Disability Research News
More Than 1.5 Million Children Lost a Primary or Secondary Caregiver Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Addressing the impact of caregiver deaths critical for pediatric mental health, authors note.
Recent Funding Opportunities to Expand Access to Competitive, Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities
A new ODEP fact sheet, “Recent Funding Opportunities to Expand Access to Competitive, Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities,” highlights new funding and flexibilities for increasing access to CIE for youth and adults with disabilities.
Scientists Developing Inhalable COVID-19 Vaccine Spray
Scientists at Rice University are part of an effort to develop an inhalable COVID-19 vaccine. The project, led by scientists at Rutgers University and Rice and Northeastern University, has produced two vaccine strategies. Both are scalable and adaptable and can be transported and stored at room temperature.
ODEP at 20: Driving Change Through Workplace Accommodation Assistance
In a recent blog post, D.J. Hendricks, Ed.D., project director for the ODEP-funded Job Accommodation Network (JAN), reflected on the intersections between JAN’s history and the signing of the ADA 31 years ago and the establishment of ODEP in 2001. As part of this, Dr. Hendricks also shares how JAN has grown over the years and adapted to the changing needs of employers and workers due to advances in technology and other emerging issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than Two Hours of Daily Screen Time Linked to Cognitive, Behavioral Problems in Children Born Extremely Preterm
Among 6- and 7-year-olds who were born extremely preterm - before the 28th week of pregnancy - those who had more than two hours of screen time a day were more likely to have deficits in overall IQ, executive functioning (problem solving skills), impulse control and attention, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Similarly, those who had a television or computer in their bedrooms were more likely to have problems with impulse control and paying attention.
NIH-Funded Study Finds Gene Therapy May Restore Missing Enzyme in Rare Disease
A new study published in Nature Communications suggests that gene therapy delivered into the brain may be safe and effective in treating aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency. AADC deficiency is a rare neurological disorder that develops in infancy and leads to near absent levels of certain brain chemicals, serotonin and dopamine, that are critical for movement, behavior, and sleep. Children with the disorder have severe developmental, mood dysfunction including irritability, and motor disabilities including problems with talking and walking as well as sleep disturbances....
Scientists Discover Gene Therapy Provides Neuroprotection to Prevent Glaucoma Vision Loss
A form of gene therapy protects optic nerve cells and preserves vision in mouse models of glaucoma, according to research supported by NIH’s National Eye Institute. The findings suggest a way forward for developing neuroprotective therapies for glaucoma, a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness.
Words Matter: Language Can Reduce Mental Health and Addiction Stigma, NIH Leaders Say
In a perspective published in Neuropsychopharmacology, leaders from the National Institutes of Health address how using appropriate language to describe mental illness and addiction can help to reduce stigma and improve how people with these conditions are treated in health care settings and throughout society. The authors define stigma as negative attitudes toward people that are based on certain distinguishing characteristics.
NIH-Funded Study Shows Imaging After Mild Brain Injury May Predict Outcomes
A new study published in JAMA Neurology suggests that certain features that appear on CT scans help predict outcomes following mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Patterns detected on the scans may help guide follow up treatment as well as improve recruitment and research study design for head injury clinical trials.
LiveWell App Factory Call for Proposals
The NIDILRR-funded App Factory to Support Health and Function of People with Disabilities has opened its 2021-2022 annual App Factory grant competition to fund development of mobile information and communication technology applications to improve health and function of people with disabilities. The App Factory expects to fund at least three qualified software or hardware developers, with budgets between $10,000 and $80,000, to develop and release their assistive and accessibility apps for health and function. The submission deadline is August 15th.
Wireless Inclusive RERC Posts InsightOut Video
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) has posted a video, InsightOut. The video features Wireless RERC researchers sharing their observations and perspectives on advances in accessible and assistive wireless technologies, as well as challenges that remain in achieving the goals of inclusion and innovation.
