Research

Faculty members in the Division of Pediatric Neurology are engaged in a variety of laboratory-based and clinical research programs. These studies are designed to improve our understanding of both the normal function of the developing nervous system and the pathologic processes which underlie many of the disorders encountered by the faculty in their clinical work, and to improve therapies of children with epilepsy and other disabling neurologic disorders. The research programs of the Division of Pediatric Neurology are affiliated with the Seattle Children's Research Institute (SCRI) which is composed of nine research centers. Five of these centers are closely aligned with the research programs within the Division of Pediatric Neurology, specifically: the Center for Integrated Brain Research, the Center for Genetics and Development, the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, the Center for Clinical and Translational Research, and the Center for Developmental Therapeutics.


CLINICAL EPILEPSY RESEARCH PROGRAMS

(Drs. Kuratani, Novotny, Saneto, Shurtleff, Warner and Gospe)

A variety of research projects in the Divison focus on pediatric epilepsy and its treatment. Projects include the relationship of mitochondrial disease to various forms of pediatric epilepsy, the management of myoclonic epilepsies of childhood, clinical therapies of medically intractable epilepsy including the ketogenic diet and vagus nerve stimulator, the use of functional MRI, MR spectroscopy and PET in the evaluation of children for epilepsy surgery, and the long-term outcome of pediatric patients who have undergone epilepsy surgery. The Seattle Children's Epilepsy Program is a Clinical Center for the "Epilepsy Phenome-Genome Project". The Division of Pediatric Neurology also sponsors a patient registry for individuals with pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy who reside in the US and Canada. Additional epilepsy research programs are conducted in collaboration with the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery.


CLINICAL PEDIATRIC STROKE RESEARCH PROGRAMS

(Dr. Amlie-Lefond)

The Pediatric Vascular Neurology Program at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital participates in several multicenter trials regarding childhood stroke:

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International Pediatric Stroke Study (IPSS):  This multinational research collaboration of child neurologists, hematologists, and pharmacologists dedicated to the prevention and treatment of stroke in childhood permits pooling of patients data and resources and ensures a larger and more ethnically diverse cohort for clinical trials than would be possible at any one center or in any single country.   The IPSS is led by Dr Gabrielle deVeber at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
IPSS Website: https://app3.ccb.sickkids.ca/cstrokestudy/ 

Vascular Effects of Infection in Pediatric Stroke (VIPS):   VIPS will determine the prevalence of recent infection and vasculopathy in an international sample of children with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) to determine the role of infection in pediatric ASI, whether infection is associate with cerebral vasculopathy, and further explore the association between cerebral vasculopathy subtypes and recurrent AIS in childhood.  VIPS is an NIH funded study led by Dr Heather Fullerton at UCSF and Dr Gabrielle deVeber at the Hospital for Sick Children. 

Seizures in Pediatric Stroke (SIPS):  This study will follow children after they have had a stroke to determine frequency and nature of seizures in these children.  In addition, SIPS will determine what impact seizures have on outcome after stroke in childhood.  The principal investigator for SIPS is Dr Gabrielle deVeber at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

 

 

PEDIATRIC BEHAVIORAL NEUROLOGY RESEARCH PROGRAMS

(Dr. Steinman)

The Pediatric Behavioral Neurology Research Program of the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Washington Autism Center (Center for Human Development and Disability) includes research projects focused on the relationship between the brain and behavior in neurologic and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Verbal and Non-Verbal Semantics in Autism: This study aims to characterize verbal and non-verbal semantic abilities in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to further our understanding of these disorders by expanding our knowledge about the broader system of conceptual knowledge and its relation to communicative impairment.

Simons Variation in Individuals Project (Simons VIP): This multisite study aims to characterize the medical, behavioral, and learning features of individuals with small genetic variations (deletions and duplications at 16p11.2 and 1q21.1) that increase the risk of autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental disorders. This collaborative effort between experts in child neurology, psychology, and neuroimaging will improve our understanding of the relationship between specific genetic changes and the brain's development in neurodevelopmental disorders. The study is funded by the Simons Foundation and led by principal investigator Dr. Wendy Chung (Columbia University).



BASIC NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH PROGRAMS

(Drs. Bamford, Dobyns, and Gospe)

Divisional faculty members are engaged in a variety of laboratory-based research studies. These investigations focus on cellular pharmacology of striatal circuits which underlie movement disorders and addiction; neurogenetics of autism, epilepsy and brain malformations; and the neurodevelopmental function of "antiquitin".