Logan K. Wink, MD

Intranasal Ketamine Use in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Placebo-Controlled Crossover Pilot Study.

In an investigator-initiated clinical trial sponsored by Roivant Sciences Ltd. and Cures Within Reach, Dr. Logan Wink and colleagues Drs. Craig Erickson and Ernest Pedapati are investigating the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of intra-nasal ketamine targeting core social impairment in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder. This study is a pilot double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study which incorporates an eye-tracking paradigm as a quantitative measure of social impairment, two novel blood biomarkers as potential predictors of treatment response, and exploratory electrophysiologic measures. This study is actively enrolling 24 individuals over the course of two years.

Craig A. Erickson, MD

Dr. Erickson conducts translational research in developmental disabilities including work in autism spectrum disorder, fragile X syndrome, and Angelman syndrome. In the 2015-2016 year, his group discovered a molecular abnormality in the plasma of humans with Angelman Syndrome. Researchers found persons with Angelman to have excessive levels of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in their plasma. Excess APP has been implicated in abnormal brain development, and this finding may provide a target for new treatment development in this field. With this finding, APP is the molecular biomarker most developed in the Angelman field for future use in treatment trials. Dr. Erickson’s group also discovered a key molecular mark in peripheral lymphocytes in persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). His group found that persons with autism exhibited excessive activity of extracellular signal related kinase (ERK) a key intracellular signaling molecule. This sign of enhanced cellular activity in autism will open new dimensions for understanding causal factors in autism and developing biological treatments focused on this dysregulation.

Division Using MEDTAPP Healthcare Access Initiative Funding for Educational Curriculum

Through a grant from the Ohio MEDTAPP Healthcare Access Initiative, researchers developed an online educational curriculum for non-psychiatry medical practitioners to address gaps in knowledge to treat child psychiatric disorders. This project, “Child Psychiatry for the Primary Care Provider”, had a total of 30 pediatrician learners in FY16. Led by Drs. Sampang, Bowden and Sorter, these learners watched the online didactic modules and had bi-weekly in person meetings to help learners with any questions that may have arisen out of the modules and to discuss any difficult cases from their practice. Learners are then paired with a child psychiatrist for future case review and discussions. Many of the division faculty are involved in both module creation and facilitating the in person case discussions.