Back to Home Research Skip Navigation LinksResearch Research Connection

Research Connection

 

 

Boys Town Raises Awareness for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)<img alt="kids reading" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/kids-reading-rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/boys-town-raises-awareness-for-development-language-disorderBoys Town Raises Awareness for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)2023-10-20T05:00:00Z<p>​​​Today, October 20<sup>th</sup>, is Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Awareness Day. DLD Day was originated to bring attention to this neurodevelopmental condition that limits the learning, comprehension and expression of spoken language.</p><p> <a href="/research/faculty/karla-mcgregor">Karla McGregor, Ph.D.</a>, senior scientist and director at Boys Town's <a href="/services/center-for-childhood-deafness-language-learning">Center for Childhood Deafness Language, and Learning</a> answered a few common questions about DLD.<br><strong> </strong> <br> <strong>What is DLD?</strong><br>DLD is a neurodevelopmental condition that limits the learning, comprehension and expression of spoken language. Like all neurodevelopmental conditions, DLD is life-long, although many people with DLD have gained skills and ways of compensating that allow them to function well as adults.</p><p> <strong>What are common signs of DLD?</strong><br>DLD entails a spectrum of symptoms that vary from person to person and change with age. Problems with language patterns including the ways that words or sentences are structured, are common.</p><p>For a young child, the signs may include not being able to follow verbal instructions, using very short or incomplete sentences, or taking a long time to learn new words.</p><p>For older children, we see problems understanding classroom discourse and difficulties learning to read and spell, or to complete homework assignments. Even math can be hard because teachers explain mathematical concepts using language.</p><p>For adolescents and adults, organizing essays or reports, understanding fast-paced lectures that include less familiar terms and complex syntax, or following conversations that contain slang, figurative language (like metaphors), and verbal humor (like puns), can be difficult.<br></p><p>At all ages, DLD can affect social relationships and it is easy to understand why as spoken language is vitally important for negotiating, solving problems, making plans and expressing thoughts and feelings.</p><p> <strong>How is DLD diagnosed?</strong><br>DLD is diagnosed by a speech-language pathologist in a school or clinic. The process involves collecting a case history, observations of the individual's communication skills, and administration of tests.</p><p> <strong>What DLD resources does Boys Town National Research Hospital offer?</strong><br>Boys Town National Research Hospital (BTNRH) has two speech-language clinics <a href="/services/pediatric-speech-language-therapy">in Omaha, Nebraska</a>. Our staff speech-language pathologists are experts when it comes to diagnosing and treating DLD.</p><p>We also have a large language sciences research group that specializes in DLD research. <a href="/research/participate">Volunteering for language research opportunities</a>, even if you do not have DLD, is a great way to advance understanding of the condition.</p><p>Finally, BTNRH is the home of <a href="https://dldandme.org/" target="_blank">DLDandMe.org</a>, a website that offers written and audio summaries on various topics related to the disorder, that provide a valuable resource to parents, children and professionals.</p><p> <strong>DLD Around the World</strong><br>The theme for DLD Day 2023 is <em>DLD Around the World</em>, to emphasize that there are individuals with DLD from all language communities.</p><p>In recognition of the theme, <a href="https://dldandme.org/" target="_blank">DLDandMe.org</a> translated some of the most popular posts into the official languages of the United Nations which, in addition to English, are Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.</p><p> <strong>Myths About Developmental Language Disorder</strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/%d8%a3%d9%81%d9%83%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d8%ae%d8%a7%d8%b7%d8%a6%d8%a9-%d8%b9%d9%86-%d8%a7%d8%b6%d8%b7%d8%b1%d8%a7%d8%a8-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%84%d8%ba%d8%a9-%d8%a7%d9%84%d8%aa%d9%86%d9%85%d9%88%d9%8a/" target="_blank">Arabic</a></li><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/myths-about-dld/" target="_blank">English</a></li><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/idees-erronees-a-propos-du-tdl/" target="_blank">French</a></li><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/%d0%bd%d0%b5%d0%b2%d0%b5%d1%80%d0%bd%d1%8b%d0%b5-%d0%bf%d1%80%d0%b5%d0%b4%d1%81%d1%82%d0%b0%d0%b2%d0%bb%d0%b5%d0%bd%d0%b8%d1%8f-%d0%be-%d0%ba%d0%be%d0%bc%d0%bc%d1%83%d0%bd%d0%b8%d0%ba%d0%b0%d1%82/" target="_blank">Russian</a></li></ul><p> <strong>How is Developmental Language Disorder different from Autism Spectrum Disorder (and Other Neurodevelopmental Conditions)</strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/differences-between-asd-and-dld/" target="_blank">English</a></li><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/%e5%8f%91%e5%b1%95%e6%80%a7%e8%af%ad%e8%a8%80%e9%9a%9c%e7%a2%8d%e5%92%8c%e5%ad%a4%e7%8b%ac%e7%97%87%e7%9a%84%e5%8c%ba%e5%88%ab/" target="_blank">Mandarin</a></li><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/diferencias-entre-dld-y-el-trastorno-del-espectro-autista/" target="_blank">Spanish</a></li></ul><p> <strong>Developmental Language Disorder as a Spectrum</strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/developmental-language-disorder-as-a-spectrum/" target="_blank">English</a></li><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/el-trastorno-del-desarrollo-del-lenguaje-o-tdl-es-un-trastorno-del-espectro/" target="_blank">Spanish</a></li></ul><p> <strong>Do You have Developmental Language Disorder?</strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/do-you-have-developmental-language-disorder/" target="_blank">English</a></li><li><a href="https://dldandme.org/tienes-un-trastorno-del-desarrollo-del-lenguaje/" target="_blank">Spanish</a></li></ul><p> <strong>Sign Up for a Free Language and Hearing Screening</strong></p><p>If you're concerned about whether your child's speech and language are on track, scheduled a free speech, language and hearing screening at <a href="/services/pediatric-speech-language-therapy/speech-language-screening">BTNRH</a>. Both in-person and virtual screenings are available.</p>​<br>
Boys Town’s Kaylah Lalonde, Ph.D., Awarded the Early Career Research from the American Auditory Society<img alt="" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Kaylah-Lalonde-rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/kaylah-lalonde-awarded-early-career-researchBoys Town’s Kaylah Lalonde, Ph.D., Awarded the Early Career Research from the American Auditory Society2023-04-24T05:00:00Z<p>​Kaylah Lalonde, Ph.D., Director of the Audiovisual Speech Processing Laboratory, was awarded the Early Career Research Award at the 50<sup>th</sup> Annual Scientific and Technology Conference of the American Auditory Society (AAS) held in Scottsdale, Arizona, in early March.</p><p>Dr. Lalonde's primary line of study focuses on audiovisual speech enhancement, the way listeners use visual cues on a speaker's face to help understand speech and how the use of said cues changes over development from infancy to young adulthood. She also studies how pediatric hearing loss may change the way children learn to use those cues. </p><p>Dr. Lalonde attended this conference as a graduate student and feels fortunate to have been able to share about her own experience to students in attendance.</p><p>“I just felt so honored to be receiving this award, and it allowed me to talk to the students in the room about my journey and how we don't always feel like we are the most impressive, but that doesn't mean we aren't doing a great job and progressing in our careers and in how we contribute to the field," said Dr. Lalonde. </p><p>Dr. Lalonde first learned about Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Center for Hearing and Speech Perception while attending those early AAS conferences. Boys Town has historically had a significant number of scientists presenting research at the annual conference, so Boys Town was on Dr. Lalonde's radar early. </p><p>Being a Boys Town researcher may have helped Dr. Lalonde receive this prestigious award. </p><p>“Being at Boys Town has allowed me to be more productive than I might have been in a faculty position at a university," said Dr. Lalonde. “Being able to collaborate with so many people within Boys Town National Research Hospital has also been a big contributor to productivity."</p><p>Dr. Lalonde hopes that this productivity and the work being done with children who have hearing loss will change the way that we diagnose and treat these children. In the long term, it may even inform the signal processing that happens in hearing aids.</p><p>Also honored at the AAS conference was Monita Chatterjee, Ph.D., Director of the Auditory Prostheses and Perception Laboratory, who received the Carhart Memorial Award. </p><p>“Monita is my internal mentor," said Dr. Lalonde, “so that was really special to me."</p><p>To learn more about Dr. Chatterjee's award, <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/monita-chatterjee-receives-award">click here</a>. <br></p><p> <br> </p>​<br>
Boys Town Becomes the First Pediatric Hospital in Nebraska With Level 4 Epilepsy Program<img alt="Zax Epilepsy Story" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Zax-Epilepsy-Story-rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/Level-4-Epilepsy-ProgramBoys Town Becomes the First Pediatric Hospital in Nebraska With Level 4 Epilepsy Program2023-04-10T05:00:00Z<p>​​For years, Boys Town National Research Hospital has led the region in treating complex epilepsy diagnoses, but in March of 2023, the <a href="/services/pediatric-neuroscience/epilepsy-program">Boys Town Pediatric Epilepsy Program</a> received an official level 4 accreditation through the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, certifying our comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment of pediatric epilepsy patients.</p><p>“We are so honored and excited to be the first pediatric-focused program in our state with a level 4 epilepsy center accreditation," said <a href="/physicians/deepak-madhavan">Deepak Madhavan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and VP of Medical Affairs</a>​ at Boys Town National Research Hospital. “We feel that this accreditation confirms and acknowledges the quality and comprehensive nature of the pediatric epilepsy care we provide here at Boys Town."</p><h2> What is a level 4 epilepsy center?<br></h2><p>Level 4 epilepsy centers serve as regional or national referral facilities for patients with complex epilepsies. To receive accreditation, programs must provide complex forms of intensive neurodiagnostic monitoring as well as extensive medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatment. Boys Town is one of a handful of centers across the country that is officially certified as a level 4 center and the only pediatric-focused hospital in the region to claim the accreditation.</p><h2> Complex Epilepsy Care at Boys Town</h2><p>The <a href="/services/pediatric-neuroscience/epilepsy-program">Boys Town Pediatric Epilepsy Program</a> offers complete evaluation for surgery, including intracranial electrodes, and provides a broad range of surgical procedures for epilepsy. ​Our fellowship-trained team includes pediatric epileptologists, specialized neurologists and board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons. Boys Town is the only facility in the world with <a href="/news/boys-town-leads-research-efforts-in-pediatric-neuroscience">two next-generation MEG (magnetoencephalography) systems</a> capable of pinpointing the area of the brain causing the patient's seizures, down to the millimeter. This allows our neurosurgeons to have the most complete picture possible going into surgery.</p><p>In addition to our advanced surgical capability, the Boys Town Pediatric Epilepsy Program is supported by a host of advanced diagnostic and treatment methods.<br></p><ul><li> The ​ <a href="/services/pediatric-neuroscience/epilepsy-program/epilepsy-monitoring-unit">Boys Town Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)</a> is one of the most technically advanced pediatric-focused inpatient imaging units in the region.</li><li>We have genetic neurologists on hand to diagnose genetic epilepsy syndromes.</li><li>Our patients have access to vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) and responsive neurostimulation (RNS) devices when medications can't control epileptic seizures.</li></ul><p>Add to that our team of behavioral health experts and dietitians, and each patient ends up with a life-changing treatment plan that is tailored to their needs.</p><p>“We want our community and broader region to know that if a child has a tough-to-treat epilepsy diagnosis, we are here with the latest medical and surgical options for them," Dr. Madhavan said. “Our pediatric epileptologists and pediatric neurosurgeons are committed to providing the highest possible care for kids here in Nebraska and the surrounding regions."​​​<br></p><h2>Request a Pediatric Neurology Patient Referral Guide</h2><p>Fill out the form below to get a digital or mailed copy of our clinic brochure and provider directory. </p> <iframe class="hosp-form-referral" src="https://health.boystownhospital.org/neurology-referral-guide" width="100%" style="height:845px;"></iframe>​<br>
Boys Town’s Monita Chatterjee, Ph.D., Receives the American Auditory Society’s Carhart Memorial Award<img alt="" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Monita-ChatterJee-rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/monita-chatterjee-receives-awardBoys Town’s Monita Chatterjee, Ph.D., Receives the American Auditory Society’s Carhart Memorial Award2023-04-07T05:00:00Z<p>Boys Town National Research Hospital's Monica Chatterjee, Ph.D., Director of the Auditory Prostheses and Perception Laboratory, delivered the Carhart Memorial Lecture and received the Carhart Memorial Award at the 50<sup>th</sup> Annual Scientific & Technology Conference in Scottdale, Arizona, in early March.</p><p>Established by the American Auditory Society (AAS), the Carhart Memorial Lecture and Award were created to honor Professor Raymond Carhart as the “Father of Audiology." The award recognizes one scientist whose current research is having a significant impact on clinical practices and auditory science and whose career is promised to have lasting impact. </p><p>Dr. Chatterjee's recent research and Carhart Lecture presentation revolved around the challenges people with cochlear implants (CI) face when trying to hear pitch, or how people are feeling from their speech. Pitch is often the dominant acoustic cue for identifying mood or emotion, and CI patients' problems identifying pitch cues can lead to difficulties in understanding emotions.</p><p>“We've been working with children who are congenitally deaf and have a cochlear implant and with adults who had hearing throughout the period of language development and later lost their hearing, resulting in a cochlear implant," said Dr. Chatterjee, “Compared to hearing counterparts, both populations show significant deficits in their ability to identify spoken emotions. There's also a lot of individual variability, and we are currently studying the sources of this variability in order to develop effective treatments for individual patients." </p> <br> <p>An individual's ability to identify a speaker's mood or emotion and convey emotion in their own speech can impact their social interactions within their families, schools and workplaces. People who interact with CI patients often assume they have “normal" hearing and can understand pitch, which is not the case. Therefore, misunderstandings can easily happen when a CI listener doesn't perceive a sad or angry pitch to a voice or doesn't effectively verbalize their own emotions. </p><p>These miscues are important because they may cause isolation for the CI patient when spoken interactions don't go well. In both children and adults with cochlear implants, quality-of-life measures have been shown to be lower in those who scored lower in spoken emotion perception.</p><p>​“It's hard to think of children having poorer quality of life for any reason," said Dr. Chatterjee. “But if future studies show that poorer emotion perception actually has a negative impact on quality of life, and if our research can do something about that…it's very motivating for me."​</p>
Groundbreaking Imaging Suite Opens at Boys Town National Research Hospital<img alt="OPM Patient" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/opm-banner-830.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/revolutionary-opm-imaging-suite-grand-openingGroundbreaking Imaging Suite Opens at Boys Town National Research Hospital2023-01-18T06:00:00Z​ ​<p>​​​​​​​At Boys Town National Research Hospital, the emphasis has and continues to be providing extraordinary care for children and their families. On December 15th, Boys Town took another large step toward that aim.</p><p>Tony Wilson, Ph.D., the director of the Institute for Human Neuroscience at Boys Town, and his team of re​nowned scientists became the second of only two facilities in the world to install a high-resolution Cerca® OPM-MEG (optically-pumped magnetometer – magnetoencephalogram) system. The OPM-MEG (or OPM) system is the most up to date MEG technology in the world, and the team at the Institute for Human Neuroscience are well equipped to capitalize on this opportunity. Not only are they the world’s leading institute for published research utilizing MEG technology, but they are also the leading research entity in MEG study funding in the United States, and the only institute in the world to house two next-generation MEG systems. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Institute was chosen from among many applicants from across the country to receive a high-end instrumentation grant (S10OD032468) from the National Institute of Health to fund this most recent technology, revolutionizing child and adolescent brain research. </p><h2>OPM = A Wearable MEG Scanner</h2><p>OPM (optically pumped magnetometry) is the first wearable MEG device that will allow researchers to study the brain activity of children from birth to 5 years old. The OPM system consists of a series of Lego-sized sensors attached to a helmet that can be worn by infants and toddlers, allowing them to move around and interact with their environment while scientists directly record their brain activity in real-time. The latest generation of high-resolution OPM has 128 channels, which provide enough brain coverage to look in-depth at where and how brain activity is generated in our youngest children. Similar technology is used in the next-generation MEG systems with the exception that traditional MEG sensors need to be cryogenically cooled, which means the sensors are fixed and cannot be worn on the head, limiting participant movement during scanning.</p><h2>Upcoming OPM Studies</h2><p>The first study Boys Town plans to conduct will be looking at infants in the first couple of months of life. Studies have been done on how brain structure changes during this time, but how that affects brain function has been beyond study until now. “We'll be able to observe the reactions within their brains as they are literally gaining awareness of the world," said Dr. Wilson, the Director of the Institute for Human Neuroscience and principal investigator of the Dynamic Imaging of Cognition and Neuromodulation (DICoN) laboratory. “We will be watching as they gain awareness of their parents and as they begin processing touch and language for the first time.</p><p>Max Kurz, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Physiology of Walking & Engineering Rehabilitation (PoWER) laboratory within Institute, plans to study how small children learn to control motor behavior and how the brains of young children with cerebral palsy develop differently than typically developing children. Children with cerebral palsy usually do not get formally diagnosed until they miss multiple motor milestones through development. These types of OPM studies will enable scientists to see and predict these missed milestones much earlier, and eventually use novel therapeutic interventions to prevent these milestones from being missed.</p><h2>The Future of OPM</h2><p>Currently, the OPM is only authorized for research use. However, following FDA approval, the OPM will open medical avenues that have been previously unavailable. For example, MEG is currently approved for use on patients with epilepsy to precisely map areas of seizure origin prior to surgery. Unfortunately, many infants and toddlers with epilepsy require surgery before they are old enough to lie still in a traditional MEG scanner. Yet, with wearable OPM technology, infants and toddlers will now be able to have the location of their epilepsy precisely and noninvasively mapped prior to surgery, which means that surgeons will have a much clearer picture of where to perform the procedure than ever before. This is just one of the many clinical applications for OPM that will expand treatment for very young patients.​</p><h2>A Quantum Leap in Scanning</h2><p>The concept for the OPM system was conceived at the University of Nottingham, England in the Nobel-Prize-winning Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Center. Cerca Magnetics, a company formed by University of Nottingham scientists, was developed in 2020 to facilitate the development and manufacturing of the first wearable human OPM system.</p><p>The Cerca team worked in collaboration with QuSpin in the United States, to develop and fabricate the modern sensors that are used in Cerca OPM systems. Major benefits of QuSpin sensors are their small size, lightweight, and portability, which allows researchers to configure custom helmets for all ages that allow for placement of the sensors directly on the scalp.</p><p>Cerca researchers also worked with Magnetic Shields Limited in England, to build cutting-edge magnetically-shielded environment. These custom environments provide an ideal setting allowing scientists to take advantage of the sensitivity of OPM sensors without magnetic interference from the surrounding environment such as nearby traffic or other machinery. The collaboration between Cerca, QuSpin, the University of Nottingham, and Magnetic Shields Limited have led to the creation of the most sensitive, highest-density OPM systems currently available in the world.</p><p>​The only other high-resolution OPM-MEG system aside from Boys Town is housed at the University of Nottingham, England.</p><h2>Watch the OPM System in Action!<br></h2><div class="embed-container"> <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/786813422?h=0efc5c520d&badge=0&autopause=0&player_id=0&app_id=58479" frameborder="0" title="OPM Neuroscience Long Video.mp4" style="top:0px;left:0px;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe>​ </div>​<br>
An “Experimental Station” - Youth Care Research at Boys Town<img alt="" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/experimentalStation-rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/experimental-stationAn “Experimental Station” - Youth Care Research at Boys Town2022-09-13T05:00:00Z<p>This year the Boys Town Child and Family Translational Research Center (TRC) is celebrating 30 years of Youth Care research publications with our 2021 Applied Research Bibliography. The bibliography contains 566 citations and abstracts of published Youth Care research which includes peer-reviewed journal articles, books, and book chapters. This anniversary provided us an opportunity to reflect on the history and heritage of Youth Care research at Boys Town.</p><p>The spirt of research at Boys Town goes all the way back to our founder, Father Edward J. Flanagan. In 1939, Fr. Flanagan said, “I like to think of Boys Town as an experimental station in youth work – a starting point from which we adults may gain a better and a finer knowledge of the problems of youth and the treatment of unusual cases that may arise”. Fr. Flanagan learned from the boys he cared for and then applied this knowledge to inform the rest of society on how to improve care for vulnerable children. This approach was later referred to as participatory action research. Today, we continue this approach at the TRC as we partner with children, families, and our practitioners to use research to improve the quality of child and family services and help us address the complex problems that we now face in society. </p><p>Youth Care research at Boys Town has evolved over several decades. In the 1970s, Boys Town was a replication site for a research-based model of residential care called the Teaching-Family Model, that was developed at the University of Kansas. This later became the Boys Town Family Home Program that exists today. One of the visionaries at that time, Dr. Dan Daly, realized that a formal research institute was needed to continue to support Boys Town’s Youth Care programs into the future. When asked why Youth Care research was started at Boys Town, he said, “First, we wanted to assess the long-term effectiveness of the Boys Town program. Second, we wanted to understand which elements of the program were most responsible for its success. Such understanding allowed us to successfully replicate effective programs across the country. Third, the changing needs of children and families dictated that we continue to develop and innovate. Research helped us both in program development and in testing the effectiveness of innovations.”