We have recently begun a new clinical research initiative, one that will use the bountiful basic science research resources at Einstein to assist us in investigating the genetic, neurologic, physiologic and environmental causes of autism, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities. Our goal in searching for the etiologies of these conditions is simple: by identifying the biologic bases of these conditions, we hope to be able to find a cure, a treatment that will allow us to free our patients from the disabilities that adversely affect their lives.
In early 2010, CERC’s recruited its first director of research. Our faculty and trainees conduct research in intellectual and developmental disabilities. A variety of clinical and scientific studies are currently ongoing at CERC. Included among these are clinical investigations in the early diagnosis of autism and other developmentally disabling conditions, hearing problems, genetic and electrophysiologic studies, and the therapeutic effects of various intervention modalities. Other studies are being carried out in the areas of physical rehabilitation, speech, hearing and language development, learning disabilities, developmental dental defects, high risk infant follow-up, social and behavioral adjustment and treatment of hyperactive children, or adolescents, and their families.
In addition, we also hope to evaluate the efficacy of currently used treatments for conditions such as autism. In an attempt to accomplish this, CERC, in concert with Einstein's Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology, Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Molecular Genetics, is developing the Einstein Center for Autism. A collaborative effort, the new center will provide evaluation, treatment and advocacy for children with autism and autistic spectrum disorder, offer training to professionals in the care of individuals with these conditions, and perform research into the cause and the treatments of this enigmatic and disabling condition. Again, our justification for doing this is to identify the elusive cure for autism.
Attempting to address the apparent epidemic of autism that is occurring in the United States, the Einstein Center for Autism, a multi-site, multi-departmental, multi-disciplinary endeavor is our effort to attack this growing public health problem head on.