Katherine Martien, MD is a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician at the Lurie Center for Autism, a multidisciplinary program that treats children, adolescents and adults with autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dr. Martien has a long standing and enduring interest in the biological basis of human behavior. This interest lead her to an undergraduate major and thesis work in psychobiology and has inspired her clinical work in medicine and research in neuroscience. Her clinical expertise derives from the excellent training she received in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Children's Hospital and in Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Epilepsy at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Dr. Martien credits her many outstanding mentors, combined with ongoing scholarship and extensive clinical experience over the last twenty-five years (fourteen of which were concentrated in diagnosing and treating cognitive, language and behavioral disorders) for providing her unique clinical acumen. Dr. Martien is one of few Board Certified neurodevelopmental disorders specialists in the country and, therefore, brings a unique level of expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dr. Martien's current clinical and research interests fall into two categories: 1) use of new quantitative techniques to study brain oscillations in steady state EEG, induced by epileptic and epileptiform discharges, and in Evoked Potentials as these can help reveal the neurophysiologic mechanisms underlying cognition, information processing and behavior, in particular in autism and disconnection disorders, toward bioassays for early diagnosis, development of treatment targets and the study of new treatment efficacy, and 2) the study of physical, immunologic and emotional stress as it mediates brain development and adaptation, including factors influencing excitation /inhibition ratios, CRF, ACTH, Cortisol, neurosteroids, progesterone, sex steroids, GABAergic mediators, glutamatergic mediators and immune modulators in the CNS.
Dr. Martien's research is driven by the hypothesis that maternal and neonatal immunologic, hormonal and autonomic states from a variety of triggers play a causal role in the development of disorders of altered inhibition to excitation ratios and functional connectivity in the brain, such as autism, and that these neurophysiologic dysfunctions may be treatable and even preventable.
Phone 2: 781-860-1720
Phone 2: 781-860-1720
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