News Briefs

Dr. Arnold Capute, Father' of Developmental Pediatrics, Dies at Age 80

Dr. Arnold J. Capute, a faculty member at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for nearly forty years, died Nov. 30 at age 80. Dr. Capute devoted most of his career to increasing pediatricians' understanding of neurodevelopmental disabilities, and was instrumental in the creation of the field of Developmental Pediatrics, now called Neurodevelopmental Disabilities.

A New York native, Dr. Capute graduated from Queens College and Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia. He joined the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1967. Dr. Capute directed the first training program in developmental pediatrics and made significant contributions to the field's literature. His textbook, Developmental Disabilities in Infancy and Childhood, has become a critical reference for medical students. In 1978, Dr. Capute designed an annual continuing education course, Spectrum of Developmental Disabilities, that offers pediatricians and other interested professionals several days of presentations by experts in topics in the field.

Dr. Capute's most lasting contribution to his field is arguably his staunch support of the creation of a Board Subspecialty Certification in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in 1999. The fellowship he began in 1967 ultimately became the first Board - certified program in this field.


Justice Department Awards Grant for Research on Juvenile Crime Prevention

Kennedy Krieger recently received a two-year, $496,750 grant funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. The award is intended to help the Institute expand its existing programs designed to prevent juvenile crime and delinquency, as well as initiate new interventions. The project, led by Behavioral Psychology Department Director Dr. Michael Cataldo, focuses on targeting behavior problems that are precursors to more serious problems such as delinquency, drug-taking, pregnancy and school failure. The behavior problems addressed by these interventions include disruptive behavior at home and in school, non-compliance with rules and parental requests, aggression and other forms of externalizing behavior disorders. It is expected that this new initiative will provide needed services to about 1,000 families per year.


Kennedy Krieger High School Students Attend Constitutional Conference

Two students from Kennedy Krieger High School Career and Technology Center received a unique civics lesson at Maryland Congressman Ben Cardin's annual constitutional seminar. The event, held Nov. 14 at the University of Baltimore School of Law, offered area high school students a chance to act as a mock Congress, hear expert testimony and construct and vote on legislation. School faculty chose senior Larry Bruce and junior Shamika Gaskins to participate because both have expressed interest in studying law.

This year's seminar focused on the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution the rights to due process and speedy, public trials. Prior to attending the conference, Larry, Shamika and the other students reviewed materials relating to 2001's Patriot Act. After debating and voting on their own "legislation", the students enjoyed a presentation by a law professor and listened to lawyers argue for and against the constitutionality of the "law" the students passed.


New Grants Support AMN Research

Kennedy Krieger has received two grants to further researchers' understanding of adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN ), the adult variant of the neurological disorder adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). A two-year, $100,000 grant from the Dana Foundation supports a study led by Dr. Hugo Moser to determine whether a new imaging technique is senstive enough to gauge the progression of AMN by examining the white matter in the spinal cord. The study also hopes to find that the technique can detect enough white matter change over a 12-month period to make it a useful tool in measuring the effects of therapeutic trials. In addition, Dr, Gerald Raymond has received a two-year, $372,312 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support a study that will use both imaging and functional motor assessments to gauge the progression of AMN in 30 patients at baseline, six months and one year and tie those results to cervical cord imaging of the dorsal columns and corticospinal tracts.