In this area there are also key trends. The growth in studies using mice is staggering, 16-fold from 1995 to 2004. There were only two grants using mice in 1995 and 32 in 2004. This is likely to be in direct response to the NHLBI, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Aging, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke sponsoring an RFA in 1998 to develop improved molecular, cellular, and systems approaches to investigate sleep and circadian phenotypes in mice (RFA-HL-99-001).
There has also been a major increase in studies utilizing Drosophila as a model organism (7.50 fold increase). The use of Drosophila to study sleep was originally recommended at a workshop held by the NCSDR in 1995 and was included in the previously mentioned 1996 RFA to advance the understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of sleep and sleep disorders (RFA-HL-96-015). There are also a large number of grants that are in the “Other” category for species.
There are, as expected, a large number of studies on humans. The total number of grants in humans in 1995 was 73, but in 2004 it was 172, a 3.35-fold increase. It is concerning, however, that there are still only 23 grants studying sleep and its disorders in children and adolescents. This represents only 13 percent of total grants in humans, and the increase in pediatric sleep grants (1.92-fold) is lower than that for all grants (2.35-fold) and for all grants in humans (3.35-fold increase). The number of grants studying sleep and its disorders in the elderly, a population with a particularly high prevalence of sleep disorders, is also only 30. The growth in this area (1.77-fold) is also less than in other categories. Finally, although there has been growth in human subjects research, there has been a limited number of long-term clinical outcomes intervention studies that have examined strategies to improve the scientific base and treatments.
An analysis of relevant NIH review panel expertise was also performed. To do so, the composition of review panels that received applications with sleep was analyzed. A total of 24 review panels, including special emphasis panels and standing integrated review groups (IRG), were included. Reviewers were subjected to Medline searches with the keywords sleep and circadian. Names were also visually inspected by multiple members of the committee who had expertise in various aspects of somnology and sleep medicine. Membership to sleep or circadian rhythms societies was noted, together with area of expertise. Only reviewers with a major sleep or circa-