November 1, 2004

More NCCAM Grants Awarded for Chinese Medicine Research

By Editorial Staff

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has announced six new awards designed to strengthen and expand the scope of its research program. The awards, announced in October, include more than $1 million in funding for a study on the effectiveness of traditional Chinese medicine and electroacupuncture in the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse.

Other projects will involve the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine and Bastyr University, and will attempt to understand the role of the placebo effect in clinical trials and the effect of mushroom extracts on the immune system.

"NCCAM's research centers occupy a central role in fulfilling our mission by supporting studies of CAM approaches for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, by training new researchers, and by establishing research partnerships," said NCCAM Director Stephen E. Straus, MD. "The addition of these six centers to NCCAM's portfolio strengthens our research in osteopathy, dietary supplements, mind-body medicine and acupuncture, for major public health conditions including HIV/AIDS, cancer, asthma, chronic pain, alcoholism, and drug addiction."

In the "Alternative Therapies for Alcohol and Drug Abuse" study, researchers at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School will evaluate whether certain traditional Chinese medicines and a form of electroacupuncture can be used to prevent addiction relapse and cravings for alcohol and drugs. They will also seek to determine which physiological factors for addiction are affected by the therapies. Dr. Yue-Wei Lee is the principal investigator of the study, which received first-year funding of $1,071,000.

The other grant recipients, projects and funding are:

Title:Tramates Versicolor (mushroom)-Induced Immunopotentiation
First-Year Funding: $777,000
Partner Institutions: University of Minnesota, Center for Spirituality and Healing, Minneapolis, MN; Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA
Principal Investigator: Joel Slaton, MD

Title: Complementary/Alternative Medicine: Expectancy and Outcome
First-Year Funding: $840,000
Partner Institutions: Oregon Health and Science University; National College of Naturopathic Medicine; Oregon College of Oriental Medicine; Western States Chiropractic College (all Portland, OR)
Principal Investigator: Barry Oken, MD

Title: Center on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Stress Arousal, and Immune Response in Early HIV
First-Year Funding: $1,198,000
Institution: Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA
Principal Investigator: Susan Folkman, PhD

Title: Translational Research Center for CAM Therapy of Asthma
First-Year Funding: $1,200,000
Institution: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Principal Investigator: David Peden, MD

Title: Mechanisms of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
First-Year Funding: $620,000
Partner Institutions: University of North Texas Health Science Center-Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Fort Worth, TX; Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, Glendale, AZ
Principal Investigator: Susan Folkman, PhD



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