The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (N C C A M): Part of the National Institutes of Health

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N C C A M Research Blog

NCCAM Research Blog

NCCAM blogs about research developments related to complementary health practices. Check in regularly to keep up with the latest findings.

D. Craig Hopp, Ph.D.
February 13, 2013

In addition to funding research at academic institutions, the National Institutes of Health supports research by small businesses throughout the United States. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program are two programs established by Congress to support small businesses and commercialization of federally funded research.

Sally Rockey, Ph.D. NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, posted a blog in December 2012, “Supporting Small Business Across the Country,” noting NIH’s desire to continue outreach efforts to U.S. small business researchers.

As a component of the NIH, NCCAM funds small business research that fulfills the Center’s mission. Basic, preclinical, and early phase clinical studies are eligible. A few examples of projects that might be of interest to NCCAM are:

  • Biomarkers that correlate with efficacy of complementary health therapies;
  • Standardized, reliable and economical tools that correlate with brain imaging in response to complementary health practices;
  • Technical imaging tools or instruments for studying manual therapies;
  • Tools for pain management;
  • Tools, technology and instruments, including gaming technology, for the accurate assessment of adherence and/or fidelity to the use of complementary health practices, interventions, and products;
  • Tools to improve patient-reported outcome measures of complementary health clinical investigations;
  • Tools to improve biological and physiological outcome measures of complementary health clinical investigations;

Learn more about NCCAM-specific SBIR interests and view NCCAM small business Funding Opportunity Announcements. Also, the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recently approved a concept clearance that proposed using the SBIR program to improve technologies for natural products research.

February 08, 2013
Josephine Briggs, M.D.
Dr. Briggs

Two years ago, in February 2011, we released NCCAM’s Third Strategic Plan. The plan articulated our Center’s goals and objectives and presented a structure for determining priorities for future research. As we greet this anniversary, I’m pleased to report that we are successfully putting the plan into action.

Read more »

February 05, 2013
Josephine Briggs, M.D.
NCCAM Director Dr. Josephine Briggs

The U.S. population is a rapidly aging one. In the coming years, many, if not most of us, will face changes and challenges—in our family members, friends, and/or ourselves—related to health problems that occur with aging. These include dementia, which, although not a normal part of aging, is common in very elderly people. One problem that is sometimes overlooked in considering the burdens of dementia is its effects on the health of family members who assume the burdens of care. We are proud to be supporting several studies of interventions that aim to help caregivers.

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January 28, 2013
Gale Greendale, M.D., George Salem, Ph.D.

On January 14, Dr. George Salem, Associate Professor, Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy and Co-Director of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Laboratory delivered the NCCAM Integrative Medicine Research Lecture. The focus of his talk was on the Yoga Empowers Seniors Study - a research study which aims to quantify the physical demands of yoga in seniors.

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January 22, 2013
David Kingston

Last month, Dr. David Kingston delivered the Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Health Therapies. Immediately following his talk, titled Natural Products: Drugs and Medicines for All Reasons and All Seasons, he sat down with NCCAM Deputy Director Jack Killen to discuss the future of natural products research. Highlights are posted here.

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January 16, 2013
Josephine Briggs, M.D.
Josephine Briggs, M.D.

NCCAM has supported a fair number of studies on the potential health benefits of yoga. Of particular interest has been exploring the role of yoga as a strategy for alleviating symptoms such as chronic pain or stress or for promoting healthier lifestyles. There is still a lot we don’t know, but there is a growing body of clinical research evidence that now suggests that yoga can enhance quality of life, reduce psychological stress, and improve some mental health outcomes.

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