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Calcium Deposits in the Body

Posted Feb 04 2011 11:01am

The reason that calcium deposits are found in unusual places in the body has long been a subject of concern. It has been known for many years that there can be calicim deposits in the muscle in association with the muscle disease, dermatomyositis. This is called calcinosis universalis. One of my favorite teenage patients, who an orthopedic surgeon originally diagnosed as having Duchenne muscular dystrophy, had quite a severe case of this but recovered very well. As an adult, he became a professor in a university and we kept in touch for many years.

Now some puzzling new cases of calcium deposits in blood vessels in the hands and feet  have been found to be due to a genetic mutation. These cases were described in an article by Gina Kolata in the 2/3/11 New York Times. The patients had such a build-up of calcium in their hands and feet that it became very painful to walk and to use their hands. The National Institute of Health has an office which is new to me and is called, The Office of Undiagnosed Diseases. I think this is a good resource of patients who have undiagnosed, unusual disorders. By understanding how a genetic mutation can cause calcium deposits, there now can be research into finding possible ways to dissolve the calcium. This could have great implications for other conditions where calcium is deposited in various places in the body.

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