Pediatric Neurology and Developmental Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine is actively involved in several clinical research projects designed to investigate new patient therapies and drug treatments. These studies are sponsored by a variety of funding entities, ranging from pharmaceutical drug companies to federal government agencies. The goal of these projects is to develop improved methods of care for children suffering from neurological disorders.
Basic Science Research
BCM Pediatric Neurology and Developmental Neuroscience supports basic science research into the underlying causes of childhood neurological disorders. These research activities are being conducted at the Gordon and Mary Cain Pediatric Neurology Research Foundation Laboratories, the Blue Bird Circle Rett Center, the neurogenetics laboratory of Dr. Huda Zoghbi and the soon to be completed Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital.
Research being conducted at the Gordon and Mary Cain Pediatric Neurology Research Foundation Laboratories seeks to understand better the biological origins of childhood epilepsy, related learning disabilities and other neurological disorders, and to develop new therapies and treatments. Studies of early-onset epilepsy in animal models examine molecular abnormalities that lead to seizures in early life and subsequent disorders of brain development. Neuronal migration abnormalities commonly associated with intractable epilepsy are also investigated. The impact of seizures upon learning and formation of memory is also a focus of intense research.
The Blue Bird Circle Rett Center at BCM is one of the few centers in the United States that specializes in the diagnosis and care of girls and women with Rett Syndrome. The Rett Center is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of physicians and researchers investigating the causes of Rett Syndrome and working to better diagnose and treat this disorder.
The laboratory of Dr. Zoghbi emphasizes research into the genetic basis of neurological development. Utilizing techniques in molecular and cellular biology, Dr. Zoghbi has made important insights into spinocerebellar ataxia and Rett syndrome, and has identified the Math1 gene, which plays important roles in many neurological and physiological developmental pathways. Dr. Zoghbi is also the director of the Mental Retardation Research Center, which sponsors research into several human diseases causing developmental disabilities and mental retardation.