Pediatric Neuropsychology Research

Lifespan Pediatric Neuropsychology ProgramThe Pediatric Neuropsychology Program has an active research program, focused on the effects of childhood medical and neurological conditions.

Current research projects include:
  • Exploration of the relationship between attentional difficulties and new onset seizures in children.
  • Late effects of childhood cancer treatment
  • Participation in a multi-site study looking at the long-term neurocognitive effects of childhood cancer treatment 
  • Examination of the factors associated with family burden for neurocognitive late effects from childhood cancer

Now Recruiting for Study: Brain Stimulation for Working Memory in Teenagers

Research at Bradley and Butler hospitals is investigating whether a type of brain stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), can improve attention/concentration (i.e., "working memory") in teenagers. Working memory deficits often occur in various psychiatric disorders in teenagers (such as ADHD and depression), although few treatments are available. We hope to develop working memory treatments for psychiatric disorders.

Study participation Involves:

  • 4 visits at the hospitals with questionnaires/cognitive tasks, electroencephalogram (EEG) recording, computer games, and rTMS sessions
  • Participants will complete 2 active or "real" stimulation sessions and 1 sham or "fake" stimulation session
  • Visits will last approximately 1 to 3 hours
  • Participants will be financially compensated for study participation

Your teenager may be eligible if he or she:

  • Is 13 to 17 years old
  • Has been diagnosed with ADHD
  • Experiences difficulties with attention/concentration or "working memory"
  • Is English speaking
  • Does not have medical conditions contraindicated for rTMS

For more information, please contact Brian Kavanaugh, PsyD at 401-432-1359 or email bkavanaugh@lifespan.org.

Publications

Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications

Trask, C.L., Greene Welch, J., Manley, P., Jelalian, E., Schwartz, C.L. (2009). Parental Needs for Information Related to Neurocognitive Late Effects from Pediatric Cancer and Its Treatment. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 52, 273-279.

Hoag, J., Kupst, M., Briere, M. Mabbott, D., Elkin, T.D., Trask, C., Isenberg, J., Holm, S., Ambler, C., Strother, D.R. (2014). Feasibility of conducting long-term follow-up of children and infants treated for CNS tumors on the same cooperative group clinical trial protocol. The Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings (JOCS): 21, 136-143.

Kavanaugh, B Holler, K (2014). Executive functioning and self-reported depressive symptoms within an adolescent inpatient population. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 3, 126-134.

Kavanaugh, B, Holler, K, Selke, G (2015). A neuropsychological profile of childhood maltreatment within an adolescent inpatient sample. Applied Neuropsychology: Child, 4, 9-19.

Kavanaugh, BC, Scarborough, VR, & Salorio CF (2015). Parent-rated emotional-behavioral and executive functioning in childhood epilepsy. Epilepsy and Behavior, 42, 22-28.

Whitlow PG, Caparas M, Cullen P, Trask, C, Schulte F, Embry L, Nagarajan, R, Johnston DL, Sung, L. (2015). Strategies to improve success of pediatric cancer cooperative group quality of life studies: A report from the Children’s Oncology Group. Qual Life Research, 24, 1297-1301.

Kavanaugh, BC, Scarborough, VR,; Salorio, CF (2016). Cumulative risk for poor outcomes in childhood epilepsy and the epilepsy cumulative risk scale (ECR-Scale). Journal of Child Neurology, 31, 831-836.

Kavanaugh, BC, Dupont-Frechette, JA, Tellock, PP, Maher, ID, Haisley, LD, & Koller KA (2016). Neurocognitive phenotypes in severe childhood psychiatric disorders. The Journal of Mental and Nervous Disease.

Wilcox BJ, Wilkins MM, Basseches B, Schwartz JB, Kerman K, Trask C, Brideau H, Crisco JJ. (in press). Joint-Specific Play Controller for Upper Extremity Therapy: Feasibility Study in Children With Wrist Impairment. Phys Ther. Book Chapters

Mandelbaum, D. & Trask, C.L. (2008). Cognitive side effects of antiepileptic drugs. Pellock et al. (Ed.), Pediatric Epilepsy: Diagnosis and Therapy, Third Edition. New York: Demos.

Tremont, G., Davis, J.D., & Trask, C. (2010). Lifespan aspects of endocrine disorders. S. Hunter & J. Donders (Eds)., Principles and practice of lifespan developmental neuropsychology (pp. 409-426). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Trask, C.L., & Peterson, C.C. (2016). Educational Issues: The Impact of Cancer in the Classroom. A. Abrams, A. Muriel & L. Wiener (Eds). Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology: Textbook for Multi-disciplinary Care (pp. 175-198). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Abstracts/Presentations

Trask, C.L., Donelan, J., Kavanaugh, B, & Welch, J. (2016). Academic Implications of Neurocognitive Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Treatment. Poster presentation at the American Psycho-Oncology Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, March 2016.

Kavanaugh, BC, Jones, J, Correia, S, Blum, A, LaFrance, W, & Davis, J. (2016). Differential relationship between depression and white matter integrity in adult versus child onset temporal lobe epilepsy.  Journal of the Neuropsychological Society.

Kavanaugh, B, Dupont-Frechette, J, Tellock, P, Maher, I, Haisley, L, & Holler, K (2015). Perceptual reasoning and cognitive flexibility predict Rey Complex Figure test performance within a children’s inpatient psychiatric program. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 30, 546.

Trask, C.L. (2014, April). Attention, Executive Function, and Epilepsy. Invited presentation for the Learn and Share Conference Calls by the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, Southfield, MI.

Trask, C.L. (2014, October). Cognitive Needs in Sickle Cell Disease: What to Know and What to Do. 5th Annual Sickle Cell Disease Symposium: A Comprehensive Approach to Pain in Sickle Cell Disease, Worcester, MA.

Kavanaugh, B, Welch, JG, Selke, G, & Trask, CL (2014). The association between emotional-behavioral functioning and attention and executive functions in CNS-directed pediatric cancer treatment. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 20(S1), 5.

Faust, M, Selke, G., & Trask, C.L. (2012). Fatigue: Relationship to inattention and emotional liability in pediatric cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 21(S1), 37.

Trask, C. L. & Faust, M. (2011) . Neurocognitive Late Effects: The Need for Greater Outreach to the Schools. Psycho-Oncology, 20 (S1), 75.

Trask, C.L., Greene Welch, J.J., Manley, P., Jelalian, E., & Schwartz, C.L. (2008). Parental Perception Of Risk For Neurocognitive Late Effects From Pediatric Cancer Treatment. Psycho-Oncology, 17 (S1), S76.

Greene Welch, J.J., Trask, C.L., & Schwartz, C.L. (2008). Parents’ Use of the Internet Related to Their Child’s Cancer Diagnosis. Psycho-Oncology, 17 (S1), S77.