Über CRAN initiative highlighted at NIDA advisory council meeting

Longitudinal study projected to cost $30 million annually for 10 years.

The advisory council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) held its annual spring meeting on May 7, 2014.

NIDA Director Nora Volkow provided a report (PDF, 7.10MB) highlighting a proposal to conduct a longitudinal study on the effects of substance use on the developing brain as part of the Collaborative Research on Addictions at NIH (CRAN) initiative. As outlined in Volkow’s presentation, the ambitious large-scale, prospective study would illuminate the developmental effects of individual substances as well as substance interactions. Further, it would better establish the relationship between substance use and other mental disorders. The study would involve monitoring a nationally representative sample of approximately 10,000 healthy 10-year-old children over the course of 10 years at a cost of $30 million per year. The study would examine a variety of outcome measures, including measures of academic achievement, IQ and cognition.

Recognizing the need to take a deliberative approach to constructing such a study, NIDA will assemble a panel of nine experts (including six psychologists) at a workshop on May 27-28 to discuss the study’s design and methods. A formal request for information will be issued by NIDA for public input in June or July and then a revised study design will be presented for additional input at a special symposium to be held at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in November. The final funding opportunity announcement is expected to be released in early 2015.

Additional presentations at the advisory council meeting included an overview of the Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research (PDF, 9.49MB) by Joni Rutter. Dave Thomas provided an overview of NIDA’s participation in NIH Pain Consortium initiatives (PDF, 4.02MB). Albert Avila summarized an interim report from the NIDA Council Subcommittee Working Group on Diversity in the Extramural Research Workforce (PDF, 721KB). James Anderson provided a ten year update on the NIH Common Fund (PDF, 4.29MB). And Antonello Bonci discussed activities at NIDA’s Intramural Research Program (PDF, 1.33MB).

For more information contact Geoff Mumford.