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Children's Bone Health and Calcium: NICHD Research Goals

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The goals of NICHD research on children's bone health and calcium are to identify the factors that influence both normal and low-bone-mineral accretion during childhood and adolescence. Specific areas of supported research include:

  • The study of two inheritable disorders of connective tissue, osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), which results in weak bones; and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome,1 a disorder of the skin, joints, and blood vessels
  • The role of collagen and other structural proteins in connective tissue diseases such as OI and osteoporosis2
  • Cellular, molecular, and genetic mechanisms governing longitudinal bone growth in childhood3
  • The effects of physical activity on bone development in children and teens, particularly prepubescent and early pubescent girls4
  • Factors influencing bone and skeletal health in children and adolescents with special needs, including those with anorexia nervosa,5 autism,6 obesity,7 spina bifida,8 and HIV/AIDS
  • Racial and sex differences in calcium digestion, retention, and kinetics in children and adolescents9
  • The role of supplementation with vitamin D10 or zinc11 in promoting bone health in children and adolescents
  • Mechanisms of bone density and weakening
  • Conditions in which bone strength is compromised

  1. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bone and Extracellular Matrix Branch. (2011). 2011 annual report of the Division of Intramural Research. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://2011annualreport.nichd.nih.gov/bemb.html [top]
  2. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Section on Physical Biochemistry. (2011). 2011 annual report of the Division of Intramural Research. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://2011annualreport.nichd.nih.gov/spb2.html [top]
  3. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Division of Intramural Research. (2011). Section on Growth and Development. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://dir.nichd.nih.gov/dirweb/affiliationDetail.html?x=vqJ>==3np"v|%7BJtr"Nssvyvn"v|%7BQr"nvy&g=5593d48ce0f813a97fd144a40f1a531f [top]
  4. National Institutes of Health, Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools. (2012). Project Number 5R01HD050775-05. Exercise and bone development in young girls. Contact PI/Project Leader: Going, Scott B. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8068325&icde=12234508&ddparam=&ddvalue=&ddsub=&cr=1&csb=default&cs=ASC [top]
  5. National Institutes of Health, Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools. (2012). Project Number 5K23HD060066-04. Biomechanical stimulation & skeletal health in adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Contact PI/Project Leader: Divasta, Amy D. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8204489&icde=12234581&ddparam=&ddvalue=&ddsub=&cr=1&csb=default&cs=ASC [top]
  6. Hediger, M. L., England, L. J., Molloy, C. A., Yu, K. F., Manning-Courtney, P., & Mills, J. L. (2008). Reduced bone cortical thickness in boys with autism or autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(5), 848–856. [top]
  7. National Institutes of Health, Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools. (2012). Project Number 5R01HD049701-05. Bone health of obese adolescents during weight loss. Contact PI/Project Leader: Zemel, Babette S. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8094389&icde=12234604&ddparam=&ddvalue=&ddsub=&cr=1&csb=default&cs=ASC [top]
  8. National Institutes of Health, Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools. (2012). Project Number 5R01HD059826-03. Risk factors for osteoporosis in children and adolescents with myelomeningocele. Contact PI/Project Leader: Wren, Tishya A. L. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8265881&icde=12234627&ddparam=&ddvalue=&ddsub=&cr=1&csb=default&cs=ASC [top]
  9. National Institutes of Health, Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools. (2012). Project Number 3R01HD061908-03S1. Calcium metabolism in Mexican American adolescents. Contact PI/Project Leader: Weaver, Connie M. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8324318&icde=12234663&ddparam=&ddvalue=&ddsub=&cr=1&csb=default&cs=ASC [top]
  10. National Institutes of Health, Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools. (2012). Project Number 5R01HD057126-02. Supplemental vitamin D and functional outcomes in early adolescence. Contact PI/Project Leader: Lewis, Richard D. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=7916568&icde=12234693&ddparam=&ddvalue=&ddsub=&cr=1&csb=default&cs=ASC [top]
  11. National Institutes of Health, Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools. (2012). Project Number 5R03HD054630-02. Supplemental zinc and bone turnover in early pubertal females. Contact PI/Project Leader: Lewis, Richard D. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=7363672&icde=12234714&ddparam=&ddvalue=&ddsub=&cr=1&csb=default&cs=ASC [top]

Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 11/30/2012

Scientific Resources

Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology