The American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS) recently announced the recipients of the 2008 Best Paper Award. The team included Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta neuropsychologist, Lauren Buono, Ph.D., and study coordinator, Kara Kenkel Jorgensen.
The ASMS gave the award in recognition of the team’s paper “Neurodevelopment of Infants with Single-suture Craniosynostosis: Pre-surgery Comparisons with Case-matched Controls” published in the May 2008 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
As the largest study of children with craniosynostosisÂ , the research includes more than 500 families from four craniofacial centers: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Seattle’s Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
The current research provides a comprehensive neurodevelopment study of children with craniosynostosis across multiple neuropsychological domains. The study also plans to develop predictive models of functional outcome based on severity of skull malformation,Â age of corrective surgery andÂ post-surgery changes in cranial shape.
The research revealed that before and after surgery, the development of infants with single-suture craniosynostosis slightly lags behind infants without craniosynostosis.
“This multi-institutional study has provided the unique opportunity to follow a large sample of children with craniosynostosis from infancy to early elementary school.Â With this research, we hope to clarify the factors that contribute to neurodevelopmental outcome in these children and to fully understand the role of the congenital defect in such biopsychosocial outcomes,” said Lauren Buono, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist, Center for Craniofacial Disorders, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.
The study began in 2001 with projections to end in 2012. As this research involves a longitudinal approach, the children will have reached age 7 once the study is complete.
Dr. Buono was part of a multidisciplinary team led by Matthew Speltz, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at University of Washington School of Medicine and Chief of Outpatient Psychiatry Services at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle. Their investigation was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the National Institutes of Health.