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Funding News - Research on HIV-1 Infection and the Peripheral Nervous System Sought

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) invite grant applications for research on the effect of HIV-1 infection on the peripheral nervous system and sensory organs.

Although abnormalities of the peripheral nervous system associated with HIV-1 infection are not generally life threatening, they tend to occur relatively early in the course of the disease and contribute significantly to morbidity. Prompt recognition and effective treatment of these disorders could dramatically improve the quality of life of patients.

Examples of potential research areas include studies on: the blood-nerve barrier (BNB) and the properties of the blood-spinal cord barrier under normal and pathological conditions associated with HIV-1 infection; the etiology of distal symmetrical polyneuropathy; the pathogenesis of the demyelinating HIV-1 associated neuropathies; the role, in producing demyelination, of molecular mimicry resulting from homology of segments of HIV-1 genes and protein products with sequences in the myelin protein; the ability of drugs used in HAART therapy to pass the BNB in sufficient concentrations to be effective; the mechanisms of the neurotoxic effects produced by drugs commonly used in HAART therapy and the development of less toxic agents; the development of an animal model of HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy; maladaptive responses to HIV-associated neuropathic pain; adaptive responses, such as unique coping strategies for dealing with HIV-induced neuropathic pain; and the neurotoxic effects of HIV medications on the peripheral sensory organs.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. A.P. Kerza-Kwiatecki, Neural Environment Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2115, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: (301) 496-1431; fax: (301) 402-2060; e-mail: ak45w@nih.gov.

For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-00-123.html.