The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has designated $8.2 billion of Recovery funding toward supporting a variety of medical research projects around the country. Some of the projects are new; some already existed at the time the Recovery Act was passed but have benefited from additional money to expand or accelerate research. Similarly, some projects have been completely funded by Recovery money, while others have been partially funded.
Map of all NIH Recovery grants. Click image to view larger version.
The projects involve research into almost every human health concern, from allergies and childhood development issues to drug abuse, mental health problems, cancer, heart disease, geriatric conditions, and more.
Three projects of the more than 20,000 Recovery grants the NIH has issued to date for research are:
- Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease – Funded by a variety of sources, including $5.5 million in Recovery money, scientists have confirmed one genetic variation and have identified several others that may be risk factors for the onset of Alzheimer's disease. In the largest study ever conducted into possible genome-associated factors of Alzheimer’s-- which affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans and costs $183 billion annually in care-- investigators of the NIH’s National Institute on Aging studied DNA samples from more than 56,000 participants and analyzed data sets. Scientists expect the findings will help identify those likely to develop the disease and possibly lead to new therapies. (Details)
- Understanding ALS - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, can run in families, but in approximately 90 percent of cases there is no known cause. Recent research partially underwritten with a $1.7 million Recovery grant has revealed that factors associated with the disease are different than previously thought. Until now, a specific genetic mutation was suspected to play the key role in the development of ALS, which is characterized by the death of nerves related to voluntary muscle movement. But the recent research by NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke identified another factor: Certain cells once thought to support voluntary muscle neurons are actually toxic to them. Scientists expect this finding, which expands their understanding of the possible origins of non-familial ALS, will lead to wider research into causes and potential treatments. Currently there is only one treatment. (Details)
- The Genetics of Ovarian Cancer – With the help of $3 million in Recovery funds, scientists at the National Cancer Institute have assembled the most comprehensive and integrated view of BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 breast cancer genes and ovarian cancer genes to date. As part of the research, scientists mapped and sequenced the protein-coding regions of the genome of 316 separate tumors involving serous adenocarcinoma, the most prevalent form of ovarian cancer. One of the key findings is that identical mutations in a single gene, TP53, were common to almost all tumors. Overall results of the research “will significantly empower the cancer research community to make additional discoveries that will help us treat women with this deadly disease,” said NIH Director Francis Collins. (Details)
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