This is a medical video to give you a more general idea of osteoporosis, including its causes, symptoms and possible treatments.
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Jennifer Matthews: Inside a thin mat are 200 layers of aluminum and polyester, materials that may hold the key to treating and preventing osteoporosis. Dr. Karen Prestwood: When a person lies on the mat, the layers of material rub together and create this very low level electrical field. Jennifer Matthews: Researchers from the University of Connecticut believe that electrical field builds bone density and stimulates calcium growth when patients sleep the mat. Dr. Karen Prestwood: The mat can act as a capacitor so that when a person lies on it, this energy is emitted and it is thought it may affect bones. Jennifer Matthews: Half of the 70 women in the study sleep on the electromagnetic mat and half on a placebo mat. Agnes Perrault is a volunteer. She doesn't have osteoporosis yet, and hopes to keep it that way. Agnes Perrault: I really am into preventative medicine, or whatever. I would rather do something now than have some sort of condition. Jennifer Matthews: Bone activity is monitored through changes in blood and urine, samples of which are taken every six weeks. Dr. Karen Prestwood: The implications are huge because this would be a simple, noninvasive, inexpensive way to treat osteoporosis. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.