Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Refresh narcolepsy research: Stanford lab needs your votes to win $250k Pepsi grant

The sleep research community is asking for your help to win funding for narcolepsy research. The Stanford University Center for Narcolepsy is eligible to win a $250,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project, a monthly contest to fund causes that will make a positive impact. The vote is open to anyone, and it ends at the end of June.

Click here to vote for narcolespy research.

As of Tuesday, June 15th, Stanford’s entry “Fund Narcolepsy Participation in International Immunochip Project” ranked 44th. Only the top two finalists are awarded funding.

Below is The Stanford University Center for Narcolepsy pitch, as posted on the Pepsi Refresh Project website:

Participate in ImmunoChip project testing narcolepsy samples
Learn about the genes predisposing to narcolepsy
Raise narcolepsy visibilty to that of other autoimmune diseases
May lead to eventual therapeutic interventions to prevent narcolepsy
Narcolepsy may be a model for other disorders of the brain


Narcolepsy is common; it affects 1 in 2000 people, a frequency similar to to Type 1 Diabetes or Mutliple Sclerosis. With recent and exciting findings there is now no doubt that narcolepsy is caused by an autoimmune destruction of 70,000 brain cells producing hypocretin, a wake producing substance. Despite recent advances there is little funding of narcolepsy research; less than one thousandth the funding that goes to Type 1 Diabetes for example. This is unfortunate as narcolepsy may be the first example of a neuronal specific autoimmune disorder, and may be a model for other diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or autism.

The goal of the ImmunoChip Project is to compare and contrast the genes involved in over 20 autoimmune diseases (about 50,000 samples). The funds from the Pepsi grant would allow for the Stanford CFN to include 4,200 narcolepsy samples in this important international collaboration increasing visibility

Read more at http://www.refresheverything.com/narcolepsyimmunochipproject

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