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Research Projects

At Cook Children's, we believe that all children deserve the best treatment strategies available to manage their illness and maintain good health. Our research projects apply leading-edge scientific knowledge, technology and evidence-based practice to improve quality care outcomes for children.


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness. Brain's abnormal activity could be due to an inherited genetic condition, trauma to head, or diseases and developmental disorders of the brain. In children, epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurologic conditions affecting 0.5-1% during childhood. Antiepileptic medications are the first choice of treatment for epilepsy. However, they have side effects and cannot control the seizures in 30% of patients. For these patients, the most suitable treatment is brain surgery.

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Movement Disorders

Dystonia is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary sustained muscle contractions that cause repetitive and twisting movements and abnormal postures. It can occur at any age and affect different parts of the body ranging from a specific part, two or more adjacent or unrelated parts (e.g. arm and leg on the same side), to most or all of the body. The diagnosis of dystonia is primarily based on expert observation of the physical symptoms. Possible causes of dystonia may include injury to the brain and genetic factors.

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Neonatal Research

The Neuroscience Research Center works alongside our Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to continue to improve neurologic outcomes for our smallest patients. As modern medicine has advanced to dramatically improve the survival rate of preterm infants, our focus is to improve their long-term neurologic outcomes.

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The phrase “mind-body connection” is a well-known one, but in cognitive neuroscience the aim of the academic specialty is devoted to this, the study of biological (neural) substrates underlying cognition, mental processes of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses (Fig. 1). Prior to cognitive neuroscience being known as it is today, two separate fields provided insight into the study of the mind as an information processor (cognitive psychology) and the study of the nervous system (neuroscience or neurobiology).

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Clinical Trials

When most people think of medical research they assume that the most advanced research comes from academic affiliations. But here at Cook Children's, we challenge that assumption. Our medical team is deeply involved in research of all kinds. We look for better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent neurological conditions ... and we look for ways to cure them.

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