The Burke-Blythedale Pediatric Neuroscience Research Collaboration is the first partnership between a research institute and a children’s specialty hospital to study and treat the developing nervous system. According to the Child Neurology Foundation, one in six children have a neurological condition that limits function. These conditions diminish quality of life for affected children, yet few treatments are currently available. This collaboration will tackle this challenge through teamwork; scientists and clinicians will work together to apply innovative research techniques to important clinical problems.
“This isn’t just a marriage, it’s a marriage made in heaven,” said Blythedale Board Chair David Pedowitz.
“With BMRI’s expertise in brain repair, and Blythedale’s expertise in the care of medically-fragile children, we are poised to make great advances in science and clinical care,” he continued.
“We don’t know enough about how injury affects the developing brain,” said BMRI Board Chair Robert Baldoni. “This partnership offers a unique opportunity to accelerate the scientific discoveries and clinical advances that these children desperately need.”
The Collaboration is directed by Jason Carmel, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric neurologist and neuroscientist with expertise in electrical brain stimulation to improve movement. Dr. Carmel, who is also Director of the Motor Recovery Laboratory at BMRI and an Assistant Professor at Cornell, initiated a clinic for children with brain injuries at Blythedale in 2013. Since then, he has helped found the Collaboration with colleagues from BMRI and Cornell.
“We are thrilled to work with Blythedale to translate rehabilitation science to children with neurological impairments,” said Rajiv Ratan, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Director of BMRI. “The joint studies offer tremendous potential to yield new scientific insights and innovative therapies for patients.”
“While Blythedale patients make gains every day because of our superb clinical staff, we see the cutting-edge research at BMRI as critical to bringing the next generation of therapies to children with neurological disabilities,” said Blythedale President & CEO Larry Levine.
“Today, as scientists and doctors, we too often have to tell our patients and their families, ‘We cannot help you’,” said Dr. Carmel. “Through the discoveries and treatments we expect of this collaboration, we will be able to tell these same patients, ‘Yes, we can help you.’”
The Collaboration brings together the expertise and resources of two preeminent institutions located in New York’s Westchester County, just north of Manhattan.