The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) invites grant applications for clinical and translational research on axonal damage in multiple sclerosis (MS).*
MS is the second most common neurological disorder leading to disability in young adults, surpassed only by trauma. The disease is characterized by chronic inflammation and demyelination of the central nervous system (CNS) that over time may result in neurodegeneration. While axonal damage and neuronal cell death are likely to be the major causes of disability in the later, progressive phase of MS, new evidence suggests that even at early stages severance of nerve axons may occur and lead to irreparable nerve damage. Currently available therapies do not appear to significantly reduce this tissue loss.
Potential areas of research interest include, but are not limited to, studies on: therapeutic strategies for interference with molecular signals blocking axonal repair such as CNS myelin-associated inhibitors and glial scar-associated inhibitors; strategies promoting axonal maintenance and repair in demyelinating disease via delivery of trophic factors or the manipulation of a dysregulated signaling environment; the effects of channel blockers on axonal regeneration; delivery systems to target neuroprotective and regenerative compounds to MS lesions; endogenous remyelination strategies that target recruitment, survival, and maturation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells; and exogenous strategies for the delivery of myelin-forming cells such as transplantation of stem cells, oligodendrocyte progenitors, olfactory ensheathing cells, neurospheres, and Schwann cells.
For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Ursula Utz, Program Director, Neural Enviornment Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2134, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-1431; fax: 301-480-2424; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*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-05-002.html.