The National Center for Complementary Medicine (NCCM) of the National Institutes of Health - How to Access and Benefits By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca
This article was written to help the public locate the National Center for Complementary Medicine and understand its purpose, funding and scientific research findings. The NCCM is a wing of the National Institutes of Health. Their contact number is: Toll Free: 1-888-644-6226
The basic mission is to develop meaningful complementary medicine protocols that have been subjected to uniform scientific testing in cooperation with the National Institutes of Health. Some highlights of this article include research centers, scientific research areas and protocols and actual expert panel members.
Dr. Josephine Briggs MD and Director wrote an article "The Continuing Debate". The article is reproduced on the NCCM website and excerpts are shown below .
The most common health problem for which people turn to complementary and alternative approaches is chronic pain. Pharmacological management of chronic pain, while important, has hazards. Evidence is showing, based on carefully controlled studies, that there is promise in certain complementary treatments as adjuncts to conventional pain management. For example, the pain of osteoarthritis may be relieved by acupuncture; tai chi has been found to be helpful in reducing the pain of fibromyalgia; and massage and manipulative therapies can contribute to the relief of chronic back pain.
Some critics dismiss the benefits from these interventions as placebo effects, but I agree with Freedman’s Atlantic commentary that the term ‘placebo’ can distract us from more important issues. As Freedman notes, the time, attention, and reassurance given by alternative medicine practitioners almost certainly contributes to any benefit from the therapy. The research supports this. With acupuncture, for example, a number of studies have shown clear benefit for pain management when compared to conventional care, but only marginal benefit when the control group receives equal attention from a health care provider and a sham intervention that looks and feels like acupuncture. Should we dismiss this as a 'placebo' or acknowledge this source of benefit for patients? A difficult question for which there will not be a single answer.
The goal of NCCAM’s research is to ensure the development of a strong, objective evidence base that offers patients, providers, and health policymakers with the information they need to make informed decisions. This knowledge is vital, given the widespread and frequent self-care use of complementary and alternative medicine.
As Freedman describes, the benefits being observed with complementary and alternative therapies may yield important lessons for our health care system: the time, attention, and reassuring touch traditionally provided by caring health care providers is in short supply and is a highly important commodity .
Key Elements of Future Botanical Research Centers are set forth below.
Translational research projects in botanical centers should test the relevance of specific botanicals or mixtures of botanicals for human health or determine the biological basis of an observation made in the clinic or a population. Whether "bench to bedside" or "bedside to bench," translational research projects in botanical research centers should be designed to achieve definitive goals within the five-year period of the award. Examples of translational research appropriate for botanical research centers might include:
o Conducting Phase I-II trials of red clover for menopausal symptoms o Studying the mechanism of action for the protective effects of green tea o Determining the neuroprotective effects of grape polyphenols o Comparing the effects of moderate and high doses of soy isoflavones on prostate cancer o Studying the mechanism of action for the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric o Examining the mechanisms of action of Chinese medicine herbs in prostate cancer, administered singly and in combination
Examples of NCCM Research Institutes , their purpose, function and location are set forth below.
