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 Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva
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SFN Regular

1383 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2008 :  08:58:45  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A few years back, I read a fair amount of material regarding a very debilitating genetic disorder known as Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP). In essence, symptoms show themselves as various cell types turn into bone - literally. This often (always?) happens as the body tries to recover from injuries, be they major or minor. What might ordinarily turn into a simple bruise could, in someone suffering of FOP, turn into the growth of bone where none should be. Cutting any such growth out surgically is out of the question, as the scar left would simply itself turn into bone.

The reason I'm writing this here is simply because I just opened up the International FOP Association web site and they want as many people as possible to know about FOP in order to prevent misdiagnosis* and find more FOP families.

* FOP was, at least previously, misdiagnosed as cancer and the growth was often cut out - obviously with nothing good coming out of that.

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H. Humbert
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4574 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2008 :  09:16:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I remember seeing a television show on this condition. Horrible, horrible stuff. Like you say, even a bruise can become ossified. Over a lifetime, sufferers loose more and more tissue to bone, gradually impairing their mobility, flexibility, and strength. It's like slowly being turned to stone. Here's a photo of a skeleton from someone who had the disease. Notice the extra bone growth:

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Edited by - H. Humbert on 09/05/2008 09:17:15
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SFN Regular

970 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2008 :  10:32:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting....I've never come across that one.

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SFN Regular

1496 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2008 :  11:19:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Chippewa's Homepage Send Chippewa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wonder if this terrible disorder is somehow related to Proteus syndrome which is what Joseph Merrick, the "Elephant Man" had.

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SFN Regular

1992 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2008 :  12:13:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A priori no.

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva has been linked to the untimely expression of a bone morphogenic enzyme by the lymphocytes while Proteus syndrome has been linked to a deficient tumour suppressing factor (yeah; wiki comes through again!)

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