What is OI?

Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Adam has a brittle bone condition – Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI for short). This is a rare, lifelong genetic condition of bone and connective tissue.

The characteristic of OI include:

  • bone fragility
  • short stature (but people can also have normal height)
  • scoliosis and other skeletal deformities
  • loose joints
  • blue sclerae
  • hearing impairment
  • dentinogenesis imperfecta (a condition that affects teeth)
  • fragile teeth
[Source: OI Federation Europe]

OI is classified according to types, currently ranging from type I to type V. Adam has the most severe form of this condition (type III) compatible with life.

At present, OI is incurable. Treatment is aimed at preventing or correcting the symptoms. Examples of treatments for the symptoms of OI include:

  • orthopaedic surgery
  • drugs to suppress the destructive side of the bone cycle
  • dental therapies
  • physiotherapy
  • occupational therapy
  • audiological treatment

There are a number of stem cell trials currently running worldwide which seek to ameliorate the symptoms of OI. Adam was enrolled in one of these trials before birth and it is the hope of the King family that he will have the opportunity to continue these therapies in the future.