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Diabetes Awareness Month

ADA seeks research applications for brain study

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The American Diabetes Association in early November announced a request for applications to research the relationship between the brain and diabetes as well as upcoming efforts to better understand the consequences of hypoglycemia in people with diabetes.

The awards represent a $2 million commitment from Denmark-based Novo Nordisk Inc. through its Changing Diabetes Initiative to support new studies in diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association and Novo Nordisk Awards in Neurohormonal Control of Metabolism will provide $1 million over three years to support researchers investigating islet, gut and adipocyte hormones that regulate metabolic function via the central nervous system in humans. An additional $1 million will be funded through the American Diabetes Association and Novo Nordisk Awards in Hypoglycemia in Diabetes to examine the mechanisms underlying hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes, the incidence and impact of hypoglycemia on patients with diabetes and strategies for improving blood sugar control while minimizing hypoglycemia.

“This represents a major commitment to better understand two important areas affecting people with diabetes. Studies are showing us that there is definitely a link between the brain and diabetes, but much more investigation is needed,” said Robert R. Henry, MD, president, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association. “Researching the brain’s role, as well as the implications of hypoglycemia in patients, ultimately will help lead to better treatment for people with diabetes.”

“Diabetes is a very complex disease which affects multiple systems. There is a definite need to better understand the metabolic interaction among different organs, with the brain beginning to emerge as a major player. That’s why we look to research leaders in this field to bring bold ideas to the American Diabetes Association,” said Anne Phillips, MD, corporate vice president, Clinical, Medical, & Regulatory Affairs, Novo Nordisk Inc. “As the largest private funder of diabetes research in the world, we’ve seen innovative ideas come from many different places. Novo Nordisk is pleased to support this effort because we believe future insights might be found from this program.”

Applications for the American Diabetes Association and Novo Nordisk Awards in Neurohormonal Control may focus on, but are not limited to, the following areas of clinical/translational investigation:

-- Mechanistic studies defining the centrally mediated effects of peripherally-released islet, gut, and adipocyte hormones, including studies of their associated receptor systems and investigation of specific signaling pathways and the neuronal circuitry involved in their actions, and their effects on neuronal control of peripheral tissue function and metabolism

-- Studies examining the effects of physiological and pharmacological manipulation of signaling through peripheral and central peptide hormone and neuronal pathways on energy intake and energy balance, glucose, lipid and protein metabolism, islet function, adipocyte biology, and vascular function, including examination of the effects of available pharmaceutical agents

-- Studies investigating the potential direct versus indirect effects, and the interplay between, various hormone signals in the central-peripheral coordination of glucose homeostasis, energy balance and cardiovascular function in humans

The American Diabetes Association and Novo Nordisk Awards in Neurohormonal Control of Metabolism application deadline is Feb. 15, 2012 for anticipated funding to begin July 1, 2012. Application instructions are available at http://professional.diabetes.org/grantsunder Targeted Awards. Similar details about the American Diabetes Association and Novo Nordisk Awards in Hypoglycemia in Diabetes will be available in November.

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