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Participate in CdLS Research

Participate in Research

The following research studies are recruiting participants. If you are interested in participating in a study and a contact name is not listed, please call the Foundation at 800.753.2357 for information.

Epilepsy Characteristics in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome

Researchers are recruiting individuals with CdLS for a study on epilepsy. They are  looking for children/adults with CdLS and epilepsy (defined as two or more lifetime seizures).

The study involves completion of a short online survey and submission of certain medical records (copies of latest brain MRI, EEG, and neuropsychological testing, if available). The purpose is to better understand epilepsy within CdLS, anti-seizure medications that are helpful in CdLS, and factors that contribute to epilepsy severity.

The study is titled "Epilepsy Characteristics in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome". It is approved by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine IRB (NA_00093750). The Principal Investigator is Marco Grados, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

To participate, please contact Sid Srivastava or Marco Grados:

Sid Srivastava, M.D.
Fellow, Child Neurology and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Kennedy Krieger Institute
E-mail: sid@jhmi.edu

Marco Grados, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Phone: 443-287-2291
E-mail: mjgrados@jhmi.edu

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Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction in CdLS Study

Researchers including Lynne Kerr, MD, a CdLS Foundation Board Member, Antonie Kline, MD, the CdLS Foundation Medical Director, and Amie Jones, M.D., and Philip Fischer, MD, autonomic nervous system specialists from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, are conducting a survey. The autonomic nervous system is that part of the peripheral nervous system that controls functions usually below the level of our consciousness, such as digestion, heart rate, perspiration, and swallowing.

This is a preliminary study to gather information about autonomic nervous system dysfunction in individuals with CdLS. Symptoms may include reflux, dizziness, low blood pressure, skin mottling, temperature instability, and others.

Aggregated information will be shared with the families who have responded and with the CdLS Foundation in the hope that it will help individuals with CdLS and their families and their primary care providers in understanding autonomic nervous system dysfunction.

If there is reason to believe that there is substantial nervous system dysfunction in these individuals based on the information received, additional research is planned.

To participate in the survey, go https://redcap1.mayo.edu/surveys/index.php?hash=28f0b864598a1291557bed248a998d4e.

View the consent form

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Yale Child Study Autism Program, Yale University School of Medicine

Researchers at the Yale Child Study Center Autism Program in New Haven, CT, are launching a pilot research project on social and emotional development of children with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome 5 years or younger. Similar studies are being carried out with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disorders. The aim of the study is to evaluate mechanisms that give rise to social and emotional difficulties in children with CdLS. As part of their participation in the project, the children will undergo FREE evaluation of their cognitive, language, and social functioning using standard assessments and eye-tracking measures. Participating families receive a written report summarizing the clinical assessment results and recommendations for treatment.

For more information please contact Amy Margolis at 203.785.6237. www.childstudycenter.yale.edu/yescog.

Principal Investigator: Katarzyna Chawarska, PhD
Co-Investigators: Suzanne Macari, PhD, and Frederick Shic, PhD

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Extraction of neuronal stem cells from dental pulp for human neurogenetic disease studies

Don’t throw away those lost teeth. Dr. Lawrence T. Reiter at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis is conducting a study to find out if nerve cells can be grown from the dental pulp of people with various neurogenetic conditions, including Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.

Nerve cells are the key cells that function in the brain. If you take part in this program, you might help researchers develop new treatments for patients with autism and autism related syndrome, like CdLS.

To help with this research, you will be asked to answer several questions about your child’s genetic status. Dr. Reiter will provide a tube of cell growth solution and a prepaid return envelope to you at no cost. If you agree to take part, you will only need to provide a fresh tooth, either extracted or one that fell out on its own. The tooth should be placed in the cell growth solution and mailed right away. The tooth must arrive at Dr. Reiter’s laboratory no more than 48 hours after the time it came out of the mouth. 

To request a kit or learn more about taking part, please email .

