. The combined wasting of muscle (sarcopenia) and bone (osteoporosis) - both in normal aging and pathologic states - can lead to vastly compounded risk for fracture in patients. Until now, our therapeutic approach to the prevention of such fractures has focused solely on bone, but our increasing understanding of the interconnected biology of muscle and bone has begun to shift our treatment paradigm for musculoskeletal disease. Targeting pathways that centrally regulate both bone and muscle (eg, GH/IGF-1, sex steroids, etc.) and newly emerging pathways that might facilitate communication between these 2 tissues (eg, activin/myostatin) might allow a greater therapeutic benefit and/or previously unanticipated means by which to treat these frail patients and prevent fracture. In this review, we will discuss a number of therapies currently under development that aim to treatmusculoskeletal disease in precisely such a holistic fashion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-153
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Osteoporosis Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Anabolic agents
  • Bone
  • Muscle
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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