Research Frontiers

by Martie Callaghan • November 02, 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.

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.

Lauren Manfuso • July 08, 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.

Martie Callaghan • January 26, 2010
Accelerating the Pace of Autism Research
IAN 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. 

Martie Callaghan • November 18, 2009
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.

Martie Callaghan • January 29, 2009

When scientists began The Human Genome Project in the early 1990s, their hope was to discover and interpret the entire blueprint for life, to decode not only how the human body is put together, but also to find the genetic cause and cure for every disease. Imagine their surprise when they discovered not the anticipated 100,000 genes, but rather 20,000 genes making up the human genome-about the same as that of fish and mice, and less than many plants!

Martie Callaghan • January 01, 2008
Researchers study new method to restore walk patterns in those with brain injuries.
Motion Analysis Laboratory

You're waiting at the airport for your best friend to arrive. It's been several years since you last saw each other. 

Anne Hoffman • November 16, 2007
Kennedy Krieger awarded $9 million grant for Center for the Study of Reading Development.

Learning disabilities can be frustrating for the children who have them as well as for the parents trying to help. Not physically obvious, learning disabilities often create significant difficulties with academic and social skills when they are not properly identified or treated.

Courtney Jolley • December 26, 2006
Kennedy Krieger takes a multifaceted approach to investigating this complex disorder
The Maloni Boys

More 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?

Annie Iles • September 26, 2006
NIH-funded study examines causes of poor reading comprehension
Morgan and Michael Greene

Learning to read can be a long and difficult process. The promise of first reading single words, then sentences, and then entire books waits like a light at the end of the tunnel. For a child with poor reading comprehension, however, the light never comes. Sentences are meaningless as the young reader struggles to understand the connection between different words.

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