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Dynamic Chiropractic – June 17, 2008, Vol. 26, Issue 13

Latest Palmer Research Grant Could Approach $2.75 Million

Grant establishes four-year developmental center; planning phase for three initial projects scheduled to begin immediately.

By Tina Beychok, Associate Editor

While the first year of the grant award will be funded at $148,435, an additional $2.6 million will be awarded following successful completion of first-year planning efforts.

Work for the center will take place at Palmer's Davenport, Iowa, campus.

"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 Christine Goertz Choate, DC, PhD, executive director for research at Palmer and principal investigator for the new center. "Our intent is to focus on basic and clinical research studies that are directly relevant to improving human health."

The new developmental center, the fourth such center awarded to Palmer in the past 11 years, will focus on three initial projects. One-year planning for all three projects is set to begin immediately, with patient recruitment scheduled to begin in mid-2009.

Palmer research building. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Project 1: "Upper Cervical Manipulation for Patients With Stage I Hypertension" will be directed by Drs. Goertz Choate and Gervasio Lamas, a cardiovascular scientist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. This project will replicate and expand upon a recent study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension that found that a specific chiropractic technique is effective in lowering high blood pressure within a small group of hypertensive patients. The study will involve eight weeks of chiropractic care for 155 patients. The clinical site will be at Palmer.

Project 2: Project co-leaders for "Conservative Treatment of Patients With Temporomandibular Disorders: A Pilot Study" are James DeVocht, DC, PhD, associate professor, Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research; and Clark Stanford, DDS, PhD, associate dean for research and director of the Office of Clinical Research and the Dental Clinical Research Center at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. For this pilot study, 80 participants with temporomandibular disorders will be randomized into groups that receive chiropractic care (using the Activator Method), conventional dental care or self-care. The clinical sites for care will be in Iowa City.

Project 3: The third scheduled research project is "Cervical Distraction Sham Development: Translating From Basic to Clinical Studies." Project co-leaders are: M. Ram Gudavalli, PhD, associate professor, Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research; and Avinash G. Patwardhan, PhD, professor, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and director of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory at Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital. 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.

With the latest grant award, Palmer has received an impressive $7.6 million in research grants in the past 12 months. Recent awards include a $3.8 million grant in July 2007 for a Developmental Center for the Study of the Mechanisms and Effects of Chiropractic Manipulation, and a $750,000 grant in September 2007 to expand Palmer's research efforts and establish a more evidence-based curriculum.

"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."

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