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Funding News - Applications for Research on Functional MRI and Intervention for Cognitive Deficits After Traumatic Brain Injury Requested

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) request applications for research studies on functional MRI (fMRI) and intervention for cognitive deficits after traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The objective of this request for applications (RFA) is to encourage research on functional imaging of brain activity in brain-injured individuals with complex cognitive deficits that constitute altered executive functioning. Imaging studies of the brain have been responsible for advances in the treatment of many aspects of brain function, as well as in understanding the functional loci of many neurological disorders. In TBI, imaging has been very useful in diagnosis and development of management strategies, and in the acute stages after injury. Additional studies in functional imaging will help to unravel the long-term consequences of TBI, and aid in further diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Examples of potential areas of research include: studies using fMRI to follow changes in activation in the injured brain during sub-acute and chronic stages; use of fMRI to correlate brain activity/structure in TBI with specific cognitive deficits within the domain of executive function after TBI; assessment of the patterns of activation within the limbic system; use of functional imaging to assess changes and localize activity in specific brain regions during cognitive activities in persons with cognitive deficits after TBI; studies to help understand the particular vulnerability of regions that contribute to executive function, and the pathophysiological mechanisms that contribute to these deficits; studies to monitor the longitudinal changes in brain regions that directly contribute to TBI deficits in executive function, as well as evaluating the therapeutic effects of behavioral, pharmacological, and other therapeutic interventions; use of functional imaging to assess changes in activation of brain regions after specific interventions directed at memory, attention, concentration, comprehension, insight, or other components of executive/cognitive function; fMRI studies to help evaluate current treatment and rehabilitation strategies and test their efficacy; and studies to develop and validate surrogate markers based on fMRI to monitor progress in TBI as related to executive function.

Application Receipt Date: February 15, 2001.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Mary Ellen Michel, Repair and Plasticity Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2222, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: (301) 496-1447; fax: (301) 402-1501; email:

For a more detailed description of this RFA, please visit the web site at: