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Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) Investigator's Gene Mutation Discovery May Hold Autism Clues

Researchers at Vanderbilt have identified what may be a genetic "smoking gun" for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) - a mutation in the gene for the critical neuronal protein CaMKII.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND) Rett Syndrome Clinic has been Named a Rett Syndrome Clinical Research Center of Excellence

Led by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Investigator Sarika Peters, Ph.D., and Cary Fu, M.D., Vanderbilt�s clinic is one of only 14 sites nationwide to receive this designation. The award acknowledges that these clinics not only provide treatment for patients but work collaboratively to provide support for families, as well as with specialists in a range of studies, including developmental and behavioral pediatrics, neurology, sleep disorders, gastroenterology and more.



Angela Tomlin, PhD joins Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IN UCEDD/LEND)

As one of only 15 three-person teams selected, Angela Tomlin, PhD, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at IUSM and Director of the Section of Child Development and the Indiana LEND program joins Interdisciplinary Research Leaders, a new program led by the University of Minnesota with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Tomlin is partnering with Shoshanna Spector, Executive Director of Indianapolis Congregation Action Network (IndyCAN!) and Karen Ruprecht, PhD, Director of Innovation in Early Education at Early Learning Indiana to form a team that will examine the effects of parental incarceration on young children. The Indianapolis team will join researchers and community leaders from across the country to collaborate and innovate to solve persistent challenges and advance a Culture of Health-one that places well-being at the center of every aspect of life.



More about the Cause and Treatment of Tactile Problems in Autism: Parts 1 and 2

Louisa Silva, M.D., M.P.H., Principal Investigator

To further our understanding of abnormal touch/pain responses in children with autism, our group undertook to obtain the first skin biopsies ever reported in autism.* Four children between the ages of 8 and 11 participated in our exploratory study. Biopsies were submitted for specialized evaluation of C-tactile fibers - small tactile nerves mediating pleasant touch, pain, and temperature. Remarkably, results in all four children showed 50% loss of small tactile nerves. This was not a large enough group to be able to explain tactile abnormalities in all children with autism. However, with these four children, results provided an explanation for difficulties with gentle touch involved in daily living, abnormal pain thresholds, and social delay on the basis of tactile loss. Results will be published in the Journal of Neurological Disorders next month [1]. A larger case control study has been initiated.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND) Member and ResearchMatch Developer Aims to Increase the Number of Participants with IDD in Research Studies

ResearchMatch ( is a national online platform promoting the completion of clinical trials by matching individuals willing to participate in research with investigators nationwide. The recruitment tool was created in 2009 by Paul Harris Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Biomedical Engineering; Director, Office of Research Informatics; and member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND).



Study Suggests Correlation between rise of ADHD Diagnosis and Increased Academic Expectations in Young Children (FL UCEDD/LEND)

A new study led by Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has identified a possible correlation between the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and increasing academic demands on young children.



Four UCEDDs Receive Nearly $200,000 in Grants from the Special Hope Foundation

Projects will study evidence-based cost and quality of care research for adults with developmental disabilities

The grants will support a variety of programs researching questions of cost and quality in provision of healthcare services to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.



Aging and DD Networks - The Case for Network Crossover (Maine UCEDD)

"The Aging and Developmental Disabilities Networks: Can the Silos Be Dismantled?" in the current special issue of the Maine Policy Review on aging. The authors discuss the service networks for aging and developmental and physical disabilities, which have traditionally functioned in distinctly separate camps.



Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, LEND, IDDRC) Investigator Says 'Sticky Mittens' Offer Clues to Infant Development

Early motor training in infants may result in positive long-term effects in other areas of development, according to a collaborative study by researchers at Vanderbilt University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Seton Hall University.



Video Game Research Shows Promise for Autism (WI UCEDD/LEND)

At the age of 9, Xavier Hansen already has it figured out. Someday, he is going to be the boss. �He has great aspirations to make things,� says his mom, Gail. �His goals are to own a movie theater. He wants to be in charge. If he wants something, he�ll find a way to get it.�



AUCD joined 250 other organizations in a letter in support of the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6)



Andy Pohl, PhD Selected for the Inaugural Morgridge Institute for Research Postdoctoral Fellows Program (WI UCEDD/LEND)

Andy Pohl, PhD, is one of three scientists selected for the inaugural Morgridge Institute for Research Postdoctoral Fellows program designed to prepare promising young scientists for a changing research landscape. Pohl's UW research mentor is Albee Messing, VMD, PhD, Waisman Center interim director.



AUCD 2013: You're Invited

Promoting Inclusion in an Increasingly Diverse World

This Conference theme promotes our network values of inclusion of all persons with developmental and other disabilities in community life and engages the network in conversation and practices to ensure our work reflects the changing cultural and linguistic landscape in our Centers and States.



John Merck Fund Announces 2013 Developmental Disabilities Translational Research Program Guidelines and Application Process

Preliminary Proposal Deadline: May 15, 2013

The John Merck Fund has had a longstanding interest in people with intellectual and developmental disorders since its inception in 1970. In 2012, JMF launched the Developmental Disabilities Translational Research Program, which will support researchers in developing treatments and improving outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities, particularly Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome (and FX associated disorders).



Evidence-based Practice Resource Developed by the AZ IHD UCEDD

The Institute for Human Development at Northern Arizona University has launched a new product called Bridge Briefs: A Research to Practice Resource.

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