The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) plans to issue a Request for Applications (RFA), in the fall of 2006, to stimulate investigations of the mechanisms underlying extinction learning of drug-taking behaviors. Research suggests that Pavlovian- and Instrumentally-mediated mechanisms play a role in the acquisition and maintenance of drug seeking. Furthermore, basic drug addiction research has shown that exposure to drugs of abuse involves neuroadaptations in learning and memory systems, and that extinction of drug-associated stimuli and responses can decrease drug-seeking behavior and modify the underlying neural substrates. This RFA will solicit applications that build on recent findings regarding the mechanisms underlying extinction learning, resistance to extinction, renewal, reinstatement and factors that contribute to the consolidation of extinction learning and the prevention of relapse. In particular, the RFA will encourage multi-disciplinary research that incorporates appropriate behavioral paradigms for studying extinction learning along with the study of intracellular signaling systems, neural circuitry, neurotransmitters, and neuromodulators that mediate extinction of both classically and instrumentally learned responses associated with compulsive drug taking. The basic research supported under this RFA is intended to support research that will spur the development of novel therapies for substance use disorders. This initiative, therefore, will encourage investigators to not only integrate behavioral, molecular, cellular, neurobiological and/or genetic approaches, but also to conduct research that tests the efficacy of pharmacological and/or genetic interventions (e.g., RNAi) to enhance extinction learning, thereby reducing prepotent -associative processes and drug-seeking behaviors. It is expected that research supported under this RFA will ultimately be used to identify candidate approaches for preliminary clinical interventions.
For further information regarding this potential RFA, please contact:
Dr. David Shurtleff
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Boulevard , MSC 9555
Bethesda , MD 20892
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