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Armstrong Lab

Second Chance Lab, Neurocognitive mechanisms and outcomes in children with chronic illness

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Investigator / Contact Person Daniel Armstrong

Research Focus

The Second Chance Lab focuses on understanding mechanism of central nervous system impairment in children treated for cancer (primarily ALL, CNS tumors, and those undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation) and sickle cell disease.  Studies focus on relationships between structural changes in the CNS using neuroimaging, as well as changes in biochemical processes in the brain (primarily folate pathway) and specific cognitive functions.  Trajectory of change in developing brains of young children is a primary focus, and data from these studies have been used to develop intervention strategies to prevent or lessen long-term effects.  Current efforts are focused on (a) potential relationship between methotrexate, cerebral folate deficiency, and autism spectrum symptoms, (b) long-term cognitive effects of repeated exposure to general anesthesia in young children, and (c) preventive and potential beneficial effects of hydroxyurea in children with sickle cell disease. 

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