Developmental Disorders

Disorders that affect cognitive function in children cause major disruptions of family life and school performance, and are particularly costly to society because the consequences can last a lifetime. Our ongoing research programs in pediatric neuroscience are focused on basic research on ADHD and the impact of maternal nicotine and cocaine abuse during pregnancy on children’s cognitive development. Our plans for the near future include expanding the basic research program to include genetic and proteomic analysis of biological specimens from children suffering from ADHD, depression, bipolar disease and autism. Our research programs will benefit from and add value to existing clinical and basic science research programs in autism at FSU. We plan to gain access to primary care physicians across the State of Florida via the FSU College of Medicine’s Clinical Research Network. Our goal also is to attract and incorporate clinical expertise from outside the network to facilitate research subject selection and clinical consultation. Additional plans include use of structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging of pediatric patients to supplement our bench research programs and facilitate discovery of biomarkers, diagnostic tools and treatment options for childhood neurologic and psychiatric disorders.