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New Therapies for Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome to be Studied

Aug. 21, 2012

A collaborative team of researchers received a one-year, $50,000 grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI) to study possible new therapies for cyclical vomiting syndrome, a chronic disorder that affects children and adults.

The title of the project is “Serum Endocannabinoid Concentration and Salivary Cortisol in Patients with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome.” The primary investigator is Thangam Venkatesan, M.D., associate professor of gastroenterology and hepatology and gastroenterologist at Froedtert Hospital; co-primary investigators are Cecilia Hillard, Ph.D.; and Hershel Raff, Ph.D.; the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is a chronic disorder that is characterized by episodic nausea and vomiting interspersed with symptom-free intervals. Treatment is mostly based on alleviating symptoms when the episodes occur, and there are no consistently effective therapies or preventive measures available. The goal of this study is to learn more about the relationship between stress and endocannabinoid concentrations in the body, and how that factors into CVS. This new data will pave the way for developing new therapies to treat CVS.

This is one of 19 pilot projects being funded in 2012 through CTSI. The goal is to create synergy through collaboration, and studies are specifically designed to lead to major future research support. The projects explore findings that have the potential to be translated into clinical practice and community health, and are led by investigators at the CTSI’s eight partnering institutions: the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the VA Medical Center, and the Blood Center of Wisconsin.

CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clinical and translational research. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Support for the Pilot Award Program comes from Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center (BBC) and the John and Jeanne Byrnes CTSI Award.

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