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Family Opinions towards a Multispecialty Clinic Approach for the Individualized Care of Patients with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome and Related Diagnoses

Families who have not visited The Center for CdLS at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia or Greater Baltimore Medical Center can help improve CdLS multispecialty clinics for your family and others!

The CdLS and Related Diagnoses Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is inviting you to join an exciting research study. Parents and guardians of children with CdLS and related diagnoses who have not visited The Center for CdLS at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia or Greater Baltimore Medical Center are needed to complete a brief anonymous survey. We want to know about your experiences with your child’s current healthcare. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete.

Please do not take this survey if you already completed one at The CdLS National Family Conference in Costa Mesa, California this past June.

Please click the following link to begin: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/C53RMDD

Thank you for your participation!

The Center for CdLS and Related Diagnoses
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

If you have any questions please contact Kathleen at kjanuary@arcadia.edu.

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Association between brain MRI findings and behavior in clinically diagnosed patients with CdLS

This study will investigate central nervous system findings on brain MRIs and compare them to behavioral aspects (such as aggression, mood disorders, self-injury, sleep disturbances) of patients with CdLS. The study will consist of parents answering a behavioral questionnaire (via phone or face to face) and signing a release for us to obtain a copy of previously obtained brain MRI scans and medical records.  Medical history and physical exam findings will also be compared to findings on MRI. Similar studies have been carried out in other developmental syndromes including Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome. If characteristic trends can be found in CdLS, specific medical recommendations may be able to be made, preventative measures taken, and complications avoided, or, at the least, prospective information given to families.  

If you or your child is interested in participating, please email for more information. Your participation would be greatly appreciated.

Principal Investigator: Antonie D. Kline, M.D., Director of Pediatric Genetics, Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Medical Director of the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation

Co-Principal Investigators: Tamanna Ratti M.B., Ch.B., Pediatric Resident, Children’s Hospital at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore

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Airway Management of Children with CdLS

Dr. Yvon Bryan, an anesthesiologist at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC, and his research team are currently studying airway-related problems in individuals with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS).

At present, there are few studies published regarding airway and anesthetic techniques in children with the syndrome. Results from Dr. Bryan’s research survey will supplement current studies and facilitate the formation of specific airway and anesthetic techniques to reduce problems with oxygenation (getting oxygen into the body), ventilation (removing carbon dioxide) and intubation. This may be especially helpful when children require sedation and/or general anesthesia for repeated procedures or surgery. If your child has received sedation or general anesthesia for a procedure or surgery, considering taking a few minutes to complete the survey.

For questions about the survey, contact or

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Study of Empirical Efficacy and Side Effects of Behavioral Medications Used in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome

Principal Investigator: Marco Grados, M.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

This project will study the efficacy and side effects of medications used for behavioral problems such as aggression, mood changes, and self-injury in children with CdLS ages 5-17 years. The project consists of a survey to be filled out by parents or caretakers about medications used for behavioral problems, whether the medication helped or not, and what side effects were encountered. To participate, contact:

Marco Grados, M.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Phone: 443-287-2291;

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Behavioral Phenotype and Genotype-Phenotype of CdLS

Principal Investigator: Marco Grados, M.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Through interviews and surveys of parents whose children have CdLS, this project will identify maladaptive behaviors that can accompany CdLS. The goal is a better understanding of the behavioral and psychiatric dimensions of CdLS that will help families find appropriate therapies for their children. Participants must be between 5 and 17 years of age. To participate contact:

Marco Grados, M.D., M.P.H., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Phone: 443-287-2291;

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Thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts) in CdLS

Principal Investigator: Michele P. Lambert, M.D., Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

This study will try to identify patients with thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts, which may put them at risk for abnormal bleeding) and define the scope of the problem (how many patients with CdLS have thrombocytopenia) by reviewing medical records of enrolled patients. Blood samples will be analyzed to see if low platelet counts are due to platelet destruction or poor production. The goal is a better understanding of this potentially life-threatening problem in order to develop targeted treatments. Individuals should have a low platelet count to participate in the study.

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