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Grant Abstract

Grant Number: 5R21AT001969-03
PI Name: Cathryn Booth-Laforce
Project Title: Ayurvedic Center for Collaborative Research

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) usage in the U.S. is on the increase and millions of Americans suffering from chronic conditions are turning to CAM treatments, which have not been validated by Western scientific standards for safety and efficacy. Many alternative medical systems like Ayurveda, which are becoming popular in the U.S. have originated or are traditional in other countries. Ayurveda is an ancient, multifaceted, holistic medical system from India. Based on the premise that the optimal way to understand this traditional medical system is by conducting studies in its native setting, the broad goal of this research is to develop collaborative relationships among researchers from the U.S. and scientists and practitioners in India to develop an international center for CAM research in India to study Ayurveda. We have identified The Ayurvedic Trust in Coimbatore, India as the proposed center for collaboration and development. The specific aims are to: 1) Develop and consolidate long-term scientific collaborations between the Ayurvedic Trust and U.S. researchers; (2) Assess the available resources and the current needs for the Ayurvedic Trust to conduct research projects that meet current NIH scientific and regulatory standards, and gain familiarity with the Trust and its operations; (3) Refine the research design for a pilot study to form the basis of more thorough investigations in collaboration with the Ayurvedic Trust, and define the research agenda to be proposed in the subsequent International Centers for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (ICRC) or other applications; (4) Initiate a plan to address the needs of the Ayurvedic Trust to facilitate the conduct of successful and ethical research, including training of personnel; (5) Develop the infrastructure to facilitate collaborative research, including developing core facilities for: 1. Information Technology Infrastructure for communications and monitoring clinical trials, and 2. Quality Assurance and Quality Control laboratory for the Ayurvedic medications; (6) Initiate a pilot study to form the basis of larger clinical trials to be proposed in the subsequent ICRC application or through other grant mechanisms.

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