GALVESTON, Texas – A multimillion dollar grant could help researchers develop a novel therapeutic for women recovering from hip fractures.

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is part of a consortium of seven universities that has received $15.6 million from the National Institute on Aging for a multisite clinical trial to study the use of testosterone therapy and exercise in post-menopausal women recovering from hip fracture. Dr. Elena Volpi, director of UTMB’s Sealy Center on Aging, is one of the seven principal investigators.

The project will evaluate hip fractures in elderly women and the benefits of short-term testosterone therapy combined with supervised exercise during the recovery process.

Results of the study may help reduce the significant burden of hip fracture now faced by many older women.

“Hip fracture is a major contributor to loss of independence in older women. With this study, we hope to find a novel therapeutic approach to accelerate recovery of physical function and independence in these patients,” Volpi says.

More than 260,000 hip fractures occur annually in the U.S. Many of those experiencing a fracture also incur a significant functional decline. Many patients also end up dealing with persistent strength and mobility issues that can impair their ability to live independently.

A primary goal of the research funded by the National Institute on Aging is to develop the fundamental knowledge to improve health and reduce the burden of disability.

UTMB’s Sealy Center on Aging focuses on improving the health and well-being of elderly through research, education, and community service. 

The other participating institutions are Washington University, Harvard University, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, University of Colorado Denver, and University of Connecticut.