Children’s Center for Neurosciences Research (CCNR)
In this Section
Children’s Center for Neurosciences Research (CCNR) brings together multidisciplinary research teams of basic scientists and clinical investigators to study and discover underlying mechanisms and potential treatments for neurological disorders affecting children. The center’s research focus includes epilepsy, sickle cell anemia-associated stroke, neonatal brain injury, neurological impairment, cerebral palsy, developmental delays and neuromuscular disorders. Research resources are available to facilitate basic and clinical research in pediatric neurology, including core facilities in neuroimaging.
Contrary to the general perception, neurological disorders have a high incidence in children younger than 18 years of age, who constitute 20% of the 6 million people in the greater Atlanta area. Among them, it is estimated that 5,000 have cerebral palsy, 8,400 suffer from epilepsy, 12,000 have Tourette syndrome, over 50,000 manifest developmental delays, over 75,000 suffer from migraines, and 90,000 have attention deficits. Further, there are over 1,800 reported concussions each year. At least 500 children each year present to our institution with severe brain disorders such as brain tumors, hydrocephalus, and traumatic brain injuries that require neurosurgical intervention. These neurological conditions not only impair quality of life but also impede the full intellectual development of children.
Research teams including basic scientists, translational and clinical research scientists, research and clinical fellow trainees and sub specialty physicians work together in Children’s Center for Neurosciences Research (CCNR) to study the underlying mechanisms of these diseases and work towards developing therapies and eventual cures. CCNR provides seed grants to help establish these research teams and facilitate new and cutting edge research approaches. Research is closely linked with clinical service and is oriented towards discovering the mechanisms that underlie these neurological diseases with a focus on treatments and cures. The diseases studied are based on interest from community members (e.g. sickle cell anemia), researchers (e.g. fragile X and spinal muscular atrophy) and clinicians (e.g. epilepsy). In addition to existing clinical programs in brain tumors, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy, CCNR is developing a new stroke program, white matter disorders program, and headache program.
CCNR emphasizes education and is committed to providing core facilities for research. In education, CCNR provides basic clinical training in pediatric neurology, neuropsychology and neurosurgery. CCNR also has established a clinical fellowship with significant research training in epilepsy and is developing other subspecialty training programs. In the development of core facilities, the primary focus is on a pediatric neuroimaging center that draws strength from the existing medical imaging research center at Emory University and is expected to be expanded with the addition of a magnetoencephalography (MEG) system in the near future. Subsequent growth will support cognitive and developmental research that integrates neuropsychology with neuroimaging, as well as infrastructure support for basic and translational research.