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Request for Information: Inviting Comments on Developing Evidence-Based Music Therapies for Brain Disorders of Aging

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) are requesting information to guide a National Institutes of Health (NIH) effort, in partnership with the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) and the Renée Fleming Foundation, on “Developing Evidence-Based Music Therapies for Brain Disorders of Aging.” The project aims to develop, validate, and disseminate a toolkit for music-based intervention protocols that researchers will be encouraged to use in NIH-funded interventional studies. 

On March 31, 2021, NIH, in collaboration with FNIH and the Renée Fleming Foundation, hosted the inaugural event for the project through the public workshop “Laying the Foundation: Defining the Building Blocks of Music-Based Interventions.” The next workshop, hosted on June 18, 2021, will address “Assessing and Measuring Target Engagement: Mechanistic and Clinical Outcome Measures for Brain Disorders of Aging” and will be followed by the final workshop hosted on August 25, 2021, “Relating Target Engagement to Clinical Benefit: Biomarkers for Brain Disorders of Aging.

A Request for Information (RFI) was published to notify stakeholders about the process for giving input.

NIH invites input from stakeholders, experts, communities, and members of the public, including but not limited to researchers and trainees across academia, industry, and government; health care providers and health advocacy organizations; nongovernmental, scientific, and professional organizations; and Federal agencies.

Organizations are strongly encouraged to submit a single response that reflects the views of their organization and membership as a whole.

Current music and health research toolkit themes:

  • Importance of conceptual frameworks for music-based interventions
  • Design and responsibilities of the investigative team
  • Rigorous and reproducible experimental design
  • Metrics to track mechanistic and clinical outcomes 
  • Methodological and trial design issues

Note: For your comments, please consider indicating appropriate, objective success criteria, including quantitative and qualitative benchmarks and milestones for gauging progress in the corresponding area.

NIH also welcomes your general comments, including those regarding the extent to which NIH has guided and encouraged the field.

Please comment on any or all of the following topic areas (responses are limited to 1,600 characters, which is about 250 words). Alternatively, responses may be sent to

Input must be received by June 30, 2021, to be considered.

Responses are voluntary and may be submitted anonymously. Each comment received in response to this RFI will be considered in aggregate as part of the overall toolkit development. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. Please do not include any personally identifiable or other information that you do not wish to make public. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response.

This request is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the United States Government. NIH will not make any awards based on responses to this RFI or pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government’s use of such information.

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