New alternative medicine center opens at OHSU

$7.8 million NIH grant funds center

Portland, Ore.--According to a recent survey, 40 percent of adults in the United States have turned to alternative medicine to try and treat what ails them. While many complementary and alternative treatments work, researchers admit there's a lack of scientific data on the subject. Now, an attempt is underway at Oregon Health Sciences University to solve some of these mysteries and to develop new alternative therapies.

OHSU has joined with five other Oregon institutions to form the Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurological Disorders (ORCCAMIND). Member institutions include: the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Western States Chiropractic College, the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University and the Portland Veteran Affairs Medical Center. Each ORCCAMIND member institution will play a role in advising the center, directing educational efforts and conducting research. The center will be based at OHSU.

A $7.8 million grant allowed for the formation of the center. The 5-year grant was issued by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

As its name suggests, ORCCAMIND will focus on research involving alternative therapies for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis. Initial investigations will involve herbal medicines and yoga. Later investigations will involve other alternative therapies such as chiropractic manipulation, diet therapy and acupuncture.

Representatives from ORCCAMIND's member institutions agree that the rising popularity of alternative medicine influenced the creation of the center. "The consumer wants access to the most effective medical treatments available," said Elizabeth Goldblatt, Ph.D., pre

Contact: Jim Newman
Oregon Health & Science University

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