December 18, 2008

December 18, 2008

The NIAMS Update is a monthly digest published for those interested in the latest scientific news and resources on diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. We encourage further dissemination of this resource.

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Melanie M. Martinez, M.P.A. Public Liaison Officer

Trish Reynolds, R.N., M.S. Media Liaison

Janet S. Austin, Ph.D. Director, Office of Communications and Public Liaison

Summer Student Program
Are you contemplating a career in biomedical research or medicine? Applications are now being accepted for the 2009 Summer Internship Program. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) provides an outstanding opportunity for high school, undergraduate, graduate, and medical students to spend a summer working side-by-side with some of the world’s leading scientists. The deadline for applications is March 1.
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NIAMS Researchers Develop Potential Non-invasive Test for OA
Researchers funded by NIAMS have identified a new method to diagnose and monitor cartilage changes in people with osteoarthritis (OA). Their discovery holds promise for interventions to preserve joint function in individuals identified at early stages of the disease. 
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Simple Exercise in Children Yields Long-Term Skeletal Benefit
Recent studies funded by NIAMS have shown that jumping exercises for just one school year in early childhood can trigger increases in bone mineral density (BMD) that are sustained for several years. The studies demonstrate the value of even simple high-impact activities—like jumping—on BMD, while providing added support for the notion that the bone mass attained in youth can be an important determinant of lifelong skeletal health.
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Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., DABT, ATS, Named New Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Dr. Raynard S. Kington, acting director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced the appointment of Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., DABT, ATS, as director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Dr. Birnbaum, who is currently a senior advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency, where she served for 16 years as director of the Experimental Toxicology Division, will begin her appointment in January 2009. 
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NIH Research Matters: Insight into Post-Exercise Fatigue in Muscular Dystrophy
Scientists have identified a disrupted molecular pathway that leads to fatigue after even mild physical exertion in mice with muscular dystrophy. This fatigue can be relieved by giving the animals a drug that bypasses the disruption. The finding may lead to a better understanding of the post-activity exhaustion that strikes many people who have neuromuscular disorders.
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NIH Research Matters: New Genes Linked to Gout
Researchers have identified 2 new genes—and confirmed the role of a third—that are associated with increased risk of higher levels of uric acid in the blood, which can lead to gout, a common, painful form of arthritis. 
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NIH Public Bulletin
Read about the latest public events, activities, and health information resources from NIH in the latest issue of the NIH Public Bulletin
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NIH News In Heath – Cold Fingers and Toes? It Might Be Raynaud’s
When the temperature drops this winter, it’s normal to feel it most in your fingers, toes, ears, and nose. But if your fingers and toes regularly turn bluish or white when the temperature dips even slightly, or if they often feel numb or painful or turn red and tingle when you’re stressed or cold, it may be a sign you have something called Raynaud’s disease. 
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AHRQ: People with Arthritis and Lupus Have Less Functionality after Strokes than Others without Those Conditions
Recovery from the damage a stroke causes often requires stays in inpatient rehabilitation centers. There, staff members work to help patients regain their mobility or learn new techniques to complete daily tasks. People who suffer strokes, and also have conditions that cause joint pain and swelling, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), face even more hurdles during recovery, a new study finds. 
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AHRQ: American College of Rheumatology Issues Recommendations on Prescribing Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Individuals who are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis are often prescribed drugs that suppress the immune system and slow the progression of joint damage that the disease causes. Called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), they can be taken by mouth or injection. Oral medications can be combined with one another or with injected DMARDs. Biologic DMARDs are a subset of the DMARDs; they are specialized proteins that suppress the immune system in a more targeted manner.
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AHRQ: Agency News and Notes – One in 10 Adults Is Being Treated for Arthritis
Approximately 21 million Americans—9.5 percent of adults 18 and older—either visited or called a doctor for a prescription to reduce arthritis pain in 2005, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It is usually associated with aging and most often causes pain and stiffness in the fingers, knees, and hips. A less common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, occurring when the body's own defense system doesn't work properly, causing pain in the joints and bones. Rheumatoid arthritis may also affect internal organs and systems. 
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Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) Open House Meetings

You are cordially invited to the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, to speak with RCDC staff about the new RCDC public reporting Web site. During the 90-minute session, RCDC staff will demonstrate the new site and respond to audience questions. These sessions will be held throughout fall 2008 and early winter 2009, and each session will have the same format. Meeting dates are subject to change.

If you plan to attend, please select the date below that best fits your schedule, and then send an RSVP with your name, organization, and e-mail address to

Friday, January 9, 2009      2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009      1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Note: The RCDC, NIH RePORTING and You Open House Meeting on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 1:30 p.m. will also be webcast. If you are interested in joining the webinar, please RSVP by Friday, January 9, 2009 to Capacity is limited by our web servers, so please respond early. This meeting will still be held on the NIH campus for those who would like to attend in person.


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2009 Pocket Planner With Tips and Resources for Healthy Bones for Life
The 12-month planner contains tips and resources on bone health, osteoporosis, and related topics. Due to high interest, planners are no longer available.


Questions and Answers about Scoliosis in Children and Adolescents
A revised booklet that defines scoliosis and provides information about how it is diagnosed and treated in children and adolescents is now available.Order yours today!


Questions and Answers about Juvenile Arthritis (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Other Forms of Arthritis Affecting Children)
A revised booklet that answers basic questions about juvenile arthritis is now available. Order yours today!


Questions and Answers about Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases
A revised booklet that answers basic questions about arthritis and rheumatic diseases is now available. Order yours today!


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NIH Roadmap Initiative Announcements

National Institutes of Health Rapid Access to Interventional Development (NIH-RAID) Program (X01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Dates: multiple dates, see announcement
Application Receipt Dates: multiple dates, see announcement
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Notice of Clarification of Eligibility Criteria for NIH Director's New Innovator Award
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Other Research Announcements

Innovation in Molecular Imaging Probes (R01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Dates: multiple dates, see announcement
Application Receipt Dates: multiple dates, see announcement
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NIH Announces the Opportunity for Funded Extensions and/or One-Time Administrative Supplements to Grants Located in Galveston, Texas, Affected by Hurricane Ike
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Clarification on New NIH Policy on Resubmission (Amended) Applications
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Error correction window extended to November 14, 2008, for NIH, AHRQ, and NIOSH grant applications due November 3-10, 2008
NIH, AHRQ, and NIOSH are extending the two-day “error correction window” (the time allowed after the submission deadline to address NIH system-identified errors/warnings) for applications submitted for due dates of November 3–10, 2008. This includes R01 applications due November 5 and responses to the following FOAs: AG-09-009, AG-09-010, AI-08-007, AI-08-011, PAR-08-025, and PAR-08-258. The error correction window for these applications has been extended to November 14, 2008, to allow applicants sufficient time to correct their applications and complete the submission process. The extension is in response to a delay in application processing by
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Extension of Expiration Date for PA-06-042 Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA): Parent R15
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January IACUC 101 & 201 PLUS Workshops in Tucson, Arizona
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Reminder and Clarification on NIH/AHRQ/CDC/FDA Transition to Adobe-based Forms for SF424 Research and Related (R&R) Electronic Submissions through
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Implementing the Early Stage Investigator Policy: Updating eRA Commons Profiles to Include Degree and Residency Completion Dates
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