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Funding News - Applications to Establish Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Centers Requested

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) request applications to establish Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Centers to increase basic and clinical research on all forms of muscular dystrophy.

Muscular dystrophies--a group of diseases characterized by progressive weakness and wasting of muscles--collectively have a high impact on health, affecting tens of thousands of people in the United States alone. Although recent research has revealed much about genetic defects associated with many forms of muscular dystrophy, treatment for the diseases has not changed significantly. There is a need to learn more about pathogenesis of the diseases and to improve early detection and screening, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

Examples of areas of research interest include studies to: clarify the role of inflammatory changes that accompany tissue degeneration; explore the relationship between vascular changes and pathogenesis in skeletal and cardiac muscle; develop improved outcome measures and methods to monitor changes due to treatment or disease progression; expand the use of non-invasive techniques, including imaging, to determine changes in muscle properties during disease progression and treatment; define molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of the cardiovascular disease associated with muscular dystrophies; pursue the development and sharing of appropriate animal models for muscular dystrophies; improve treatments to prevent and reverse muscle weakness and wasting; explore methods to prevent respiratory failure and cardiomyopathy; determine if stem cells can be delivered through the circulatory system efficiently and effectively; promote bioengineering and other innovative research into rehabilitation of patients with muscular dystrophies; develop disease-specific measurements for quality of life; and encourage research on the psychosocial, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive aspects of muscular dystrophy, including mental health concerns of affected persons and families.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE: August 26, 2004

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Daofen Chen, Program Director, Channels, Synapses and Circuits Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2131, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-1917; fax: 301-402-1501; e-mail: dc342b@nih.gov.

*For a more detailed description of this request for applications, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AR-04-008.html.