Neuroprotectants as Medical Countermeasures against Chemical Threat Agents: Request for Information (RFI)

Notice Number: NOT-NS-07-007

Key Dates
Release Date: March 5, 2007

Issued by
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), (

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is seeking information on the development of therapeutics with indications for protecting the nervous system from cellular and tissue damage caused by acute exposure to chemical threat agents.   Chemical threat agents are toxic chemicals that could be used in a terrorist attack against civilians, or chemicals that could be released at toxic levels by accident or natural disaster.   Since chemically-induced neurological damage may share common mechanisms with damage caused by trauma and/or disease, the NINDS also requests information on general molecular and cellular processes of neurodegeneration, and how an understanding of these processes may be used to develop safe and effective medical countermeasures against chemical threats. 


The NIH has implemented the Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) program to develop new and improved medical countermeasures designed to prevent, diagnose, and treat the conditions caused by potential and existing chemical threat agents.  The higher priority chemical threats include neurotoxic agents such as organophosphorus nerve “gases”, vesicating agents such as sulfur mustard, pulmonary agents such as chlorine gas, and metabolic and cellular poisons such as cyanide.   Acute exposure to many of these chemicals cause damage to the nervous system, which can trigger neurodegenerative processes that lead to long-term impairment of brain function as well was peripheral neuropathies.  For example, organophosphorus nerve agents cause cholinergic hyper-stimulation that ultimately leads to excessive stimulation of the glutamatergic system, excitotoxicity, and cell death.  These molecular and cellular effects are believed to underlie some of the reported long-term behavioral and sensory deficits in victims of nerve gas attacks.    The NINDS is seeking information on topics to consider in developing strategies for preventing neurological damage and long-term effects cause by chemical threat agents.   

Information Requested

The NINDS is seeking information related to the following questions:

  1. What are the current gaps in knowledge on the subject of neuroprotection?  Information is sought from biochemical, physiological and clinical points of reference?
  2. What are the current neuroprotectants being studied to treat trauma, stroke or neurodegenerative diseases that should be considered for chemically-induced damage? 
  3. Where are current research programs and/or facilities that are focused on neuroprotection?
  4. Are there neuronal mechanisms of nervous system damage that could serve as targets for therapeutic intervention? Examples could include oxidative stress, apoptosis, etc.
  5. Are there particular neurotransmitter systems, neurotrophic factors, and related signaling processes that should be studied as potential targets for therapeutic intervention? 
  6. Are there anatomical areas or cell/tissue types within the central and peripheral nervous systems that may be more vulnerable to chemically-induced damage?
  7. Are there special considerations for designing neuroprotectants related to the developing versus adult brain?  Or for the elderly or for persons taking other medications?

This Request for Information (RFI) is for information and planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Government. The Government does not intend to make any award on the basis of responses nor otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information. Acknowledgement of receipt of responses will not be made, nor will respondents be notified of the Government's evaluation of the information received. However, should such a requirement materialize, no basis for claims against the Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or the Government's use of such information as either part of our evaluation process or in developing specifications for any subsequent requirement. Responses will be held in a confidential manner. Any proprietary information should be so marked.

Responses should be limited to a maximum of 5 pages and should be identified with NINDS RFI No. NOT-NS-07-007. Responses are due by May 1, 2007. Please submit three (3) copies of your response to:

David A. Jett, Ph.D.
Program Director
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2177 MSC 9535
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9531.
(for FedEx or courier, use: Rockville, MD 20852)

E-mail responses, sent to will also be accepted.

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, RealPlayer, Video or Flash files, see Help Downloading Files.