Center for Biobehavioral Health

Featured Researcher — Leena Nahata, MD
Featured Researcher — Leena Nahata, MD 150 150 Natalie Wilson

Pediatric endocrinologist Leena Nahata, MD, is the founder and medical director of the Fertility and Reproductive Health Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a principal investigator in the Center for Biobehavioral Health at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. Although fertility-related decisions can seem far away for children, adolescents and their families, many…

read more
Understanding the Social Neural Network
Understanding the Social Neural Network 1024 575 Natalie Wilson
Young boy turned sideways in front of a dark background, with dark lighting and an illustration of his brain appearing in front of the side of his head

Neuroimaging of participants with and without epilepsy allows researchers to explore the neural networks associated with social skills. Epilepsy is a chronic brain disease characterized by neural network dysfunction and seizures. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 470,000 children in the United States had active epilepsy in 2015. These children are more likely…

read more
Fatty Acid Supplements May Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing Even in Toddlers
Fatty Acid Supplements May Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing Even in Toddlers 150 150 Natalie Wilson

Children who were given supplements of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid that serves as an important building block in babies’ developing brains, were less likely to meet the threshold on a test that determines whether they should be further evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorder. When children are born prematurely, they miss the opportunity…

read more
Reproductive Health Attitudes and Behaviors in Transgender/Nonbinary Adolescents
Reproductive Health Attitudes and Behaviors in Transgender/Nonbinary Adolescents 1024 683 Mary Bates, PhD

A survey suggests providers may need unique strategies for counseling sometimes disinterested youth on important reproductive health issues. Transgender and nonbinary adolescents have unique issues when it comes to reproductive health. They are at high risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, hormonal or surgical interventions begun in adolescence can risk impairing future fertility. Researchers…

read more
Brain Characteristics Associated with Epilepsy and Internalizing Disorders
Brain Characteristics Associated with Epilepsy and Internalizing Disorders 1024 575 Mary Bates, PhD

Diffuse alterations in brain structure and function are seen in youth with epilepsy and symptoms of anxiety or depression. Internalizing disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are common in patients with epilepsy. Specific brain characteristics – structural changes in the hippocampus and amygdala as well as some differences in structure and function of more frontal…

read more
Family Support Linked to Resilience in Kindergarteners Born Preterm
Family Support Linked to Resilience in Kindergarteners Born Preterm 150 150 Adelaide Feibel

Despite known adverse outcomes associated with prematurity, a large minority of kindergarteners born preterm exhibit none of them. For years, medical researchers have dedicated countless hours to studying the adverse outcomes of premature births. But in their attempts to illuminate the incidence of cognitive, behavioral and learning deficits in preterm and low-birth-weight infants, researchers have…

read more
How Do Brain Processes Change With Social Reorientation Toward Peers In Adolescence?
How Do Brain Processes Change With Social Reorientation Toward Peers In Adolescence? 150 150 Adelaide Feibel

A recent study shows an association between closeness with peers and levels of activation in the social and reward areas of the adolescent brain. Parents of adolescents know all too well that once children hit their teenage years, they often become closer to their peers and less close to their parents. But little is known…

read more
Keeping Young Patients With Congenital Heart Disease Connected to Care
Keeping Young Patients With Congenital Heart Disease Connected to Care 150 150 Mary Bates, PhD

Race, type of insurance and severity of disease affect likelihood of experiencing a lapse in care for CHD patients younger than 5 years. Lapse in care is prevalent among congenital heart disease survivors by age five, with nonwhites demonstrating elevated risk, according to a new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital researchers. Medicaid patients and those…

read more
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: “They Get the Job Done”
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: “They Get the Job Done” 1024 575 Abbie Roth

Research presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2018 National Conference finds that the growing number of grandparents serving as sole caregivers for their grandchildren are coping well. In the United States, millions of children are being raised solely by their grandparents. As the opioid crisis and other factors continue to disrupt families, experts expect the number…

read more
How Can We Optimize Fertility Related Discussions With Male Survivors of Childhood Cancer?
How Can We Optimize Fertility Related Discussions With Male Survivors of Childhood Cancer? 150 150 Abbie Roth

A recent study suggests that fertility is a “later” issue for adolescents and young adults, rather than a “now” concern, leading to low rates of conversation with health care providers. Survival rates for pediatric cancers exceed 80 percent. But late effects can persist throughout the survivor’s lifetime. Among those late effects, infertility may have both…

read more
Starting the Conversation on Sickle Cell Disease and Reproductive Health
Starting the Conversation on Sickle Cell Disease and Reproductive Health 1024 575 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease — and their caregivers — care about future fertility. But what should doctors tell them? Until just a few decades ago, sickle cell disease (SCD) was often fatal in childhood. Now that more patients reach adulthood, clinicians and researchers need to ask — and answer — questions…

read more
Small Trial of Omega Fatty Acid Supplementation in Toddlers Born Preterm Points to Possible Therapeutic Intervention
Small Trial of Omega Fatty Acid Supplementation in Toddlers Born Preterm Points to Possible Therapeutic Intervention 1024 575 Abbie Roth
Color close up image of young baby girl looking at hanging toys

Researchers show that supplementation of omega fatty acids may improve symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder in toddlers who were born very preterm. Researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital have shown that omega fatty acid supplements may improve autism spectrum disorder symptoms in toddlers who were born very preterm (<29 weeks gestation). The study was published in The Journal…

read more
The Challenge of Studying Supplementation: Omega Fatty Acids to Prevent Preterm Birth and Associated Complications
The Challenge of Studying Supplementation: Omega Fatty Acids to Prevent Preterm Birth and Associated Complications 1024 575 Abbie Roth

Dietary supplements: it seems that medical professionals either love them or hate them. And while much research shows that the average healthy adult with a good diet probably doesn’t need them, studies of specific supplements in specific patient populations may show efficacy. For example, studies show that omega-3 fatty acid supplements can reduce inflammation and…

read more
Vulnerable Population Lacks Access to Beneficial Puberty-Blocking Hormone Therapy
Vulnerable Population Lacks Access to Beneficial Puberty-Blocking Hormone Therapy 150 150 Jeb Phillips

Transgender youth are often denied access to puberty-blocking hormones because insurance companies decline to cover costs, according to a new study. Transgender youth are often denied access to puberty-blocking hormone therapy that may benefit them because insurance companies decline to cover costs for those patients, a study drawn from cases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital suggests.…

read more
Study Finds Cow’s Milk is Added to Breast Milk and Sold to Parents Online
Study Finds Cow’s Milk is Added to Breast Milk and Sold to Parents Online 150 150 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Deceptive Internet advertisements for human breast milk may put infants at risk. What do parents (and doctors) need to know about milk sharing? A study published yesterday on the safety of human breast milk bought over the Internet found that 10 percent of samples contained added cow’s milk. The discovery that purchased samples of human milk may…

read more
Survivors of Congenital Heart Disease Report Poor Risk Knowledge and High-Fat Diets
Survivors of Congenital Heart Disease Report Poor Risk Knowledge and High-Fat Diets 150 150 Tiasha Letostak, PhD

A new study suggests that CHD survivors may lack knowledge about their disease and would benefit from education about future risks and health behaviors. Over 1 million adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) currently reside in the United States. These individuals are at heightened risk for numerous health concerns, including endocarditis, pregnancy complications and life-threatening…

read more
(Some Other) Mother’s Milk
(Some Other) Mother’s Milk 150 150 Katie Brind'Amour, PhD, MS, CHES

Women who can’t breastfeed often turn to the Internet for breast milk. But is it safe?

read more