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Institute receives $99,998 grant to advance lead studies

Researchers at Kennedy Krieger recently received a two-year, $99,998 grant from the Gerber Foundation to explore whether an iron-rich diet can reduce levels of lead in the blood.

Led by Kennedy Krieger's Dr. Joseph Bressler, this study is part of the Institute's ongoing work on the prevention, treatment and effects of lead poisoning. In children, even modest exposure to lead has been linked to poor cognitive development. Studies have also noted a link between iron deficiency and high blood lead levels.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that children with elevated blood lead levels eat meals enriched with iron. Interestingly, it is unclear why iron deficient diets increase the risk of lead poisoning and why iron rich diets are effective treatments. This study will determine whether mechanisms responsible for iron absorption in the intestine are also involved in the absorption of lead. The study will also determine whether the effects of iron deficiency on the absorption of lead can be reversed by an iron rich diet. By better understanding mechanisms for intestinal lead absorption, physicians, parents, and public health practitioners will have a tool that could potentially lower the risk of lead poisoning in children. --CM

Dr. Arnold Capute Receives Academy of Pediatrics Award

Kennedy Krieger's Dr. Arnold Capute recently received the American Academy of Pediatrics' Education Award. The Academy bestows the award each year on academy member physicians whose educational activities have had a broad and positive impact on the health and well-being of children and adolescents.

Dr. Paul Lipkin, director of the Institute's Center for Development and Learning, nominated Dr. Capute for the award based on the decades he has spent training new generations of physicians specializing in pediatric neurodevelopmental disabilities. "Dr Capute is credited by many as one of the founding fathers of the field of Developmental Pediatrics and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and he has trained a majority of the pediatricians in this field," wrote Dr. Lipkin.

In addition to designing an annual conference in developmental pediatrics that is now in its twenty-fifth year, Dr. Capute served as the primary driving force behind the creation of a subspecialty board certification in neurodevelopmental disabilities.--CM

Achievements Program Opens New Playground

Children in the Achievements program at Kennedy Krieger's Center for Autism and Related Disorders are enjoying a new playground designed specifically for their needs.

Funded through $50,000 in contributions from the Chatlos and Goldsmith Family foundations, a private donor, and materials and labor donated by the Baltimore Building Congress and Exchange, the playground will help the Achievements day program further one of its core endeavors teaching children with autism how to play. Play requires communication, interaction with peers and the ability to engage in a meaningful series of activities skills children with autism typically lack. The playground introduces new objects and new activities, expanding the therapeutic opportunities available to children in the Achievements program.

The Institute plans to host an official dedication ceremony in the spring to honor the donors and volunteers who helped make the playground possible. --CM

Champions Tour Golfers Play Putt-Putt with Kennedy Krieger Patients

Pro golfers Jim Albus and Butch Sheehan warmed up for the Constellation Energy Classic golf tournament by playing putt-putt with inpatients at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

The golfers' visit took place on September 8, the day before the formal start of the tournament at Hayfields Country Club in Hunt Valley. Kennedy Krieger was one of three local charities that shared in the proceeds from the PGA Champions Tour event.

Kennedy Krieger's Child Life/Therapeutic Recreation department uses recreational activities like putt-putt to help children with brain-related disorders and injuries regain or develop fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and appropriate behavioral responses. --CM

Kennedy Krieger Educates Students at Lois T. Murray School

This school year, Kennedy Krieger entered into a partnership with the Baltimore City schools to manage school #313, Lois T. Murray. The Northeast Baltimore school serves a city-wide population of students with moderate to severe disabilities. Kennedy Krieger has a history of collaboration with the city school system, currently managing special education classrooms in the Edison and Victory school partnerships. But this is the first time the Institute has actually assumed management of a city school.

Arthur Hill, director of the Westport/Victory Partnership, has taken over as Director of Education at Lois T. Murray, and the Institute is providing all staffing, administration and clinical services at the school.

In addition to fulfilling each student's individualized education plan requirements, Kennedy Krieger is supplementing services with new enhancements, including lower student-to-teacher ratios, a more interdisciplinary approach to education, and the addition of art and music programs. --CM

Event Spotlight: Festival of Trees

There will be craft boutiques, holiday goodies and a forest of fairyland trees plus nightly entertainment that will delight kids of all ages. Friday night, the Ravens' Matt Stover will join other celebrities in reading Christmas stories, and the Speed & Thro illusionists will make magic both nights between 6 and 9 p.m. Join us for Kennedy Krieger Institute's Festival of Trees on November 28, 29 & 30 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Admission: Adults $8, kids and seniors $4. All proceeds benefit the children of Kennedy Krieger Institute. For more information, call 443-923-7300 or visit the Festival of Trees 2003 information page.

Title Sponsor: Comcast Platinum Sponsors: Mars Super Markets, Inc. -- Ruskey & Company Builders, Inc. Gold Sponsors: Baltimore Ravens -- Rosemore, Inc. Silver Sponsors: Lockheed Martin -- Sylvan Learning Foundation Bronze Sponsors: AEGON, USA, Inc. -- Alban Tractor Company -- The Baltimore Sun -- Erickson Retirement Community -- GEICO Auto Insurance -- Legg Mason, Inc. -- McCormick & Company, Inc. -- Mercantile Bankshares Corporation -- PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP -- RABA Technologies LLC -- Wachovia Bank -- WJZ-TV Channel 13

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