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1.  Improving Psychiatric Hospital Care for Pediatric Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities 
Autism Research and Treatment  2012;2012:685053.
Pediatric patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and/or intellectual disabilities (ID) are at greater risk for psychiatric hospitalization compared to children with other disorders. However, general psychiatric hospital environments are not adapted for the unique learning styles, needs, and abilities of this population, and there are few specialized hospital-based psychiatric care programs in the United States. This paper compares patient outcomes from a specialized psychiatric hospital program developed for pediatric patients with an ASD and/or ID to prior outcomes of this patient population in a general psychiatric program at a children's hospital. Record review data indicate improved outcomes for patients in the specialized program of reduced recidivism rates (12% versus 33%) and decreased average lengths of inpatient stay (as short as 26 days versus 45 days). Available data from a subset of patients (n = 43) in the specialized program showed a decrease in irritability and hyperactivity behaviors from admission to discharge and that 35 previously undetected ASD diagnoses were made. Results from this preliminary study support specialized psychiatric care practices with this population to positively impact their health care outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3420632  PMID: 22934179
2.  Functional and Effective Connectivity of Visuomotor Control Systems Demonstrated Using Generalized Partial Least Squares and Structural Equation Modeling 
Human brain mapping  2009;30(7):2232-2251.
Tasks employing parametric variation in movement rate are associated with predictable modulations in neural activity, and provide a convenient context for developing new techniques for system identification. Using a multistage approach, we explored the functional and effective connectivity of a visuomotor control system by combining generalized partial least squares (gPLS) with subsequent structural equation modeling (SEM) to reveal the relationships between neural activity and finger movement rate in an experiment involving visually-paced left or right thumb flexion. The gPLS in the first analysis stage automatically identified spatially distributed sets of BOLD-contrast signal changes using linear combinations of sigmoidal basis functions parameterized by kinematic variables. The gPLS provided superior sensitivity in detecting task-related functional activity patterns via a step-wise comparison with both classical linear modeling and behavior correlation analysis. These activity patterns were used in the second analysis stage, which employed SEM to characterize the areal regional interactions. The hybrid gPLS/SEM procedure allowed modeling of complex regional interactions in a network including primary motor cortex, premotor areas, cerebellum, thalamus, and basal ganglia, with differential activity modulations with respect to rate observed in the corticocerebellar and corticostriate subsystems. This effective connectivity analysis of visuomotor control circuits showed that both the left and right corticocerebellar and corticostriate circuits exhibited movement rate-related modulation. The identification of the functional connectivity among regions participating particular classes of behavior using gPLS, followed by the estimation of the effective connectivity using SEM is an efficient means to characterize the neural interactions underlying variations in sensorimotor behavior.
PMCID: PMC2831874  PMID: 19288462
motor cortex; cerebellum; sensorimotor; functional connectivity; effective connectivity; causal modeling; parametric analysis; neural network; handedness; asymmetry; hemispheric specialization; cerebellar loop; corticocerebellar; corticostriate; fMRI

Results 1-2 (2)