In my November 2015 letter, I highlighted NIH and NIAMS investments in pediatric research, including a major new initiative, called Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) and a related trans-NIH, NIAMS-led program, the Validation of Pediatric Patient-Reported Outcomes in Chronic Diseases (PEPR) Consortium. In this month’s letter, I share updates on these efforts and other NIAMS pediatric research activities.
In September 2016, the NIH awarded several components of ECHO. This seven-year project seeks to improve understanding of the effects of environmental, societal and behavioral exposures on child health and development from conception through early childhood. ECHO draws on existing pediatric cohorts with a goal of enrolling more than 50,000 children from racially, socioeconomically and geographically diverse backgrounds. As ECHO progresses, it will create a new, larger cohort from the existing ones to extend its reach. The NIAMS provides ongoing input to ECHO on its Patient Reported Outcomes Core and on pediatric cohorts related to NIAMS mission areas.
Image: Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.
You may have seen ads on television for Xeljanz (tofacitinib), a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Physician and immunologist John O’Shea, M.D., the scientific director of the NIAMS, described the work leading up to the drug collaboration at the 2016 Philip S. Chen, Jr., Distinguished Lecture on Innovation and Technology Transfer.
Image: Phil Chen, Jr., Ph.D. (left), and NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research, Michael Gottesman, M.D. (right), enjoyed a talk by John O’Shea (center) at the Philip S. Chen, Jr., Distinguished Lecture on Innovation and Technology Transfer. Photo credit: Richard Wyatt, NIH.
At age 14, Hannah Moore had severe pain, daily migraines, frequent joint dislocations and gastrointestinal problems. She could no longer attend school. It took doctors eight months before they finally diagnosed her with fibromyalgia and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. A NIAMS-supported clinical study called FIT Teens helped her get more in control of her pain and her life.
Photo credit: Hannah Moore.
Image: Hannah Moore, shown with Katie Kitchen, clinical research coordinator of the FIT Teens program, is feeling much better and learning to live her life in spite of her pain. Photo credit: Jim Feuer, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
When we feel pain, some of us reach for a pain remedy—something quick and easy. While popping a pill may offer fast relief, other options may be better for our long-term health. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) conducts and supports research and provides reliable information about medical and health care systems, practices and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.
Music can get you moving, lift your mood and even help you recall a memory, but can it improve your health? A new partnership between the NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will expand on an initiative that the NIH has had with the National Symphony Orchestra for several years called Sound Health.
Photo Credit: Kennedy Center Sound Health video.
In older men with low testosterone, one year of testosterone treatment improved bone density and corrected anemia of both known and unknown causes, but also increased the volume of coronary artery plaque, according to results reported from the Testosterone Trials.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Emflaza (deflazacort) to treat patients age 5 years and older with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle deterioration and weakness. Emflaza is a corticosteroid that works by decreasing inflammation and reducing the activity of the immune system.
The FDA approved Siliq (brodalumab) to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Brodalumab binds to a protein that causes inflammation, inhibiting the inflammatory response that plays a role in the development of plaque psoriasis.
Calf muscle fibers (outlined in red) of male rats are on average larger than in females, likely placing increased strain on the Achilles tendon and rendering it more vulnerable to injury. The incidence of ruptures of the Achilles tendon is about five times higher in men than in women. A detailed analysis of the characteristics of the Achilles tendon may lead to insights on how to avoid these debilitating tears and possibly to new clinical approaches for repairing tendons.
Photo credit: Louis J. Soslowsky, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
The National Institute on Aging’s (NIA) Skin Care and Aging fact sheet has practical information about skin topics such as dry skin, itching, wrinkles, age spots and more.
FDA Public Meeting on Patient-Focused Drug Development for Sarcopenia
April 6, 2017
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Silver Spring, Maryland 20993
Register here to attend in person or by webcast.
Symptom Science Research: A Path to Precision Health
April 25, 2017
8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Details and registration information available here.
NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration
May 3–5, 2017
New Orleans, LA
Details and registration information available here.
“First in Human: the Trials of Bldg. 10”: A Documentary Showcasing the NIH Clinical Center Set To Air This Spring
On May 18 at 9:00 p.m., the Discovery Channel will begin a three-part series, First in Human: the Trials of Bldg. 10. The film will chronicle patients, their families, doctors and researchers as patients undergo experimental treatments at the NIH’s Clinical Center.
Image: A film crew from the Discovery Channel gets footage from the Clinical Center. Photo credit: Discovery Channel.
The NIH’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series offers weekly lectures every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. on the NIH Campus. Renowned scientists from around the globe present research on a variety of topics. The lectures are Continuing Medical Education-certified, open to the public and available live via webcast.
April 5, 2017
Florence Mahoney Lecture on Aging
Amy Wagers, Ph.D., Harvard University
“Stem Cells, Aging and Aging Stem Cells”
April 26, 2017
Rolla E. Dyer Lecture
Yasmine Belkaid, Ph.D., NIH, NIAID
“The Primary Shield: Role of Our Microbes in Health and Diseases”
NIH Science Lectures and Events Available via Internet
The NIH hosts a number of science seminars and events that are available online through real-time streaming video (videocast). The NIH calendar notes these videocast events with a video icon .
If you would like information about funding opportunities, please view the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, the primary source for information about NIH funding opportunities. You can also request a weekly Table of Contents from the NIH Guide. In addition, the NIAMS website provides comprehensive information on NIAMS-related grants and processes.