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Arkansas Children’s, UAMS awarded $7.2M to study childhood development

UAMS and Arkansas Children's in Little Rock will receive $7.2 million in funding over five years to continue their early childhood research.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI), the research arm of Arkansas Children’s in Little Rock, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will receive $7.2 million in funding over five years from the National Institutes of Health to continue their participation in a nationwide early childhood research project — HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study (HBCD)

According to a news release, the study will establish a large cohort of pregnant women and follow them and their children for at least 10 years. Findings will provide a template of normative neurodevelopment and a better understanding of how prenatal and perinatal experiences impact brain and behavioral development. The researchers said the findings can also be leveraged for urgent health needs such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s development and future health and environmental impact.

In Arkansas, the work will be led by ACRI and UAMS investigators Xiawei Ou, a professor of radiology and pediatrics at UAMS, Ashley Acheson, an associate professor of psychiatry at UAMS and Lorraine McKelvey, a professor of family and preventive medicine and pediatrics at UAMS.

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