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Boston Children's issues $150K for pediatric innovation awards
Date:9/27/2013

Using AGRE, Geschwind's group identified two consistent sets of molecular changes in the brain, providing strong confirmation that autism's multiple different genetic or environmental causes converge on a common "molecular pathology" in the brain. The changes, found in more than two-thirds of subjects with autism, affect two molecular processes: the function of neurons and the activity of microglial cells, part of the brain's native immune system. The observed differences, validated in multiple independent samples, could be used to direct and inform studies to identify biomarkers of autism that could aid in diagnosis and therapeutic development.

Clinical Innovation

Charles Dumoulin, PhD, director of the Imaging Research Center in the Department of Radiology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, led a team of scientists and engineers to develop a new type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system for infants.

Revisiting almost everything known about MRI, the system matches the imaging power of conventional scanners, but is small enough to image fragile newborns, including preemies as small as a pound or less, and has a footprint of only a few square feet, allowing it to be housed directly in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The system includes two methods for moving small infants into the scanner, including those in incubators, with minimal disturbance and risk, and exposes infants to a minimum of noise (equivalent to a quiet office setting). It has been used in more than 150 newborns at Cincinnati Children's and has already spawned new research projects.

Community/Patient Empowerment

This award, for an interactive nightly "sign out form" for families of hospitalized children, went to Christopher P. Landrigan, MD, MPH, research director of Boston Children's Hospital Inpatient Pediatrics Service and director of the Sleep and Patient Safety Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Alisa Khan, MD, a
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Contact: Rob Graham
rob.graham@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3110
Boston Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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