Learning and Other Cognitive Disorders Research

Kennedy Krieger Institute has performed research related to learning, communication and other cognitive disorders since its inception. This research tradition continues, spanning disciplines across the Institute -- from basic neuroscience through clinical science and education -- and includes the federally-funded Intellectual Disabilities Research Center.

It is well understood that children's brains are involved in learning. Through the developmental years of childhood, the brain continues to grow with continued advancement in skills. However, up to 30 percent of children will develop problems in learning and communication.

The researchers at Kennedy Krieger Institute are dedicated to understanding the mechanisms of these disabilities, their prevention, early identification and treatment, when they interfere with a child's progress at home and in school. The neurologic and genetic basis for specific learning disorders, communication disorders and attention-deficit disorders are being investigated through neurogenetic testing, neuroimaging and neuropsychological examination of normal and affected children. Early identification efforts include new test development and tracking of high-risk populations. Investigations of new treatment approaches include educational, social, language and psychological interventions, use of medications and use of complementary therapies in affected children. Such investigations span all ages of childhood, based upon the philosophy of early intervention, and include research beginning in infancy and continuing into the adolescent years.

The researchers at Kennedy Krieger Institute are working to improve the lives of children with learning, communication and other cognitive disorders, seeking new ways to identify and treat these problems.