What Are Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Causes?

What Are Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Causes?
Muscles and bones are important parts of the body. They are distinguished from one another and both have different roles. However, in a rare situation, the body turns to the areas where there should be muscles into bones. This condition is known as fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive (FOP). In this article we will give you an overview of it, what the fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive causes, symptoms and how is it treated and whether or not there is a cure.

What Is It?
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva is a condition in which the growth of bone is abnormal. The bones of people who have this condition grow outside their skeleton and replace connective tissue such as ligaments and tendons. This condition is the only condition which causes one organ system (connective tissue or muscle) to turn into another (bone).

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva Causes
So, what are fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva causes? The condition is caused by a mutation. This mutation happens in the ACVR1 gene, a gene that has a role in bones’ growth and development. Due to a mutation in this gene, the growth of bones is unchecked, causing the condition to happen.

Symptoms
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva can be detected early in childhood. Infants who have the condition typically are born with malformed big toes. As the condition causes bone and bone problems, infants who have it have difficulty in learning to crawl. Also, about 50% of people with this condition have malformed thumbs as well.

The overgrowth of bone usually begins in the neck and shoulders area. This causes painful inflammation that occurs periodically. This is known as a flare-up. Sometimes, the individual with this condition also experiences a low-grade fever when a flare-up happens.

The progress rate of fibrodysplasiaossificans progressive is different for each person. However, it will eventually affect the back, hips, trunk, and limbs. Below are symptoms that may appear.
·         Restricted movement due to bones growing into joints
·         Weight loss and malnutrition due to limited jaw movement making eating difficult
·         Fused or deformed spine
·         Balance and coordination problems due to limited mobility
·         Breathing difficulty due to bone growth in the chest area, which may lead to respiratory infection
·         Poor blood flow
·         Hearing impairment
·         Eventually, people with this condition will be immobilized

Treatment
Existing treatments can’t slow or stop the progression of this condition. As such, the treatments are aimed to improve the quality of life of the patients. Some of the treatments include
·         Assistive devices such as special shoes or braces to help patients walk
·         Corticosteroids, to relieve the pain and reduce swelling during flare-ups
·         Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
·         Occupational therapy

The new bones that are developing can’t be removed even with surgery. In fact, surgery will make it even worse. If surgery is done to remove them, it will result in even more bone growth. Other treatments, such as biopsy and intramuscular injections, can also make the condition worse.

Is There a Cure?

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva is a rare condition. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition. There are only limited treatments for it. The existing treatments can help in relieving the pain as well as inflammation when flare-ups occur. 

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