Characteristics of the cries of preterm infants may help predict their risk for long-term developmental and behavioral problems, suggests an NICHD-funded study. The findings may lead to tools to identify babies at highest risk for such issues, aiding early treatment or prevention efforts.
NICHD issues News Releases and Media Advisories to the news media. Spotlight and Research Feature articles explain NICHD research findings and public health issues to the general public. An Item of Interest is a short announcement of relevant information, such as a notable staff change.
Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2022
Read about NICHD’s research findings and activities from 2022.
Release: Alzheimer’s progression in Down syndrome appears similar to other genetic, early onset forms of the disease
Amyloid plaques—protein clumps that are one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease—occur at roughly the same level in the brains of people with Down syndrome who have Alzheimer’s as they do in people with forms of hereditary, early-onset Alzheimer’s, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health. Based on the largest study of its kind to date, the findings suggest that individuals with Alzheimer’s and Down syndrome may benefit from participating in studies on Alzheimer’s therapies aimed at slowing formation of amyloid plaques.
Science Update: Mouse model of rare disease highlights importance of balance between two opposing proteins
Reducing levels of the protein WAPL may partially correct disease traits caused by a deficiency of NIPBL, a protein with the opposite function, suggests a mouse study by NICHD scientists. The findings suggest the importance of striking a proper balance between NIPBL and WAPL activities and improve understanding of the mechanisms underlying the rare developmental disorder Cornelia de Lange syndrome.
Item of Interest: NICHD researchers collaborate with basic scientists to understand rare, fatal childhood neurological disorder
NICHD researchers conducting a clinical study of patients with a rare, fatal neurological disorder have partnered with basic scientists to find better ways to understand the disease, monitor its progression, and ultimately find treatments.
Release: NIH awards $100 million for Autism Centers of Excellence program
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a total of $100 million over the next five years to support nine Autism Centers of Excellence (ACEs). This endeavor funds large research projects to understand and develop interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Created in 2007, the ACE program is renewed every five years.
Media Advisory: Changes in brain’s visual areas in infancy may precede autism diagnosis
Infants who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at 24 months old had differences in the visual processing areas of the brain that were apparent at 6 months old, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers theorized that disruption in visual processing could interfere with how infants see the world around them, changing how they interact with and learn from caregivers and their environment. These early changes could affect further brain development and play a role in ASD symptoms.
Spotlight: Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2021
Read about NICHD’s research findings and activities from 2021.
Director's Corner: Celebrating NICHD’s 60th Anniversary
As we ring in the new year, 2022 marks a special milestone—the 60th anniversary of NICHD.
Item of Interest: PregSource® Mobile App Allows Access from Anywhere
It just got easier to participate in the PregSource®: Crowdsourcing to Understand Pregnancy research project. The free app allows participants to track their weight, sleep, mood, and other features of their pregnancy in just a few taps.
Media Advisory: Extreme eating problems in early childhood linked to higher chance of developmental delay, NIH study suggests
Young children with a history of eating problems in the first three years of life were more likely to receive low scores on assessments of child development, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The findings suggest that children with multiple eating problems—frequent crying during meals, pushing food away, gagging and others—may benefit from screening for developmental delay.
Media Advisory: In-person school during COVID-19 must address needs of underserved communities
NIH commentary highlights community engagement in research design and implementation.
Item of Interest: NIH Research Plan on Rehabilitation Now Available
The newly published 2021 NIH Research Plan on Rehabilitation reflects advances since the previous plan was released in 2016 and new directions that will help guide rehabilitation research across NIH for the next five years.
Director's Corner: Reflecting on Our Commitment to Nutrition Research
As we usher in November and Thanksgiving, it’s a fitting time to reflect on NICHD’s commitment to research on nutrition.
Media Advisory: Oxytocin does not improve social functioning in children with autism spectrum disorder, NIH-funded study suggests
Regular doses of the hormone oxytocin do not appear to overcome deficits in social functioning among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings contradict earlier reports that indicated the hormone could alleviate the difficulties in social functioning characteristic of ASD. Oxytocin is associated with empathy and social bonding.
Science Update: Weekly COVID-19 testing helps reduce transmission in schools for children with disabilities
Findings from NICHD-supported study may aid special education classes across the country.
Director's Corner: We STRIVE to Do Better
Dr. Bianchi reflects on the life and contributions of Eunice Kennedy Shriver ahead of Mrs. Shriver’s 100th birthday and how improving equity, diversity, and inclusion at NICHD continues Mrs. Shriver’s work.
Director's Corner: Reflecting on our Science Advances in 2020
2020 was a year filled with many challenges. NICHD remained focused on our core mission, advancing key research in women’s health, reproductive science, rare childhood diseases and many more. Watch the video below and review our research highlights of 2020.
Spotlight: Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2020
Read about NICHD’s research findings and activities from 2020.
Director's Corner: Celebrating 30 Years of Medical Rehabilitation Research
Our National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research has advanced the field with significant achievements over the past 30 years that have improved the health, independence and quality of life of people with disabilities.