Research Frontiers

Back to the Field or Back to the Bench? New Tool for Predicting Traumatic Brain Injury Outcomes

Martie
Callaghan
July 28, 2014
How soon should kids return to play after sustaining a concussion? Are they now more vulnerable to future injury or long-term effects on memory, mood, or behavior?

These are the kinds of questions Kennedy Krieger researchers are trying to answer with a new study on traumatic brain injury funded by the National Institutes of Health in partnership with the National Football League (NFL).

Sturge-Weber Syndrome and Port-Wine Stain Birthmarks: Identifying the Cause, Pursuing the Cure

by Martie
Callaghan
November 13, 2013
Researchers at Kennedy Krieger recently announced the groundbreaking discovery of the genetic mutation that causes Sturge-Weber syndrome and port-wine stain birthmarks.

For patients with Sturge-Weber syndrome, like Madisynn Rodriguez (left), the discovery offers hope for new targeted therapies.After almost fifteen years of study, Anne Comi, MD, director of the Instit

The Cooling Cure

by Kristina
Rolfes
August 2, 2013
A collaboration between doctors and engineers leads to an innovative, low-cost medical device that may help prevent cerebral palsy in developing countries.

As far back as 1000 BC, ancient civilizations used a primitive, but ingenious, cooling system using nothing more than clay pots, water, and the natural cooling power of evaporation to keep food cool. Could this same low-tech cooling system be used to prevent brain damage and cerebral palsy in developing countries? A team from Kennedy Krieger and Johns Hopkins recently developed an inexpensive medical device meant to do exactly that.

Infant Head Lag May Raise a Red Flag for Autism

by Martie
Callaghan
November 2, 2012
A simple diagnostic test may help parents and pediatricians identify babies at risk for autism as early as six months of age.

Experts agree that early intervention in children with autism can lead to better outcomes later in life. Typically, autism is not diagnosed until age three or four, when delays in speech and social interaction become evident. New research by Dr. Joanne Flanagan and Dr. Rebecca Landa, director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, has identified a simple test that can raise a red flag for autism as early as six months.

For ADHD Motor Control May Be A Concrete Identifier

Lauren
Manfuso
June 19, 2012

For children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), diagnosis can be a tricky -- and not always tangible -- thing.

Like so many psychological and developmental disorders, there is no one test to detect ADHD, at least not with any certainty. Not only must a child demonstrate a certain number of symptoms, but the responsibility for picking up on those symptoms -- and for putting two and two together to make a diagnosis -- often falls to the child's parents or teachers.

Catapulting Science through Technology

Dr. Jonathan PevsnerThe complex workings of living creatures have fascinated thinkers for centuries. In the fourth century B.C., Aristotle observed hundreds of species, dissecting dozens, in the hopes of classifying them logically.

An Opportunity for Growth

July 8, 2011
For patients with Albright disorder, an elusive treatment emerges

For years, Albright hereditary osteodystrophy lurked in the shadows of the developmental disorder world, obscure and unrecognizable to many physicians. Affecting an estimated fewer than 200,000 patients across the United States, the disease was virtually as difficult to diagnose as it was to treat, often leaving patients uncertain of their futures and how to lead healthy, quality lives.

Research Frontiers: Looking for an Alternative to Embryonic Stem Cells

Martie
Callaghan
Researchers hope that iPS cells may some day function as embryonic stem cells without the controversy

In 2009, the FDA approved the use of human embryonic stem cell-based therapy for the treatment of patients with spinal cord injuries. Cell-based therapy - the use of human cells transplanted into the human body to promote healing - is not a futuristic concept. Bone marrow transplant, for example, is a cell-based therapy that was proven to be safe and effective more than 50 years ago. Stem cells are particularly useful in these cell-based therapies because they are both immortal and flexible, meaning they can divide without end and they can become almost any type of cell.

Interactive Autism Network: Accelerating the Pace of Autism Research

Every day, researchers from around the world are seeking answers to a myriad of questions about autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and looking for insight into causes and treatments. When one in every 100 children will receive a diagnosis of autism each year, the need for research to move ahead is urgent. Yet hundreds of research projects are put on hold because researchers simply do not have enough qualified participants to gather the information they need to make progress in their studies.

Research Frontiers: Piecing Together the Mystery of Autism

Courtney
Jolley
Kennedy Krieger takes a multifaceted approach to investigating this complex disorder

The Maloni BoysMore than 25,000 children will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders this year a number greater than AIDS, diabetes, and cancer combined yet so many aspects of the disorder remain a mystery. Is its cause genetic, environmental, or some combination of factors? Are dietary changes and drugs the best hope for treatment, or should the focus remain solely on behavioral interventions?

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