Current Research

Stress and development in children and adolescents with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (also known as velocardiofacial/VCFS or DiGeorge syndromes) and their families.
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 ongoing project has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (5R00MH06616-05) and the University of New Orleans.
SCANLab Research Welcome Staff
Stress and emotions in children and adolescents with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion / VCFS / DiGeorge syndrome
Structural MRI

Children and adolescents with 22q11.2DS / VCFS / DiGeorge and their families often deal with serious medial issues and illness, trouble with schoolwork, and difficulties interacting with peers and family. People with 22q11.2DS are also at increased risk for psychiatric illness in adolescence and young adulthood. Dealing with these and other issues can be a source of stress and anxiety for children and their families. However, little is known about how stress affects development in children with 22q11.2DS especially how it relates to mental health and quality of life - now and into adulthood.

The findings from this study will help us better understand why some children with 22q11.2DS develop serious psychiatric problems later in life and why some do not. If stress and anxiety are issues that affect people with 22q11.2DS, 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/guardians and siblings of children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion / VCFS / DiGeorge syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders

We are also very interested in how families of children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders are doing in terms of their health and well-being. Raising and caring for children can be both rewarding and challenging and this is especially true for families of children with special needs. Sometimes, family members might have different opinions ad 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 of parents/guardians and siblings.

Stress and development in children with Down syndrome (Trisomy 21 / 47,XY, +21 / 47,XX,+21) and their families.

People with Down syndrome often cope with serious medical issues and increased difficulty interacting with peers and family as they get older. We are very interested in how stress and psychopathology in adolescence may contribute to metabolic and immunological processes associated with cognitive decline and dementia in middle adulthood.