Stone Man Syndrome

In my Human Anatomy and Physiology I class I usually talk about a rare genetic disease called Stone Man Syndrome or Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva. This is a disease that affects connective tissue and muscular tissue, and essentially turns them to bone. When the tissue is damaged, the immune system destroys more of the healthy tissue and replaces it with bone tissue. Every time an area is damaged, the tissue turns to bone, often producing a ‘second skeleton.’ I use this example because not many people know about, it is a genetic disease, demonstrates how the process of bone remodeling works and can go wrong. I also use this example because I found out about it from my mother, who is a nurse, and saw a case of this disease in her hospital. Not knowing what it was, she called me and asked. I didn’t know, but after some research found out. So its a good real world example of a disease that I discuss in class. As I was checking the National Geographics blogs today, I saw that Carl Zimmer has written a piece on this disease in The Atlantic. This is a good piece to share with future classes when I talk about this disease when we’re discussing connective tissue. Here is the link to the article again:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/06/the-mystery-of-the-second-skeleton/309305/

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