There is a mental health crisis worldwide greatly impacting the lives of children and their families. A massive number of children are experiencing devastating neuropsychiatric changes following illness. Because these diseases are believed to be organically based and immune-mediated, prompt diagnosis and medical treatment can yield better outcomes and restore happy childhoods. Families with children suffering from these conditions face a shocking lack of resources and understanding. Only through increased research will diagnostic and therapeutic care improve.
Currently, no consensus exists in the medical community on treatment of Childhood Post-Infectious Neuroimmune Disorders. Robust data collection is needed to elucidate the relationship between clinical presentation, timing and type of intervention, and outcome. Large-scale data analysis would bring consensus regarding treatment approaches for children with these conditions and transform clinical care into precision medicine, enabling an optimal match between patient and intervention.
A biomarker is a “physical indicator,” a crucial first step in the development of easily accessible diagnostic tools for use by pediatricians and clinicians worldwide. Without biomarkers, diagnosis remains clinical, based on presentation and history. This reduces the accuracy and speed of diagnosis and makes treatment more challenging, with devastating results for patients and their families. Innovations in biomarker testing will prompt the development and implementation of diagnostic guidelines.
Drawing from renowned scientific minds, we have fostered a network of domestic and international researchers from Harvard, MIT, Boston Children’s Hospital, MGH, Stanford University and beyond. This consortium will launch major research initiatives and facilitate collaboration between scientists and clinicians worldwide.
Clinicians world-wide need access to accurate information and up-to- date research to ensure an agreed upon clinical approach for patients, including diagnosis and best practice treatment guidelines.Improving information-sharing and collaboration between scientists and doctors will ensure that scientific discoveries impact clinical practices and clinical experience informs research.
Located in Boston with access to some of the most innovative neuroscience laboratories, MMF will establish a novel data collection and bio-banking process, utilizing a partnership between scientists at MGH and MIT and an international team of researchers. The data and biological samples will serve as a basis for research into the biological mechanism for these conditions. Sydenham’s Chorea, with known etiology and clear physical and psychiatric symptomatology, will serve as a model for these studies.