Chiropractic Research Center Awarded $2.6 Million NIH Grant

Palmer News

Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research Receives NIH Award to Establish Center for Clinical and Translational Science in Chiropractic

Davenport, IOWA — The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR) was notified today that it has received an award to establish a four-year, multidisciplinary Developmental Center for Clinical and Translational Science in Chiropractic from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The first year of the grant award is funded at $148,435, with the remaining $2.6 million to be awarded following successful completion of year one planning efforts. The PCCR has offices located on Palmer College of Chiropractic’s campuses in Davenport, Iowa, Port Orange, Fla., and San Jose, Calif. The work for the Center will take place at Palmer’s Davenport Campus.

Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research Receives NIH AwardThe new developmental center will increase the level and quality of Palmer’s ongoing research program by enhancing its ability to conduct clinical research. It also will advance scientific expertise and research infrastructure, and support enhanced communication and partnering among 10 investigators at Palmer College of Chiropractic, and partners at the University of Iowa, Mount Sinai Medical Center and Miami Heart Institute, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital.

“This grant award makes possible the next logical step in the development of the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research as we move beyond the strong platform we are building in basic science research toward our overarching goal of establishing a strong translational research center for chiropractic,” said Palmer’s Executive Director for Research Christine Goertz Choate, D.C., Ph.D. “Our intent is to focus on basic and clinical research studies that are directly relevant to improving human health.”

NIH defines translational research is a two-way endeavor, where basic science knowledge is used to develop better clinical studies and clinical experience is used to direct basic science investigations.

The newly funded Center is the fourth developmental center awarded to Palmer over the past 11 years, and is part of NCCAM’s developmental center program that fosters increased collaboration among complementary and alternative healthcare institutions. It is led by Dr. Goertz Choate as principle investigator and will consist of three initial projects. A one-year planning stage for these studies will begin immediately, with patient recruitment efforts targeted to begin in early summer 2009.

“This award further demonstrates Palmer’s commitment to the chiropractic profession, our alumni, students and patients,” said Palmer Chancellor Larry G. Patten.

Project 1
The first project, “Upper cervical manipulation for patients with stage I hypertension,” will be directed by project co-leaders Dr. Christine Goertz Choate from Palmer and Gervasio Lamas, M.D., a cardiovascular scientist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami who is known for his expertise in the conduct of large, complex, multi-site clinical trials. This project will replicate and expand upon a recent study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension, which found that a specific chiropractic technique known as National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) is effective in lowering high blood pressure within a small group of hypertension patients. The study will involve eight weeks of chiropractic care in 155 patients. The clinical site for patient care will be at Palmer’s Davenport Campus.

Project 2
The second project is “Conservative treatment of patients with temporomandibular disorders–a pilot study.” Project co-leaders are: James DeVocht, D.C., Ph.D., associate professor, Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research; and Clark Stanford, D.D.S., Ph.D., associate dean for Research and director of the Office of Clinical Research and the Dental Clinical Research Center of the University of Iowa NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) supported Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences.

This project is an outgrowth of more than 10 years of collaboration between the PCCR and the University of Iowa, and it takes the partnership to a new level with the addition of co-leader Dr. Clark Stanford. Dr. Stanford heads the University of Iowa College of Dentistry’s new Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences initiative, which has received NIH funding. This new focus on translational research at the University of Iowa and Palmer creates synergy for increased levels of collaboration and greater success for both institutions in translational research initiatives. For this pilot study, 80 participants with temporomandibular disorders will be randomized into groups that receive chiropractic care, conventional dental care or self-care. The clinical sites for care will be in Iowa City, Iowa.

Project 3
The third project in Palmer’s new Center is “Cervical distraction sham development: translating from basic to clinical studies.” Project co-leaders are: M. Ram Gudavalli, Ph.D., associate professor, Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research; and Avinash G. Patwardhan, Ph.D., professor, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, and director of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory at Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital. This current project is the result of past collaborations between Drs. Gudavalli and Patwardhan to conduct research on neck pain, low back pain and biomechanics. For this study, a sham manipulation will be developed based on a cervical distraction technique in order to assist further study in the area of spinal manipulation and the chiropractic adjustment.

PCCR Garners $7.6 Million in Grant Funding During Past Year
Palmer’s latest NCCAM center grant brings the total research grants tally in the past 12 months to $7.6 million. Recent grant awards included a $3.8 million center grant in July 2007 from NCCAM for a Developmental Center for the Study of Mechanisms and Effects of Chiropractic Manipulation and ADD R25.

“We are extremely gratified by the number of grant awards we have received recently, particularly the NCCAM center grants,” added Dr. Choate. “This recognition from the National Institutes of Health demonstrates Palmer’s leadership position in chiropractic research. We take this role very seriously, and are continually striving to improve and expand our chiropractic research efforts in ways that are directly relevant to patient care.”

Palmer Media Relations: Lori Leipold, Media Relations; Palmer College of Chiropractic
Phone (563) 884-5726; fax (563) 884-5225
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