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Funding News - Research on the Causes and Mechanisms of Dystonia Sought

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Eye Institute (NEI), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) invite applications for research on the causes and mechanisms of dystonia.*

Dystonia is the third most common movement disorder, affecting more than 500,000 individuals in the United States. The disorder has many different causes. Some forms of dystonia are associated with specific genetic or environmental risk factors, but the underlying pathophysiological pathways remain elusive.

Examples of potential areas of interest include: identification of genetic factors and inheritable mechanisms associated with dystonia, including new gene discovery, causes of variable penetrance, multigene interactions, and studies of other potential molecularly based disease-modifying factors; identification of proteins that interact with dystonia-related cellular factors (genes, proteins) and determination of their coordinated function; creation and characterization of animal models for studying the pathophysiological basis of dystonia, functional consequences, and potential therapeutic strategies; determination of the role of environmental factors in inducing cellular/neurophysiological changes associated with dystonia and dystonia-related proteins; studies of abnormalities in both plasticity and motor learning mechanisms that are relevant to dystonias; development of improved diagnostic and prognostic techniques; studies of the epidemiology of primary and secondary dystonia; therapeutic strategies in primary and secondary dystonia including both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions; studies on assistive devices, orthotics, and potential accommodations; studies on environmental risks that cause or exacerbate dystonia; and studies on the features of pain in dystonia, including how treating pain may affect the underlying disability

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Katrina Gwinn-Hardy, Program Director, Neurogenetics Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2142, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-5745; fax: 301-402-1501; e-mail: gwinnk@ninds.nih.gov .

*For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-156.html.