Design of a 3D Printed Hybrid Mechanical Structure for a Hand Exoskeleton
New to the NARIC collection, this NIDILRR-funded study presents the design of a hybrid, three-dimensional (3D) printed mechanical structure of an assistive hand exoskeleton intended to actuate the fingers of stroke survivors.
ODEP at 20: Driving Change Through Customized Employment
In the blog, Rose Warner, a senior policy advisor in ODEP, discusses ODEP's work to promote customized employment through programs and resources over the past 20 years. She explains how the "discovery" process, which matches people's skills, interests and talents with employers' needs, is central to the customized employment strategy.
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment of People Who are Blind or Have Low Vision released the 4to24 App. The app is designed to help parents of youth with blindness or low vision support their child's transition from school through college and into the workforce. It can be used by parents of youth with blindness or low vision from 4 to 24 years old, and by youth with visual impairments from 16 to 24. The app is personalized based on vocational or educational goals and experience or skill levels.
Long-Term Survivorship May Reduce Psychosocial Challenges for Adults Aging with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury
This week's Research In Focus challenges the notion that people aging with spinal cord injury experience decline in all areas of life.
Early Experiences Have Larger Effect on Mood than More Recent Ones, Study Suggests
An individual's current mood may depend more on early events during an interaction than later ones -- a discovery that could have implications for mental health care.
Eating Disorder Behaviors Alter Reward Response in the Brain
Researchers have found that eating disorder behaviors, such as binge-eating, alter the brain’s reward response process and food intake control circuitry, which can reinforce these behaviors. Understanding how eating disorder behaviors and neurobiology interact can shed light on why these disorders often become chronic and could aid in the future development of treatments.
Massachusetts Task Force Aims to Connect Seniors to Communities to Combat Loneliness
The Boston Globe reports “loneliness has become ‘so much more prevalent and dire,’ says Caitlin Coyle, a research fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, who studies aging.” The Massachusetts Task Force to End Loneliness and Build Community, “which Coyle co-directs…aims to connect seniors with their communities.”
US Facing Shortage of Home Healthcare Workers
NPR reports that in much of the US, “there are too few workers” in the home healthcare field, and “the Maine home-based care program…has a waitlist 925 people long; those applicants sometimes lack help for months or years, according to officials in Maine.” Such a lack of help “leaves many people at increased risk of falls or not getting medical care and other dangers.” Leading Age CEO Katie Smith Sloan “says the workforce shortage is a nationwide dilemma.”
Study Links Sleep Apnea in Children to Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure in Teen Years
Children with obstructive sleep apnea are nearly three times more likely to develop high blood pressure when they become teenagers than children who never experience sleep apnea, according to a new study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health. However, children whose sleep apnea improves as they grow into adolescence do not show an increased chance of having high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
NIH Scientists Describe “Multi-Kingdom Dialogue” between Internal, External Microbiota
National Institutes of Health scientists and their collaborators have identified an internal communication network in mammals that may regulate tissue repair and inflammation, providing new insights on how diseases such as obesity and inflammatory skin disorders develop.
NIH Begins Study of COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy and Postpartum
A new observational study has begun to evaluate the immune responses generated by COVID-19 vaccines administered to pregnant or postpartum people. Researchers will measure the development and durability of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in people vaccinated during pregnancy or the first two postpartum months. Researchers also will assess vaccine safety and evaluate the transfer of vaccine-induced antibodies to infants across the placenta and through breast milk.
Scientists Unravel the Function of a Sight-Saving Growth Factor
Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have determined how certain short protein fragments, called peptides, can protect neuronal cells found in the light-sensing retina layer at the back of the eye. The peptides might someday be used to treat degenerative retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
NIH-Funded Study Shows Children Recycle Brain Regions when Acquiring New Skills
The research, by scientists at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, reveals new insights about vision development in the brain and could help inform prevention and treatment strategies for learning disorders.
'Roadmaps' of the Brain Reveal Regions Vulnerable to Alzheimer's Disease
The findings shed light on how tau proteins, which form tangled clumps that damage brain cells in Alzheimer's, move through the brain. The study also provides new insights into why some areas of the brain are more vulnerable to damage than other areas.