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

Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2014 Jun;12(2):142-53. doi: 10.1007/s11914-014-0204-5.


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 treat musculoskeletal disease in precisely such a holistic fashion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides / therapeutic use
  • Amides / therapeutic use
  • Aminophenols / therapeutic use
  • Androgens / therapeutic use*
  • Anilides
  • Antibodies / therapeutic use
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control*
  • Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy*
  • Osteoporosis / therapy
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / prevention & control
  • Sarcopenia / complications
  • Sarcopenia / drug therapy*
  • Sarcopenia / therapy
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use


  • Acetamides
  • Amides
  • Aminophenols
  • Androgens
  • Anilides
  • Antibodies
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Hormones
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Vitamin D
  • andarine
  • Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone
  • ostarine
  • Stamulumab