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Children's Hospital coordinates new network for developmental disabilities
Date:10/13/2010

Recognizing both medical progress and unmet needs in the field of developmental disabilities, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will house the Network Coordinating Center for a newly established collaborative organization, the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network.

Launched this year with a three-year, $200,000 per year grant from the federal government's Maternal Child Health Bureau, the Network brings together experts from 12 leading pediatric programs to focus on a broad range of neurodevelopmental disabilities, notably autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and intellectual disability (formerly referred to as mental retardation, and affecting an estimated 2 to 3 percent of children).

These disabilities often involve problems in learning, attention, inappropriate behaviors, sleep and social skills.

"These conditions are highly challenging to families, educational systems and caregivers," said Nathan J. Blum, M.D., chair of the Network's Executive Committee, and the director of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Two of our largest challenges are how to best individualize treatments to our patients, and how to develop more effective interventions for these conditions."

Even for the most effective treatments, added Blum, such as using stimulant medication for ADHD, a significant number of patients do not respond well to existing treatments. For many other developmental disorders, treatments remain to be developed or adequately evaluated.

By fostering collaboration among leading clinical and research programs, said Blum, the Network will be able to sponsor multi-site studies in many patients to provide a large enough sample size to properly evaluate new treatments as they are developed.

The Network will also provide opportunities to make use of recent advances in ge
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Contact: John Ascenzi
Ascenzi@email.chop.edu
267-426-6055
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

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