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Funding News - Applications for Mechanisms of Orofacial Pain Research Requested

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) request grant applications for research using genomic and proteomic approaches to identify molecular mechanisms involved in orofacial pain disorders in order to gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of these disorders.*

Chronic pain affects a large percentage of the population. Orofacial pain is reported by more than 20 percent of the population and is one of the most common reasons for visits to a physician. A number of orofacial disorders such as temporomandibular joint disorders, dental pain, and trigeminal neuralgia are associated with chronic pain. The pathophysiology of these disorders is poorly understood. Thus, there is a need to examine pain at all levels of basic and clinical research.

Potential areas of research interest include studies to: elucidate genes, proteins, and protein modifications involved in the transition from acute to chronic pain using genomic and proteomic approaches; examine the changes in gene and protein expression in trigeminal ganglion, spinal cord, brain stem, and cortex in chronic pain states; characterize changes in protein expression in the neuronal hyperexcitatory state found in chronic pain and the process involved in the induction of hyperexcitability at peripheral nociceptors, spinal cord, ascending pain tracts, and in the brain; identify functional protein networks involved in transducing; elucidate the roles of central and peripheral neuronal plasticity in mediating the onset of chronic pain in craniofacial regions; determine the differences in the molecular mechanisms leading to chronic pain caused by inflammatory or neuropathic injury; establish new model systems that better mimic clinical features of orofacial pain disorders; identify cortical brain areas important in orofacial pain processing through the use of neuroimaging; and elucidate the role of estrogen in the pathophysiology of pain, including the influence of estrogen on neurotrophic growth factor expression.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE: May 14, 2004.

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 request for applications, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DE-05-004.html.