Enhancing Patient Care Through Groundbreaking Research
Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorders
High-quality research is necessary for identifying potential treatments, interventions, and generating new knowledge to improve patient care. Our team at the Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence autism research program work tirelessly in this pursuit. We are pleased to share two new research efforts underway in support of individuals with autism and developmental disorders.
Dr. Matthew Siegel
Earlier this year, Autism Speaks awarded $300,000 in grant funding to support research planning and development of a multi-disciplinary model of care for autistic people across the lifespan who are experiencing severe behavioral challenges. Matthew Siegel, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Developmental Disorders Service Line of Maine Behavioral Healthcare, is a co-principal investigator of the project, joining nationally recognized investigators and clinicians from Rutgers University, SUNY Upstate Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Research will enhance clinicians’ ability to deliver more personalized care to create a “gold standard” intervention and to develop a program that can be replicated for providers anywhere.
According to Dr. Siegel, “My co-investigators are national leaders in behavior analysis and psychiatry and an exciting aspect of this grant is the opportunity to involve our behavior experts and psychiatric providers here at MBH in the development of this intervention. We are excited to be part of leading this effort and hope that it eventually produces an approach that moves the field forward.”
A second study is underway at Spring Harbor Hospital. This groundbreaking drug study seeks to address acute agitation and behavioral challenges for adolescents with autism using nasal administration of olanzapine. Impel NeuroPharma is partnering with Spring Harbor, as one of two inpatient care providers nationwide, to test the usefulness of the company’s proprietary Precision Olfactory Delivery (POD®) technology to administer medication in a safe, effective manner. Spring Harbor’s Developmental Disorders Unit was specifically selected for this study, in addition to the specialized unit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, due to Spring Harbor’s reputation for excellent care and clinical research for this population.
Dr. Siegel assisted the study sponsor in developing the protocol, which will test drug administration with 32 patients across the two sites, and is the site Principal Investigator. Developing the plan for the study engaged our pharmacy, nursing and clinical teams, in addition to the research team.
“Studies like this not only serve our patients, but have the immediate impact of integrating a culture of learning and engagement into our daily, person-centered care practices. Team members have voice in the process, and shape the work through observation and feedback,” says Dr. Siegel.
Most often, drug studies like these are conducted in outpatient settings. The MBH team is proud to be a leader in this rare, inpatient psychiatry research.