Stress and Development in Children with Chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (also known as Velocardiofacial or DiGeorge syndromes) and their Families

DavidAndrea_small.JPGWe currently have travel funds to assist families across North America affected by 22q11.2DS / VCFS / DiGeorge who would like to take part in our research studies. For information please contact the SCAN Lab Coordinator Ms. Ashley Sanders at (504) 280-6763 or via email: scanlab@uno.edu.

Dr. Elliott Beaton and his colleagues are conducting an important research study into how stress and anxiety may affect long-term development and risk of schizophrenia in children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion (22q11.2DS) / velocardiofacial (VCFS) / DiGeorge syndrome at the Department of Psychology at the University of New Orleans. This research is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Stress and emotions in children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion / VCFS / DiGeorge

Structural MRI_small.jpgStructural MRI with 22q11.2DS / VCFS / DiGeorge and their families often deal with medical issues and illness, trouble with schoolwork, and difficulties interacting with peers and family. Children with 22q11.2DS are also at increased risk for psychiatric illness in adolescence and young adulthood. Dealing with these and other issues can be sources of stress and anxiety for children and their families. However, little is known about how stress affects development in children with 22q11.2DS / VCFS / DiGeorge especially as it relates to mental health and quality of life in adulthood. The findings from this study will help us better understand why some children with chromosome 22q11.2DS / VCFS /DiGeorge develop serious psychiatric problems later in life and why some do not.

If stress and anxiety are issues that affect children with 22q11.2DS / VCFS / DGS, the more we can learn, the more likely it is that we can develop treatments to improve quality of life in the short term and potentially avoid serious problems later in life. Health and well-being in parents of children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion / VCFS / DiGeorge syndrome.  We are also very interested in how parents of children with neurodevelopmental disorders are doing in terms of their health and well-being. Caring for children with special needs can be very challenging for parents and caregivers. Sometimes family members might have different opinions and expectations about a child’s behavior and well-being too. Through our research, we will be able to learn more about how behavior and emotions in children affect health and well-being in parents and vice versa.