The National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging (NIH/NIA) has awarded a five-year, $2.8 million R01 grant to fund the study, “Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Oral Therapy on Healing of Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers in Older Adults.” The grant was awarded to Jodi McDaniel, PhD, RN, (PI), who is an associate professor and the graduate studies committee chair at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. Co-investigators include Alai Tan, MD, PhD, of the College of Nursing, and College of Medicine faculty Guibin Li, MD, PhD, Narasimham Parinandi, PhD, and Sashwati Roy, PhD.
The project addresses the global problem of chronic venous leg ulcers (CVLUs), recurring wounds causing considerable infirmity for an estimated 9.7 million people every year, mainly older adults with comorbidities. CLVUs can cause disability, hospitalization and death among older adults. The project tests a new oral nutrient therapy containing the bioactive elements of fish oil, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid for targeting and reducing the high numbers of activated polymorphonuclear leukocytes in ulcer microenvironments that keep CVLUs “trapped” in a chronic inflammatory state and prevent healing. The project findings are expected to advance wound healing science and lead to a new low-risk adjunct oral therapy to stimulate the healing of CVLUs.
“New therapies for CVLUs are needed because standard topical therapies are often ineffective or yield only short-term healing,” the investigators stated in their proposal. The project aims to reduce the high healthcare costs associated with treatments and mitigate the negative impact CVLUs have on quality of life in aging.
Mary Beth Happ, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the College of Nursing stated, "Dr. McDaniel's study is the third R01 grant from the National Institute on Aging awarded to College of Nursing researchers over the past year, showing the college's deep commitment to building science to improve the health and well-being of older adults."