Updated Apr. 13, 2016
Doshisha University (Kyotanabe City, Kyoto) and Kansai Science City (Seika Town, Kyoto) will jointly implement a program in Kizugawa City in AY2016 to help junior and senior high school students build stronger bones. Kizugawa City has been successfully working on various child-related projects with the aim of becoming the best city in Japan for child rearing. With the cooperation of Kizugawa City School Board, Kizugawa Municipal Junior High School and Kyoto Prefectural Nanyo Senior High School, the program will use radius bone (a non-weight bearing bone located on the thumb side of the lower arm) densitometry, which was co-developed last year by Doshisha University and Oyo Electric Co., Ltd. (Joyo City, Kyoto) as the world’s first densitometry that can measure the bone density of teens (junior and senior high school students, etc.) without using X-ray.
The program is designed by utilizing the outcomes of MEXT’s Regional Innovation Strategy Support Program and KYOTO Industrial Support Organization 21’s Industry-academia Collaboration Promotion Project for Regional Industries, etc.
1. Background and purpose of the program
In recent years, osteoporosis －a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue that leads to the risk of fracture－has become a growing problem, especially for elderly women. Bone mass peaks at 18 in women and at 18 to 20 in men, and begins to decline slowly after about the age of 40. Therefore, substantially increasing bone mass during teens will help to prevent future osteoporosis. As the growth of bones in teens has not been fully considered and examined, the Department of Epidemiology for Community Health and Medicine and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine), and the Laboratory of Ultrasonic Electrics (Doshisha University) have been conducting joint research on teens’ bone density. Given the situation, Doshisha University and Oyo Electric Co., Ltd. have developed the world’s first ultrasound bone densitometry which can measure teens’ radius bone density without using X-ray by improving previously developed bone densitometry.
In the program, the bone density of junior and senior high school students will be measured using the newly developed apparatus to obtain standard values, a procedure that at the same time will raise awareness among students regarding the importance of healthy bone growth from an early age.
2. Description of the program
① Students of Kizugawa Municipal Junior High School who wish to participate in the program will have their bone density measured and learn about bone growth through feedback linked to the measurement results.
② First-year students in the Science Research Course of Kyoto Prefectural Nanyo Senior High School will be introduced to the program as part of their science education, and those who wish to have their bone density measured will do so and learn about bone growth through feedback linked to the measurement results.
The program will be conducted during the first academic term.
3. About the radius bone densitometry for teens (See attached document 1)
Doshisha University and Oyo Electric Co., Ltd. have already produced an ultrasound bone densitometry for adults on a commercial basis, which is capable of quantitative evaluation of bone density in a non-radiation exposure manner using a unique ultrasonic two-wave detection method that other densitometries have not yet achieved (LD-100: See attached document 2). Based on this apparatus (LD-100), the two organizations have developed a bone densitometry system to measure teens’ small bones.
4. Creation of standard values regarding the bone density of junior and senior high school students
As bone density and bone thickness have been measured with an X-ray bone densitometry, insufficient data has been collected on junior and senior high school students. Using the new bone densitometry, Doshisha University will collect the data of junior and senior high school students to create a database and obtain standard values with the assistance of the medical knowledge of Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine.
In the future, the university hopes to expand its activities, which aim to help promote healthy bone growth in young people and prevent osteoporosis and associated health problems in the elderly, to other Keihanna (Kyoto, Osaka and Nara) regions and beyond.