The EVMS Program in Autism Spectrum Disorders has evaluated and treated over 1,000 persons referred from within and outside of coastal Virginia. And the world is taking notice.
Recently EVMS clinicians, scientists and students were major contributors to a special issue of Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry (PNP&BP) that is devoted to autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Jessica Burket, a PhD candidate in the EVMS graduate program in biomedical sciences; Maria Urbano, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; and Stephen Deutsch, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, contributed to and served as guest editors of the special issue. PNP&BP is a leading “high-impact” peer-reviewed journal devoted to both basic and translational neuroscience.
EVMS contributors covered:
- critical issues pertaining to diagnostic assessment, and design and analysis of clinical trials (Dr. Urbano; Nicole Kreiser, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Jennifer Flaherty PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; and Kathrin Hartmann, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences);
- the biological basis for impaired processing of facial expressivity (Dr. Deutsch); mitochondrial abnormalities (Frank Castora, PhD, Professor of Physiological Sciences);
- and a specific neurotransmitter abnormality that could serve as a medication target for persons with ASD (Ms. Burket and Dr. Deutsch).
They were among experts from around the world who presented original research and reviewed genetic mechanisms, brain imaging studies, neuroendocrine exposures, animal models and a possible role of the cannabinoid receptor in pathogenesis and treatment.
“We feel strongly that the special issue reflects positively on the commitment of the EVMS Program in Autism Spectrum Disorders to the underserved population of persons with ASD and their families in our Hampton Roads community,” Dr. Deutsch says.