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Dyskinesia Challenge 2014


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The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) wishes to engage researchers and drug makers focused on studying and/or therapeutically treating levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID). Applicants may submit a proposal focused on a relevant area of LID research (see full details below) for consideration of a one-year, $125,000 award. See the Special Requirements section below for additional information.



No deadline; applications accepted anytime.



Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by a progressive loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra. To combat this loss and the related motor symptoms that follow, patients are most commonly treated with the drug levodopa.  Levodopa is transformed in the brain into dopamine and considerably improves the motor symptoms of PD. Unfortunately, after repeated use of levodopa, the vast majority of patients eventually develop levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID), involuntary movements that can be highly disabling and reduce overall quality of life in people with PD.

A number of hypotheses for the cause and/or expression of dyskinesia are currently explored by the PD research community, including drug-induced changes to the underlying brain circuitry of the basal ganglia, problems with the pulsatile nature of current levodopa therapy and the potential role of angiogenesis and the blood-brain barrier.



The Dyskinesia Challenge 2014 program seeks proposals focused on identifying and validating novel and innovative targets that will complement current MJFF efforts in the discovery and development of dyskinesia therapies.

Current MJFF therapeutic development efforts focus on the following:

  • Serotonergic system: in order to control its inappropriate dopamine release, using partial 5-HT1A/1B agonists
  • Overactive glutamatergic system: with an antagonist of mGluR5 or with a selective activation of mGluR4
  • Nicotinic receptor subtypes: with selective ligands of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
  • Altered opioidergic neurotransmission: using mu opioid receptor antagonists

For the Dyskinesia Challenge RFA, MJFF is particularly interested in pre-clinical studies revealing new pathways, other than the above described targets already being thoroughly explored with MJFF support.



MJFF intends to fund multiple proposals as part of this initiative. Invited applicants may request a project up to one year in duration and $125,000 in total costs.  Indirect costs of up to 10% of direct costs are allowed.  Total costs are inclusive of both direct costs and indirect costs.  Budgets must be appropriate and justifiable for the work proposed. Each item and its cost must be clearly described in the budget.  Funds awarded cannot be used for expenses to scientific conferences/meetings or for general equipment.  Specific requests will be considered only if essential to the execution of the proposed work. No equipment only grants will be considered.

In the event of a collaboration between multiple institutions, indirect costs are only paid once – either to the Principal Investigator’s institution as a percent of total direct costs or, in the case of multiple Principal Investigators, to each institution as a percent of each institution’s total direct costs.



Proposals may be submitted by U.S. and non-U.S. entities, public and private non-profit entities, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of state and local governments, and eligible agencies of the federal government and for-profit entities. Post-doctoral students or fellows are not eligible to apply as principal or co-principal investigators for this program.



Please refer to our Administrative Guidelines. Please note that any information contained in this RFA will supersede any information contained in general MJFF administrative guidelines.


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