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Transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illness through research
DIVISION OF INTRAMURAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS
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 Principal Investigators

Susan E. Swedo, M.D.
Susan Swedo Photo   Dr. Swedo is currently Chief Pediatrics & Developmental Neuroscience Branch at the NIMH. Dr. Swedo received her M.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed her pediatrics residency at Children's Memorial Hospital (Northwestern University) in Chicago. Dr. Swedo began her career as a hospital-based pediatrician in Evanston, IL and was later named Chief of Adolescent Medicine at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. She moved to the Washington area in 1986 and joined the staff of the Child Psychiatry Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she conducted research on childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Dr. Swedo and her NIMH team were the first to identify a new subtype of pediatric OCD, in which symptoms are triggered by cross-reactive antibodies produced in response to infections with Group A beta-hemolytic streptococci. The subgroup is known by the acronym, PANDAS, which stands for: Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections. This work led to the development of several novel therapies, including use of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and plasmapheresis to treat acutely ill children, and antibiotics prophylaxis to prevent strep-triggered neuropsychiatric exacerbations. Subsequent work has revealed that the cross-reactive antibodies are unique to the PANDAS subgroup and have biologic activity in the CNS.

In 2002, Dr. Swedo moved to the extramural side of NIMH to serve as Associate Director for Pediatric Research and Director of the Division of Pediatric Translational Research. She returned to the Pediatrics & Developmental Neuroscience Branch in May 2006 to establish a multi-disciplinary, clinical research team dedicated to studies of autism spectrum disorders and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Studies of childhood-onset OCD are also underway in the Branch.
Research Interests
The Pediatrics and Developmental Neuroscience Branch is comprised of a clinical research team investigating the etiology, phenomenology, pathophysiology and treatment of developmental disorders and childhood psychiatric disorders. Autism spectrum disorders and childhood-onset obsessive compulsive disorder (and particularly the PANDAS subtype) are of particular research interest.
Representative Selected Recent Publications:
  • Swedo, S., Leckman, F., Rose, N. From Research Subgroup to Clinical Syndrome: Modifying the PANDAS Criteria to Describe PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome). Pediatrics & Therapeutics Feb; 2(2). 2012. (View PDF)
  • Kalra SK, Swedo SE. Children with obsessive-compulsive disorder: are they just "little adults"? J Clin Invest. 119(4):737-46. 2009; doi: 10.1172/JCI37563. Epub 2009. Review. (View PDF)
  • Gozzi M, Nielson DM, Lenroot RK, Ostuni JL, Luckenbaugh DA, Thurm AE, Giedd JN, Swedo, SE. A Magnetization Transfer Imaging Study of Corups Callosum Myelination in Young Children with Autism. Biol Psychiatry. Epub ahead of print, 2012. (View PDF)
  • Buckley AW, Sassower K, Rodriguez AJ, Jennison K, Wingert K, Buckley J, Thurm A, Sato S, Swedo SE. An open label trial of Donepezil for enhancement of rapid eye movement sleep in young children with autism spectrum disorders. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 21(4):353-7. 2011. (View PDF)
  • Buckley AW, Rodriguez AJ, Jennison K, Buckley J, Thurm A, Sato S, Swedo SE. Rapid eye movement sleep percentage in children with autism compared with children with developmental delay and typical development. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 164(11):1032-7. 2010. (View PDF)

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Phone: 1-800-411-1222
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Lab Web Site: http://intramural.nimh.nih.gov/pdn/
   
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This page was last updated March 12, 2012.


 The Division of Intramural Research Programs is within the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) which is a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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