Mood disorders are increasingly being recognized as having their onset in (early) childhood. Mood disorders currently being studied by Children's Research Institute investigators include:
ADHD is the most common cognitive disorder of childhood and is often over expressed in children with neurological disorders such as epilepsy, neurofibromatosis and autism. ADHD is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity. Current investigations at Children's Research Institute are led by Maria Acosta, MD, and include the employment of non-invasive techiniques such as fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and MRS (magnetic resonance spectroscopy) in addition to demographic and environmental factors to correlate genetic markers with diagnosis and prognosis in this condition.
Pediatric bipolar disorder research is currently led by Adelaide Robb, MD. Dr. Robb is the lead investigator in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Collaborative Lithium Trials (CoLT) designed to assess treatment through the use of lithium. CoLT investigators, the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) Coordinating Center, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) developed protocols to provide data that will: (1) establish evidence-based dosing strategies for lithium; (2) characterize the pharmacokinetics and biodisposition of lithium; (3) examine the acute efficacy of lithium in pediatric bipolarity; (4) investigate the long-term effectiveness of lithium treatment; and (5) characterize the short- and long-term safety of lithium.