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NINDS to Fund Imaging, Omics Effort to Understand Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke will award $2.3 million next year for a study that will use imaging, omics, cognitive, and behavioral analysis to understand how chronic traumatic encephalopathy evolves in individuals.

NINDS expects to provide the same amount of funding in following years for the longitudinal study, which will follow patients over three-to-five year periods, the institute said yesterday.

The grant will fund efforts to use biomarkers to detect, characterize, and measure the progression of neurodegeneration in individuals who are likely to be diagnosed with CTE. Long-term, more knowledge about the neurological mechanisms involved could lead to new ways to detect CTE or slow its progress.

Researchers applying for funding will be expected to gather and use a range of longitudinal data, such as cerebrospinal fluid and blood for genomic and proteomic analysis, as well as MRI and PET imaging data. Another goal of the research is to develop criteria for use in diagnosing and staging CTE patients.

The studies funded under this grant may include efforts to use MRI or PET imaging to define features of CTE in high-risk, symptomatic patients; engage in qualitative and quantitative assessments of the progression of neurodegeneration; evaluate the utility of various neuroimaging approaches and other surrogate markers for diagnosing and tracking CTE progression; study the correspondence between neurodegenerative changes and clinical signs and symptoms of CTE over time; and pursue clinical studies that could lead to ways to identify risk factors for CTE.

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