</p><p>As a result, many research studies and partnerships followed, resulting in several of the other services Boys Town has today such as Common Sense Parenting®, In-Home Family Services®, Well-Managed Schools®, and the Residential Treatment Center. In addition to developing new programs, Youth Care research also helped to create and refine the systems of administration, training, consultation, and evaluation that are involved in routine monitoring and scaling up programs across the country. Today, this practice-research partnership is a key ingredient of making sure Boys Town programs are effective and replicable. </p><p>Boys Town’s On the Way Home® (OTWH) aftercare program is one example of how Boys Town has used research to evolve and meet the needs of children and families. The need for aftercare was discovered via routine follow-up surveys administered to caregivers of children who resided in our Family Home Program. Caregivers shared with us that they recognized the tremendous progress their children made at Boys Town, but the transitions back home and to school for their children were difficult. They told us they weren’t prepared to provide the same level of support the children had received at Boys Town and needed aftercare supports to help. </p><p>This valuable information inspired a partnership between Boys Town and Drs. Alex Trout and Mike Esptein at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln to design and test an aftercare intervention with a research project that was funded by the United States Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences (Grants # R324A12060, R324B070031). Ideas were collected from youth, caregivers, and teachers which resulted in the creation of the OTWH® Consultant position -- an individual who is trained to provide family, school, and homework aftercare support. Evaluations of OTWH® showed it was effective in helping children remain at home with their family and in school after they departed residential programs. </p><p>Currently, <em>OTWH®</em> is on two national clearinghouses, the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) and the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse (PSC). These clearinghouses are resources that provide the public and state agencies with a way to find effective programs for children and families. Additionally, states can access federal dollars for using programs that are on the PSC. The recent addition of <em>OTWH®</em> on the PSC will improve access to a quality aftercare service for children and families because we listened to caregivers who shared their valuable experiences and input through research. For more information about <em>OTWH®</em> please visit: <a href="https://cebc4cw.org/program/on-the-way-home-otwh/" target="_blank">cebc4cw.org/program/on-the-way-home-otwh/</a> and <a href="https://preventionservices.acf.hhs.gov/programs/398/show" target="_blank">preventionservices.acf.hhs.gov/programs/398/show</a>.</p><p>The current evidence-based status for other Boys Town programs can be found here: boystownhospital.org/research/translational-research/evidence-based-registry-status.</p><p> <em>OTWH®</em> is just one example of the many research products that have been created over the years to improve the quality of services for children and families. To learn more about current TRC projects go to: <a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/translational-research/current-studies">boystownhospital.org/research/translational-research/current-studies</a>. </p><p>As we move forward, the TRC will continue to partner with children, families, practitioners, researchers, and other professionals to help identify solutions to today’s complex problems in this “experimental station” we call Boys Town. We hope you will take some time to view our Publications page where you will find our 2021 Applied Research Bibliography and other research materials that may be of interest (<a href="https://www.boystownhospital.org/research/translational-research/publications">boystownhospital.org/research/translational-research/publications)</a>.</p>
