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Research Efforts

Research is an important component of LEAP’s mission. Since each evaluation yields much quantitative data, LEAP is collecting clinical test data on a daily basis. LEAP is in the process of establishing a permanent data base, with the premise that this data is not only available to those working within LEAP, but also to those working within the Department of Psychiatry and other departments as well. Although LEAP is relatively new, there are already a number of active and ongoing research projects, including the following:

Study of Family Functioning, Risk, and Resiliency Among Children with Learning and Emotional Concerns:
This study is allowing us to determine what factors predict parental reactions to a child’s psychiatric diagnosis, how parental reactions differ by a child’s diagnosis, what coping strategies enable parents to better implement recommendations provided during the evaluation, and the factors that relate to positive child outcomes as a result of the evaluation. Families are monitored over time and the impact of the evaluation process, with a particular emphasis to how well recommendations have been implemented, will be studied.

Neuropsychological Functioning in Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: Characterizations of Cognitive, Academic and Psychological Profiles:
This study will compile neuropsychological test data from children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with NLD, in order to address the questions of whether there are core cognitive deficits in NLD, whether there are subtypes of NLD, what are the common academic, emotional, and behavioral difficulties for children with NLD, and what region(s) of the brain are most implicated in the NLD profile, if any.

In addition, LEAP is collaborating with a number of other areas within the Department of Psychiatry with regard to research endeavors, including:

Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit:
LEAP is collaborating with the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit in establishing a data base that includes both neuropsychological test data and genetic data on patients who are evaluated in the program. LEAP is collaborating with Dr. Pamela Sklar and Dr. Alysa Doyle on this project and Dr. Doyle is a part-time staff member at LEAP whose primary role is to coordinate this research effort between LEAP and the Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit.

Pediatric Onset Multiple Sclerosis Multi- Site Study:
LEAP coordinates with the Department of Pediatric Neurology in providing research and clinical support with this population.


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