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Funding News - Research on the Neurobiology of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Sought

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) invites grant applications for research on the neurobiology of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD).*

CRPS/RSD is a chronic debilitating condition characterized by severe burning pain, pathological changes in bone and skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling, and extreme sensitivity to touch. Though highly debated, the syndrome is thought to evolve through three stages-acute, dystrophic, and atrophic-each marked by progressive pain and physical changes in the skin, muscles, joints, and bones. The cause of CRPS/RSD is unknown, and most treatments for symptoms of the disorder are not optimal.

Areas of potential research interest may include: development and validation of animal models that replicate the unique features of CRPS/RSD; characterization of neurobiological mechanisms of CRPS/RSD including peripheral afferent and efferent mechanisms, central mechanisms, and factors that influence these processes; studies of neurotransmitter systems and neuropeptides involved in CRPS/RSD; studies of signaling mechanisms in CRPS/RSD; research on the immune system mechanisms and autoimmune inflammatory processes in CRPS/RSD; studies of the role of estrogen (genomic and non-genomic effects) in the pathophysiology of CRPS/RSD; translational studies that integrate the research paradigms validated in animal and human models with clinical research on patients; studies of gene and protein expression profiling in models of CRPS/RSD; development of new CRPS/RSD therapies for prospective clinical trials; development of standardized diagnostic criteria for CRPS/RSD; assessment of risk factors and incidence of CRPS/RSD through epidemiological studies; studies of disease mechanisms that give rise to CRPS/RSD in susceptible individuals; and studies that assess the effect of gender, age, and co-morbid neurological conditions on the development and maintenance of CRPS/RSD.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Emmeline Edwards, Program Director, Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2109, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-9964; fax: 301-402-2060; e-mail: ee48r@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-03-120.html.