Facts About Paget’s Disease

  • Paget’s disease is a chronic bone disorder.
  • Paget’s disease frequently causes no symptoms.
  • Paget’s disease can cause pain in the bones or joints, headaches and hearing loss, pressure on nerves, increased head size, bowing of limb, or curvature of spine.
  • Tests used to diagnose Paget’s disease include X-rays, blood tests, and bone scanning.
  • Paget’s disease can lead to other medical conditions.
  • Medical treatment options include aspirin, other anti-inflammatory medications, pain medications, and medications that slow the rate of bone turnover, decreasing the activity of Paget’s disease.
  • Surgery may necessary for damaged joints, fractures, severely deformed bones, or when nerves are being pinched by enlarged bone.

What is Paget’s disease?

  • Paget’s disease is a chronic condition of bone characterized by disorder of the normal bone remodeling process.
  • Normal bone has a balance of forces that act to lay down new bone and take up old bone. This relationship (referred to as “bone remodeling”) is essential for maintaining the normal calcium levels in our blood.
  • In bone affected by Paget’s disease, one or more localized areas of bone are affected by abnormal bone remodeling, which is disturbed and not synchronized. As a result, the bone that is formed is abnormal, enlarged, not as dense, brittle, and prone to breakage (fracture).
  • Paget’s disease affects older skeletal bone of adults. It’s estimated that 1% of adults in the U.S. have Paget’s disease.
  • There is also an extremely rare form of Paget’s disease in children, referred to as juvenile Paget’s disease.
  • Paget’s disease is also known as osteitis deformans and Paget disease.

What are the types of Paget’s disease of bone?

  • There are two types of Paget’s disease of bone.
    • When a single site of bone is affected by Paget’s disease, it is referred to as the monostotic type.
    • When multiple sites of bone are affected by Paget’s disease, it is referred to as the polyostotic type.

What causes Paget’s disease?

  • It is not known what causes Paget’s disease.
  • Paget’s disease is believed to be a disease of a particular cell that is responsible for bone resorption, the osteoclast.

What are risk factors for Paget’s disease?

  • The onset of Paget’s disease is typically after 55 years of age.
  • Recently, certain genes have been associated with Paget’s disease, including the Sequestrosome 1 gene on chromosome 5.
  • Virus infection may be necessary to trigger Paget’s disease in people who have inherited the genetic tendency to develop the condition by having these genes.
  • Paget’s disease is inherited in approximately one-third of patients. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a patient with the condition to have a family history of the disease.

Who is Paget’s disease named after?

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