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Funding News - Research Sought on Genetics and Pathobiology of Vascular Cognitive Impairment

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  • The information on this page is for historical and research purposes only.
  • For the most current NINDS funding announcements, please see the NINDS list of Active Funding Initiatives or Follow Us on Twitter for the latest funding news.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) invite research grant applications aimed at understanding the genetics and pathobiology of vascular cognitive impairment.*

The number of people affected by dementia in the U.S. is expected to increase three-fold in the next 50 years to a total of over 13 million. The best-known form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease (AD), however, a large proportion of dementia cases in the elderly population are not due to AD, but rather to cerebrovascular disease. Dementia due to cerebrovascular disease is referred to as "vascular dementia," and can occur in the absence of AD pathology. In recent years, the term "vascular dementia" has been replaced by the term "vascular cognitive impairment (VCI)."

Research areas of interest include, but are not limited to: genetics of VCI, in both animal models and humans, in particular, identification of genes that render individuals susceptible to cognitive impairment secondary to cerebrovascular disease; analysis of cellular and molecular changes occurring in vascular, neuronal, and glial cells during the development of VCI in humans, and correlation of these with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) signs and changes in cognitive function; studies of the cellular and molecular bases of the interaction between the VCI and AD pathways; development and characterization of new animal models for the study of VCI, and of the interaction between VCI and AD pathogenic mechanisms; analysis of cognitive function in VCI animal models, and correlation of changes in cognitive function with cellular and molecular pathologies; and studies on the cellular and molecular effects of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, coagulant and anticoagulant proteins, inflammatory cytokines, and complement proteins on the vessel wall in appropriate animal models for VCI.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Gabrielle Leblanc, Program Director, Neurogenetics Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2136, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-5745; fax: 301-402-1501; e-mail:

*For a more detailed description of this announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: