Notice of Special Interest: Alcohol and Aging
First Available Due Date:
October 05, 2020
September 08, 2023
PA-20-185 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
PA-20-184 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)
PA-20-183 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Required)
PA-20-200 - NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
PA-20-194 - NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21 Clinical Trial Required)
PA-20-195 - NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
PA-20-196 - NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to promote research to improve our understanding of the effects of alcohol consumption on aging across different levels of biological organization including the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, organism, and societal levels. The following broad research areas will be encouraged: 1) Basic and clinical research defining the effects of alcohol consumption on lifespan, health span, and age-related diseases depending on level of alcohol consumption, drinking pattern, and duration of drinking; 2) Research to inform evidence-based guidance for identifying risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD) among older adults as well as prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of AUD in this population; and 3) Research to extend the health span of older adults who drink and decrease the health care burden of age-related diseases associated with alcohol use.
People over 65 years constitute the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population with increasing alcohol consumption, particularly among women. Diagnosing AUD in this population is more difficult as symptoms may be masked by aging-related conditions. This silent epidemic represents a significant public health problem as aging is one of the biggest risk factors of chronic, non-communicable diseases that are exacerbated by alcohol. The relationship between alcohol and aging is complex. Chronic, heavy drinking contributes to accelerated and exacerbated aging-related symptoms and aging increases sensitivity to the physiological and neurobiological effects alcohol. Hence, defining the effects of alcohol consumption on lifespan and health span in the context of level of alcohol consumption, drinking pattern and duration of drinking is of paramount importance. Established biomarkers of aging including cellular senescence, telomere attrition, and the “epigenetic clock” could offer unprecedented insights to the underlying biological processes of alcohol on aging. Elucidating these biological pathways could provide targets for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of AUD among older adults.
The Notice will support, but is not limited to the following research areas/topics:
Basic biological mechanisms, metabolism, and health effects
- Determine how alcohol consumption affects the pillars of aging: macromolecular damage, epigenetics, inflammation, adaptation to stress, protein homeostasis (proteostasis), stem cell regeneration, and metabolism.
- Identify and model mechanisms through which alcohol contributes to infectious and non-infectious diseases and frailty in older adults.
- Study alcohol-associated cardiac aging and its consequences: all-cause mortality, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, arrythmias and vascular dysfunction.
- Determine the effects of sex as a biological variable on the alcohol-aging axis.
- Examine alcohol-induced changes in the microbiome and its metabolites in aging and age-related disease.
- Explore the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer in older adults.
- Utilize aging biomarkers such as telomere attrition, and the “epigenetic clock” to measure the various outcomes of alcohol on aging.
- Determine alcohol’s roles in cellular senescence and the contribution of senescence cells to Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD) and Alcohol Related Organ Diseases (AROD).
- Identify neurobiological mechanisms contributing to the influence of alcohol on healthy and pathologic brain aging across the spectrum of alcohol drinking patterns and doses.
- Examine how alcohol modulates neuroimmune interactions and neuroinflammation associated with healthy and pathologic aging.
- Explore how alcohol disrupts peripheral and central nervous system interactions and neurovascular function, which contributes to cognitive decline associated with aging.
- Determine how alcohol consumption alters cognitive and behavioral changes associated with aging, dysregulates sleep, and impacts pain in aging populations.
- Study how prenatal or adolescent alcohol exposure affects the aging process and susceptibility of aging pathologies.
Epidemiology, Prevention and Treatment
- Develop screening vehicles, prevention, behavioral and pharmaceutical therapies targeted for older adults.
- Investigate increased sensitivity to the effects of alcohol on balance, attention and driving that could contribute to falls, car crashes, and other unintentional injuries among older adults.
- Examine the polypharmacy-alcohol interactions in older adults with emphasis on emerging legal and illicit drugs.
- Identify vulnerabilities of high-risk groups among older adults including those with comorbidities, women, and those with racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, immigrant, sex/gender minority status.
- Develop and evaluate innovative approaches to effectively communicate health effects of alcohol consumption to older adults to reduce alcohol-related adverse consequences.
Application and Submission Information
This notice applies to due dates on or after October 5, 2020 and subsequent receipt dates through September 8, 2023.
Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or any reissues of these announcement through the expiration date of this notice.
- PA-20-185 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- PA-20-184 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)
- PA-20-183 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Required)
- PA-20-200 - NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- PA-20-194 - NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21 Clinical Trial Required)
- PA-20-195 - NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- PA-20-196 - NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:
- For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-AA-20-019” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.
- All applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, should address a Data Sharing Plan. Applications that include human subject research are also expected to describe basic plans for submitting grant-related human subjects data to the NIAAA-sponsored data repository, as described in NOT-AA-18-010.
Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.
Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements with the following additions/substitutions:
Andras Orosz, Ph.D.
Division of Metabolism and Health Effects
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)