NIH: Office of Disease Prevention

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The purpose of the hypothesis development phase is to identify and synthesize scientific evidence pertaining to a topic of interest to generate new research questions and hypotheses. Evidence can come from basic laboratory research, epidemiologic studies in populations, or previous intervention studies.

  • Maturing Out: Childhood and Adolescent Predictors of Transitions in Alcohol Use in Young
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
    The peak period for alcohol use and alcohol disorders occurs between ages 18–25 with reductions in use following this age interval. Maturing out, i.e., assuming adult roles, has been proposed as an explanation for these behavioral changes. This project uses a long-term dataset, with an age range of 15–34 years, to examine adolescent and young adult predictors of changes in alcohol use across young adulthood.
  • Osteoarthritis Initiative Study External Website Policy
    National Institute of Arthritis and Muscoloskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
    Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is a major cause of activity limitation and physical disability in older people. This study will observe the disease in a population that is at risk for developing or already has osteoarthritis. The results of this research should aid with prevention of disease onset and progression and, ultimately, create a public domain research resource to facilitate the development of new diagnosis tools and drug development.
  • Cancer Risk and Environmental Exposures
    National Cancer Institute (NCI)
    Risk factors for cancer from the ambient environment are being studied to identify specific chemicals and classes of contaminants, to investigate mechanisms of action, and to estimate the contribution of environmental factors to cancer in the general population.
  • Epidemiologic Study of Neural Reserve and Neurobiology of Aging
    National Institute on Aging (NIA)
    The Memory and Aging Project (MAP) is elucidating the complex relationships between risk factors, common brain pathologies, and resilience markers that increase or decrease the rate of cognitive decline and risk of dementia.
  • Does Arsenic Increase Risk of Neural Tube Defects in a Highly-Exposed Population?
    National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
    Neural tube defects are debilitating birth abnormalities. Arsenic induces neural tube defects in animal models, but whether environmental arsenic exposure increases risk of neural tube defects in humans is unknown. Investigators are trying to understand how arsenic influences risk of neural tube defects in humans. Researchers are also testing a potential new biomarker (i.e., biological indicator) for arsenic toxicity and are exploring the mechanisms by which prenatal arsenic exposure affects the developing nervous system.
  • Factors Contributing to Oral Health Disparities in Appalachia
    National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
    The goal of the study is to identify factors contributing to the oral health disparity seen in northern Appalachia versus the rest of the nation. A cohort of pregnant women is being recruited to study dental caries development early in life with follow up for significant environmental, genetic, and microbial results.
  • Pesticides and Parkinson's Disease in the Agricultural Health Study
    National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
    Certain pesticides are associated with Parkinson's Disease (PD) risk. The Farming and Movement Evaluation Study (FAME), a PD study nested within the Agricultural Health Study, addresses pathophysiologic mechanisms implicated in PD and how exposure to pesticides affects these mechanisms.
  • Therapeutic Ocular Herpes Simplex Virus Vaccine in "Humanized" Transgenic Rabbits
    National Eye Institute (NEI)
    Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) infects the cornea and then moves to neurons in the brain, leading to a preventable, blinding ocular disease. The study's goal is to develop a vaccine to stop virus reactivation and shedding in tears using a "humanized" transgenic rabbit model of ocular HSV-1.