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Notice of Special Interest: Administrative Supplements and Urgent Competitive Revisions on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) within the Mission of NIAAA
The NOSI invites administrative supplements and competitive revisions to existing grants and cooperative agreements that advance understanding of critical interactions between alcohol, SARS-CoV-2, and COVID-19. A principal area of focus is research that can improve public health in the near term by informing responses to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.
Alcohol consumption and COVID-19 have potential multifaceted interactions that arise from complicated biological, behavioral, and psychosocial causes and consequences of alcohol misuse. Alcohol consumption is a common coping mechanism for psychological distress. The well recognized and prolonged stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic may cause individuals to increase the use of alcohol as a means of stress reduction, which in turn may lead to alcohol misuse and alcohol use disorder (AUD). Furthermore, physical distancing requirements have impacted the design and delivery of treatment and prevention services, thus complicating the ability to mitigate pandemic-associated increases in alcohol misuse. Provision of services across the continuum of care, including both telehealth and in-person treatment, is also disrupted by the pandemic, impacting individuals with AUD. Increased stress and reduced access to social supports may also raise the risk for relapse among those in recovery from AUD.
Separately, alcohol misuse interferes with normal immune system function, and thus may elevate susceptibility to viral infections or the severity of COVID-19-associated symptoms. Alcohol misuse also disrupts neuroimmune interactions and is associated with neuroinflammation. The impacts of excessive alcohol consumption on the body and brain complicate physical and mental health outcomes in individuals with COVID-19. Acute alcohol intoxication can increase impulsivity and risk-taking behavior, which in turn may have consequences for the spread of coronavirus infection. Public settings in which alcohol is consumed may pose particular hazards for virus transmission, and public policies have sought to limit such risks in bars, restaurants, and other gatherings. These and other potential biological and behavioral interactions between alcohol and the COVID-19 pandemic present a range of urgent research needs and opportunities.
The long-lasting impact of SARS-CoV2 infection on physical, cognitive, and mental health has emerged as a new challenge of the pandemic. The post-acute sequelae appear to arise from the extended effects of SARS-CoV2 infection and its consequences on both peripheral and central systems, beyond the initial infection by SARS-CoV-2. It remains to be determined whether and how alcohol misuse may interact with or contribute to post-acute sequelae following acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Research is needed to understand the potentially complex, bi-directional relationships between alcohol consumption and COVID-19, as well as the impact of social and policy measures on alcohol consumption and related outcomes. Such studies also will help to lay the groundwork for responding to future public health emergencies. This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) encourages supplement applications to assess the impact of alcohol as a biological contributor to COVID-19 outcomes and sequelae, and to assess behavioral, social, and economic consequences of the pandemic and the restrictions that the pandemic has imposed, as they relate to alcohol consumption and related outcomes.
Applications will be accepted for consideration on a rolling basis. Accepted applications received on or before the 15th day of each odd-numbered month will be reviewed together by program staff.
Expiration Date: May 08, 2024