Medical Questions » Bones Questions » Question No. 152
|Question:||My mother has Paget' s disease. How does one catch this? How does it affect the heart? What do the Calcitonin injections she is receiving do?|
|Answer:||Paget' s disease of bone is a disorder for which there is no known cause. The bone in scattered parts of the body becomes grossly thickened and soft, causing compression of nerves, and collapse of those bones that support weight. Fractures may occur with only slight injury, and the back becomes bent and deformed. Bone pain is the earliest symptom.
The skull and thigh bone (femur) are particularly involved, giving a characteristic head appearance and bowing of the legs as they bend under the body' s weight. The skull enlargement can cause pressure on nerves and a variety of unpleasant consequences, including pressure on the brain and constant headaches.
The extra blood flow to the bones can also cause circulatory and heart problems.
Paget' s disease can vary from very mild to rapidly progressive, and although there are drugs available to slow its progress, there is no known cure. Tablets and/or injections (such as Calcitonin) that regulate the amount of calcium in the bone will be required regularly for the rest of the person' s life to prevent softening of the bones.|