Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Significant Accomplishments

Autism Treatment Network Successes

The Kelly O’Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TKOC) is entering its sixth year of funding as a member of the Autism Speaks - Autism Treatment Network (AS-ATN). TKOC remains the leading enrollment site for the 17-site network, enrolling a total of 565 patients into the national AS-ATN registry, consisting of 6,380 patients. TKOC was also a contributing site to a novel ASD biorepository study, funded by NIMH and Autism Speaks, collecting blood and urine on 152 children with ASD and their parents. The AS-ATN published a supplement to Pediatrics this year, focusing on improving health care for children with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders. With support from the AS-ATN, TKOC provided training to over 1,600 ASD providers and family members in FY 2013.

Innovative Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Research Network

Our Division is one of 12 sites in the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics research network, funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. As one of the largest sites in the network, our division has participated in work that has guided key research agendas in the field of developmental-behavioral pediatrics, identified the clinical practice variability within the field, and guided our understanding of using electronic health records to answer clinical research questions within the field of developmental and behavioral pediatrics.

New Advances in ADHD

Froehlich’s research, funded by her NIH K23 award, has contributed substantially to the understanding of ADHD. She elucidated the effects of dopamine gene variants on methylphenidate response in children with ADHD. She collaborated on the development of a novel genotyping assay for carboxylesterase 1 (CES1), the enzyme which metabolizes methylphenidate, and is currently evaluating the effects of this genetic variant on methylphenidate response. In addition to her work on identifying predictors of ADHD medication response, she has contributed to our knowledge about the impact of toxic exposures on ADHD-related behaviors (e.g., lead and in-utero tobacco exposure), and is currently co-investigator on an NIH R01 grant which aims to determine the effects of pyrethroid pesticide exposure on ADHD symptoms and executive functioning. Froehlich has also examined national datasets to further understanding of ADHD prevalence, including how socio-demographic disparities (such as poverty, insurance status and race) impact rates of ADHD and its pharmacotherapy.