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Editor's e-Note
UCLA researchers have tapped into stem cells’ regenerative ability to form new bone. They have identified the bone-forming properties of a protein known as NELL-1. The possibilities are promising for people with osteopenia and osteoporosis, who suffer from bone loss. The use of NELL-1 may be successful in producing new bone formation in these patients at some point in the future.

In addition to reading our e-newsletter, be sure to visit Today’s Geriatric Medicine’s website at, where you’ll find news and information that’s relevant and reliable. We welcome your feedback at Follow Today’s Geriatric Medicine on Facebook and Twitter, too.

— Barbara Worthington, editor
e-News Exclusive
Study Shows Bone-Building Protein’s Impact on Bone Stem Cells

A new study by UCLA researchers shows that administering the protein NELL-1 intravenously stimulates significant bone formation through the regenerative ability of stem cells.

These preclinical results could one day have an impact on the development of a treatment for osteoporosis, which affects more than 200 million people worldwide, as well as potentially helping those with traumatic bone injuries, such as members of the military or astronauts who lose bone density while in space.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, was led by cosenior authors Kang Ting, DMD, DMSc, chair of orthodontics and the division of growth and development in the UCLA School of Dentistry, and Chia Soo, MD, FACS, a professor and vice chair for research in the UCLA Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the David Geffen School of Medicine and a member of the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.

Full story »
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Geriatrics Consult With Rosemary Laird, MD
Vitamin D: Bone Builder,
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Vitamin D has long been known as a vital element for bone health. Evidence for its role alongside calcium in supporting bone density and decreasing falls and fractures in the elderly has widespread acceptance while additional benefits remain controversial.

First, the benefit on which nearly all experts agree is its role as a key partner with calcium in bone metabolism. From the American Geriatrics Society comes a practice guideline sponsored by a multisociety panel for use of vitamin D.1

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