Release Date:  August 25, 1998



National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National
Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and National Institute of Child Health and
Human Development (NICHD) are putting forth an initiative to establish a
pediatric brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data base.  This project seeks
to establish a database of anatomic MRI brain scans of children across a wide
range of ages to serve as a resource for the pediatric neuroimaging research
community as a whole.  This pediatric MRI database would serve several purposes. 
(1) It would provide a resource for a study of normal brain development.  (2) It
would provide a necessary, representative, and reliable source of normal control
data for studies of childhood disorders and diseases that affect the brain.  This
source of normative developmental brain data could be used by multiple sites,
thus avoiding the necessity for very large numbers of control patients in
clinical studies.  (3) It would provide for the construction of normal growth
curves for brain structures.  When children are scanned, their brains could be
compared to these curves to determine whether various structures and parameters
fall within normal limits on the growth curves.  (4) Finally, such a database
could serve as a repository to aid in the development of new diagnostic tools. 
Scientists involved in the development of new diagnostic tools would be able to
save time and money by exploiting available databases.  For example, it would be
possible to develop techniques for deriving measures that are sensitive to
neurodevelopmental changes.

This project will establish a centralized coordinating data analysis center
(under separate contract award by NIMH) and a network of qualified research sites
that can, by combining the necessary interdisciplinary expertise in neuroimaging
and clinical pediatric research, become national resources where studies of brain
development can be completed in a prompt and effective manner.  All sites will
employ common protocols for recruiting normal children from the community,
measuring their neurological, cognitive, and behavioral development, and
acquiring high quality MRI brain scans.  The sites will be screened for
homogeneity of MRI hardware or software.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) will invite proposals for the establishment of
multiple Pediatric Study Centers (PSCs) to recruit pediatric subjects and to
acquire both neuroimaging and behavioral data on normal development.  It is
estimated that the centers will enroll a target sample of 504 healthy normal
children.  This target sample at this point in time is deemed to be sufficient
to establish an adequate database.  A cross-sectional and a longitudinal
component will be included.  The study will emphasize anatomic MRI (Objectives
1 and 2), but will also incorporate two emerging imaging modalities--magnetic
resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) (Ancillary
studies).  Taken together, the integration of information from these multiple
modalities will generate a comprehensive understanding of the structure, chemical
composition and metabolic state of the developing human brain.

Offerors must have personnel on staff with the required expertise and existing,
appropriate facilities and equipment.  It is anticipated that contracts will be
awarded for a period of six years.  This is not an RFP.  RFP No. NIH-NINDS-98-13
will be issued on or about September 3, 1998.  Proposals will be due
approximately 75 days after issuance of the RFP.  The RFP will be available
electronically only at the following URL: 
Offerors are responsible for routinely checking this website for any possible
solicitation amendments that may be issued.  No individual notification of any
amendments will be provided.  All responsible sources may submit a proposal that
will be considered by the agency.


Inquiries may be directed to:

Raina Cervantes
Contracts Management Branch
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
7550 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 901
Bethesda, MD  20892-9190
Telephone:  (301) 496-1813
FAX:  (301) 402-4225

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