Botanical Dietary Supplements for Women's Health Botanicals Centers for Dietary Supplements Research: Botanicals Illinois
Botanical Estrogens: Mechanisms, Dose and Target Tissues Botanicals Centers for Dietary Supplements Research: Illinois
Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome Botanicals Centers for Dietary Supplements Research: Botanicals Louisiana
CAM as Countermeasures Against Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Botanicals Centers of Research on CAM Montana
Center for Arthritis and Traditional Chinese Medicine Traditional Chinese Medicine Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM Maryland
Center for Botanical Interaction Studies Botanicals Centers for Dietary Supplements Research: Botanicals Missouri
Center for CAM Research on Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases Botanicals Centers for Research on CAM South Carolina
Center for Herbal Research on Colorectal Cancer Botanicals Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM Illinois
Center for Mechanisms Underlying Millimeter Wave Therapy Energy Medicine Centers of Excellence Research CAM Pennsylvania
Center for Phytomedicine Research Botanicals Centers for Dietary Supplements Research: Botanicals Arizona
Center of Excellence for Research on CAM Antioxidant Therapies Antioxidants Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM Oregon
Complementary/Alternative Medicine: Expectancy and Outcome Mind_Body Developmental Centers for Research CAM Oregon
Developmental Center for Clinical and Translational Science Chiropractic Developmental Centers for Research on CAM Iowa
Functional Bowel Disorders in Chinese Medicine Traditional Chinese Medicine International Centers for Research on CAM Massachusetts
Mechanisms and Effects of Chiropractic Manipulation Chiropractic Developmental Centers for Research on CAM Iowa, Kansas, New York
Mechanisms of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Osteopathy Developmental Centers for Research on CAM Arizona, Texas
Metabolic and Immunologic Effects of Meditation Mind_Body Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM California
Neuroimaging Acupuncture Effects on Human Brain Activity Acupuncture Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM Massachusetts
Protective Roles of Grape-Derived Polyphenols in Alzheimer's Disease Botanicals Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM New York
The International Center for Indigenous Phytotherapy Studies: HIV/AIDS, Secondary Infections and Immune Modulation Botanicals International Centers for Research on CAM Missouri
The Wake Forest and Harvard Center for Botanical Lipids Botanicals Centers for Dietary Supplements Research: North Carolina
Trametes Versicolor-Induced Immunopotentiation Botanicals Developmental Centers Research on CAM Minnesota, Washington
UCLA Center for Excellence in Pancreatic Diseases Botanicals Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM California
Wisconsin Center for the Neuroscience and Psychophysiology of Meditation Mind_Body Centers of Research on CAM Wisconsin
Expert Panel Members on NCCM Projects include:
Bernard Goldstein, M.D., Chair Dean Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Daniel L. Azarnoff, M.D. DL Azarnoff Associates San Francisco, California
Yung-Chi (Tommy) Cheng, Ph.D. Henry Bronson Professor Department of Pharmacology Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Connecticut
Shuk-Mei (May) Ho, Ph.D. Professor Department of Cell Biology and Surgery University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester, Massachusetts
Ted Kaptchuk, O.M.D. Assistant Professor Department of Medicine HMS-Osher Institute Harvard Medical School Boston, Massachusetts
Brian W. Kimes, Ph.D. Director Office of Centers, Training, and Resources National Cancer Institute National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland
Janet C. King, Ph.D. Scientist Children's Hospital and Research Center at Oakland Oakland, California
Steve Kliewer, Ph.D. Professor Department of Molecular Biology University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Texas
Kuo-Hsiung Lee, Ph.D. Kenan Professor Director, Natural Products Laboratory University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Pharmacy Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Martin Philbert, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Environmental Health Sciences University of Michigan School of Public Health Ann Arbor, Michigan Guests
Connie M. Weaver, Ph.D. Director Purdue-UAB Botanical Research Center Distinguished Professor and Head Department of Foods and Nutrition Purdue University West Lafayette, Indiana ODS Staff
Joseph Betz, Ph.D. Program Director for Dietary Supplements Methods and Reference Materials Office of Dietary Supplements Office of the Director National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland
Paul Coates, Ph.D. Director Office of Dietary Supplements Office of the Director National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland
Mary Frances Picciano, Ph.D. Senior Nutrition Research Scientist Program Director for Training and Career Development Office of Dietary Supplements Office of the Director National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland
Christine Swanson, Ph.D. Program Director for Dietary Supplement Research Centers Office of Dietary Supplements Office of the Director National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland NCCAM Staff
Margaret Chesney, Ph.D. Deputy Director National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland
Martin Goldrosen, Ph.D. Director Office of Scientific Review National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland
Marguerite Klein, M.S., R.D. Program Officer National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland
Richard Nahin, Ph.D, M.P.H. Senior Advisor for Scientific Coordination and Outreach National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland
Stephen Straus, M.D. Director National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland
Jennifer Sutton, M.S. Evaluation Officer Office of Science Policy and Operations National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland NIEHS Staff
Michael E. McClure, Ph.D. Chief Organs and Systems Toxicology Branch Division of Extramural Research and Training National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Institutes of Health Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
What's your opinion on The National Center for Complementary Me...?