Jeff Wozniak
October 29, 2015

A University of Minnesota research team recently published the results of a clinical trial that showed choline could reduce some of the cognitive defects caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. 

Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) who took a daily supplement of the water soluble nutrient showed small gains in memory performance, which could significantly impact their overall cognitive development. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition earlier this month, is the first clinical trial to investigate choline’s effects on kids with FASDs, and could signal a new approach to treatment.

Dr. Kelvin Lim
October 28, 2015

With support from Wendy Wells and longtime U of M donor Norm Cocke, Lim launched his preliminary study with a basic question: Are there measurable differences in the brains of addicts who relapse and those who are able to stay abstinent? The drum-roll moment came just this past summer, when Lim was notified that his successful pilot study—which found that, yes, there were measur­able differences—had earned him a $2.6 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to delve deeper.

Dr. Jeff Wozniak and Dr. Michael Georgieff
October 26, 2015

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) affect more than two percent of the population, yet there is little physicians know of that can be done to help improve the brain damage those children suffer. Utilizing a choline supplement after birth for children with FASDs could be a potential option, a University of Minnesota Medical School clinical trial found.

Dante Cicchetti
October 20, 2015

Dante Cicchetti, McKnight Presidential Chair and William Harris Professor of Child Psychology and Psychiatry at the Institute of Child Development, was officially inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on October 10, 2015. The induction ceremony took place at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies and is a leading center for independent policy research. Established in 1780, the Academy serves the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue, and useful knowledge.

William Iacono and Monica Luciana
September 25, 2015

Regents Professor William Iacono and Professor Monica Luciana of the Department of Psychology have received a grant from the National Institute of Health as part of a landmark study about the effects of adolescent substance use on the developing brain. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study will follow approximately 10,000 children beginning at ages 9 to 10, before they initiate drug use, through the period of highest risk for substance use and other mental health disorders. The study will seek to address questions related to substance use and development that will help inform prevention and treatment research priorities, public health strategies, and policy decisions.

Stephanie Carlson & Phil Zelazo
September 10, 2015

Phil Zelazo, Stephanie Carlson and Megan McClelland discuss the importance of encouraging and developing executive function skills in young children in order to make their transition to formal schooling in kindergarten successful. Research shows that these skills contribute to a more successful school experience overall and to greater academic achievement in later life. For the CEHD news summary, click here.

Megan Gunnar
August 3, 2015

Megan Gunnar, Regent’s Professor and Director, Institute of Child Development, will be presenting a session at the 15th Annual Communities Collaborative Brain Development Conference Closing the Gap in Mahnomen, MN, August 11-13, 2015. The conference draws presenters from across the state and the nation to offer cutting-edge information on brain development and strategies to close educational gaps for use in the home, early childhood programs, and elementary/secondary classrooms or programming.

Ellen Demerath
June 8, 2015

In a new study from the University of Minnesota, researchers found there are numerous areas of the genome where obese and non-obese individuals differ in terms of their “methylome.”

Lead author, Ellen Demerath, an associate professor in the School of Public Health, conducted the study in collaboration with other UMN researchers as well as researchers at three other United States institutions all of whom are working on the large on-going Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. This is a 30-year prospective study of coronary heart disease risks in both white and African American adults ages 45-55 when the study started in 1985.