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Funding News - Research on the Neurobiology of Persistent Pain Mediated by the Trigeminal Nerve Sought

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) encourage grant applications for research on the neurobiology of persistent pain mediated by the trigeminal nerve.*

Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that adversely affects the lives of millions of people. A diverse group of disorders arises from trauma, pathology, structural or degenerative changes, and, sometimes, unknown causes that affect the deep tissues of the head and face and often lead to severe, chronic pain. Chronic pain mediated by the trigeminal nerve complex is a predominant feature of conditions such as migraine disorder, trigeminal neuralgia, temporomandibular disorders, and dry eye syndrome.

Potential areas of research include studies to: develop model systems that appropriately mimic the clinical features of syndromes associated with deep tissue pain in the head and neck region in order to provide optimal tools for basic and clinical studies; characterize the immune and inflammatory mechanisms in the pathophysiology of craniofacial/deep tissue persistent pain through determination of the role of glial cells and cytokine release in central and peripheral pain pathways, and clinical assessment of relevant findings; discover mechanisms of plasticity at the neurochemical, molecular, and cellular levels, which contribute to abnormal pain responses and persistent pain associated with disorders of tissues innervated by the trigeminal nerve; identify the factors that contribute to the high level of co-morbidity of craniofacial with musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and pelvic pain disorders through exploration of the central integration and processing of afferent input from craniofacial structures with that from non-craniofacial structures; determine factors that underlie gender, age, and ethnic variations in pain experience of craniofacial disorders in order to provide more appropriate and individualized pain management for these groups; determine the usefulness of exercise in pain management through clinical trials; and develop and test novel mechanism-based therapies for improved management of chronic pain associated with craniofacial disorders through appropriate clinical trials.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Linda Porter, Program Director, Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2113, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-9964; fax: 301-402-2060; e-mail: lp216a@nih.gov.

*For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-03-173.html.