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Research funded by The Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation

The Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation has been handing out grants supporting undergraduate, PhD, post doc, and senior research since 1994. The foundation supports research projects, research months, conference participation, and post-doctoral research stays. Below two of the foundation’s grant recipients explain what the research grants from The Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation have meant to their research.

 

Senior Lecturer, University Hospital Chief Physician

In 2002 I did a five-month post-doc at St George’s Hospital Medical School. A lot of preparations went into my stay in terms of applying for ethics approval, research funding, recommendation letter from St George’s Hospital, and making accommodation arrangements etc.

In London I did a study on women with anorexia nervosa (AN) or bulimia nervosa (BN). I was working from the hypothesis that there is an increased risk of underlying autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD and/or Tourette syndrome in individuals with a chronic eating disorder. Thirty women were interviewed. Most of them had anorexia nervosa and were receiving inpatient care. The women on average had been ill for ten years. The study showed that more than half of the women had some form of neuropsychiatric diagnosis. ASD was the most common diagnosis with one third of the AN women also having ASD. The study resulted in a scientific article that was pioneering regarding ASD, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome comorbidity in eating disorders. The article has hence been widely quoted.

The Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation was one of the main contributors in funding my post-doc in London. Without funding from the foundation I would not have been able to carry out my study. My post-doc in London has been a valuable qualification and is likely to have contributed to my qualification as Associate Professor in 2004, four years after putting forward my dissertation. I am very grateful to the foundation for the possibilities that have been made available to me through its financial contribution.

Reference: Wentz, E., Lacey, J. H., Waller, G., Råstam, M., Turk, J., & Gillberg, C. (2005). Childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders in adult eating disorder patients – a pilot study. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 14, 431-437.


Psychologist and PhD student

I was registered as a PhD student in April of 2011. My dissertation project focuses on the diagnostic stability in Asperger syndrome, neuropsychological aspects, psychiatric comorbidity, quality of life, long-term prognosis and psychosocial functioning.

I am currently in the final stages of writing my first scientific article, about the diagnostic stability and the factors predicting a persistent Asperger diagnosis. In 2012 the results have been presented at the Annual General Meeting for Physicians in Stockholm and at an autism conference in Copenhagen. In April 2014 the work will be presented at the “Focus on autism” conference in Stockholm.

I live in Gävle where I work as a psychologist within child habilitation services. Fifty per cent of my working time is allocated to my doctoral project. All my research subjects have been examined at the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre in Gothenburg, where previous examinations of the same cohort have taken place. In order to cover my accommodation and travel costs to and from Gothenburg I applied for funding from The Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation. Without the grant from The Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation my research would not have been possible. I depend fully on being able to carry out the study at the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre in Gothenburg. I am therefore very pleased and grateful that the Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation has supported my research.

Psychologist and PhD student

I was registered as a PhD student in June of 2011. My PhD dissertation is titled “Mild intellectual disability: diagnostic and outcome aspects”. We have, among other things, compared the ability to adapt (everyday function) in children with mild intellectual disability with the adaptive ability in children with ADHD. We have studied mothers with mild intellectual disability and examined outcomes for their respective children.

I put forward my dissertation project in December of 2013. During the autumn of 2013 I received a two-month scholarship from The Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation to write the so-called “frame” of my dissertation. The frame contains an overview of the research area at hand, as well as a summary of the research project’s method and results.

This scholarship from The Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation allowed me to dedicate a coherent time period to compiling and finishing my dissertation project. Thanks to the two-month scholarship I did not need to split my working hours between research time and my everyday job as a psychologist. Instead, I was able to focus completely on completing my dissertation. This was of great importance to me.

Ida Lindblad publicly defended her thesis “Mild intellectual disability: diagnostic and outcome aspects” on December 20th, 2013.

Senior consultant and PhD student

My PhD dissertation is titled “Non-stimulant treatments in ADHD” and concerns various alternative treatments of ADHD in children, adolescents and adults. We have studied the polyunsaturated fatty acid Omega3, the medication Strattera and a form of cognitive training for children with behavioural problems, so-called Collaborative Problem Solving. I was registered as a PhD student in the autumn of 2011.

 

In 2007 I applied for funding from The Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation to take a DISCO course. The course consists of a two-day seminar, after which one is supposed to do a DISCO interview on one’s own and code it. The assignment is handed in to the course leaders and after that, one more gathering takes place.

DISCO (Diagnostic Interview for Social and COmmunication disorders) is a structured diagnostic interview pertaining to autism spectrum disorders (autism, Asperger’s syndrome and autism-like conditions) and associated conditions such as ADHD. The improved knowledge that DISCO has given me in terms of diagnosing in cases of autism spectrum has been instrumental to me in my research. Examining comorbidity in cases of ADHD, e.g. in the autism spectrum, has been an important component of the studies, and our knowledge of DISCO has helped us assess findings related to this. Individuals with ADHD were accepted into the study if they also had autism-like conditions, but not if they had actually been diagnosed with autism.

Being able to take the DISCO course has been crucial to my research. DISCO grants a good insight into different aspects of autism spectrum. It provides a broader knowledge base than many other established autism diagnostic interviews. I am grateful to The Swedish Child Neuropsychiatry Science Foundation for giving me the opportunity to take the DISCO course, as it has proven to be very valuable to me.

Mats Johnson will put forward his dissertation on October 3rd, 2014.
 


 

Page Manager: Anna Spyrou|Last update: 10/7/2014
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