About the Clinical Neuroscience Research Grant Program

 

Research on brain diseases, as on any disease affecting humans, often proceeds from taking promising results produced in studying an animal model of a disease and applying these results to the first studies in human patients who have that disease. These first studies in patients usually determine whether the animal model has accurately portrayed what is actually occurring in the human disease, and whether the intervention (such as a drug, a device, or a surgical technique) works safely in patients. This first research in humans also tries to determine whether these interventions, which appeared to work in the animal model of the disease, also show promise in treating patients who have the disease.

In 2003, Dana began inviting grant proposals for these "first in man" studies involving a few patients with devastating brain disease for which there currently is no effective treatment. Funded researchers set up "controlled clinical studies" in a small number of patients with a specific brain disease, based on promising animal studies suggesting that a specific therapy either treated the condition or prevented it from getting worse. In these controlled clinical studies, the new therapy is tested in some of the patients while the other patients continue to receive currently available treatment. Through this process, clinical researchers determine whether the tested new therapy shows initial promise beyond currently available treatment.

Grant studies can receive up to $300,000 payable over three years.

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