Boys Town Research Paper Named Editor’s Choice by The Journal of Pathology<img alt="Dom Cosgrove" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Dom-Cosgrove.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/research-paper-named-editors-choiceBoys Town Research Paper Named Editor’s Choice by The Journal of Pathology2022-09-06T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​​​​<img src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Dom-Cosgrove.jpg" alt="Dom Cosgrove" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px 10px;width:150px;height:150px;" />A recent article by Dominic Cosgrove, Ph.D., Senior Director of the Boys Town National Research Hospital® Research Center, and his team was featured in the September issue of <em>The Journal of Pathology</em> and has been selected by the Editor-in-Chief to be his Editor's Choice. The Editor's Choice award is given to the article that the editor feels is the “must read" of the issue. Dr. Cosgrove's article presents recent findings in the ongoing research of Alport syndrome, that will enable scientists to have a better understanding of the molecular mechanism of the disease.</p><p>Alport syndrome is a genetic condition characterized by kidney disease, hearing loss and eye abnormalities. It is caused by an inherited defect in type IV collagen, a structural component of basement membranes that is needed for the normal function of the kidneys, ears and eyes. This rare disease occurs in approximately 1 in 2,500 to 5,000 births.</p><p>“People with Alport syndrome experience a progressive loss of kidney function and frequently develop sensorineural hearing loss, caused by abnormalities of the inner ear," said Dr. Cosgrove. “In 1991, when I first joined Boys Town, Alport syndrome was the first and only disease that had a known genetic cause."</p><p>Dr. Cosgrove's research solves a long mystery regarding a role for collagen receptors in Alport syndrome by identifying type III collagen in capillary basement membranes of the ear and the kidney that causes progressive damage to these organs. His findings open the door to a better understanding of the mechanism of the disease. This new understanding is particularly significant as it will enable pharmaceutical companies to better treat those dealing with the disease through the establishment of a drug therapies that addresses the kidney function and hearing loss in patients with Alport syndrome.</p><p>Boys Town congratulates Dr. Cosgrove and his team on this important discovery that will lead to more effective treatment for those suffering hearing loss due to Alport syndrome.</p><p> <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/path.5969">https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/path.5969</a>​</p>
Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids on the Way by Fall<img alt="" src="https://assets.boystown.org/hosp_peds_images/Over-the-Counter-Hearing-Aids-banner.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://www.boystownhospital.org/news/over-the-counter-hearing-aids-on-the-way-by-fallOver-the-Counter Hearing Aids on the Way by Fall2022-08-24T05:00:00Z<p>​A new class of hearing aids that do not require a hearing exam or prescription will be available over-the-counter by mid-October, due to a recent ruling by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The devices are intended for adults with mild to moderate hearing problems. The FDA estimates that nearly 30 million adults in America could potentially benefit from hearing aid use, but only about one-fifth of those individuals currently use them.</p><p>At Boys Town Audiology, we have more than 40 years of experience in translational hearing research. Our highly trained staff of licensed and certified audiologists are available to consult with patients about their hearing aid options and can determine the type of device that is best for them. </p><p>We asked Dr. Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at Boys Town National Research Hospital, where he is also the Director of the Audibility, Perception and Cognition Laboratory, and chairman of the American Academy of Audiology’s Research Committee​, to share some important facts to know if you think you are a candidate for a hearing aid.<br><strong> </strong><br><strong>How can you determine if you need a prescription hearing aid or if an over-the-counter option would work for you?</strong><br>Over-the-counter hearing aids were specifically developed for people who have mild to moderate hearing problems.  Prescription hearing aids, however, are designed to assist patients with a wide range of hearing loss and are fully customized based on each individual's needs.</p><p>While an over-the-counter hearing aid does not require a hearing test, Boys Town recommends working with an audiologist to determine what kind of device will provide the best solution for you. A hearing test also can reveal if the hearing problems are resulting from other issues like wax in the ear or a medical problem.</p><p> <strong>Why is getting a device that works for your specific needs so important?</strong><br>There is no “one size fits all" in hearing aids. Over-the-counter hearing aids were developed to help people with a limited range of hearing problems, just as over-the-counter reading glasses help those with minor vision issues.  Many people, however, have too much hearing loss to benefit from these devices or simply need more features and customization than an over-the-counter device can provide.  Individuals currently using prescription hearing aids will continue to prefer the customization that is available by working with a professional who can adjust the device to their specific needs. <br><strong> </strong><br><strong>How do you know if a hearing aid is covered by insurance?</strong><br>Many insurance companies have benefits for prescription hearing aids.  Over-the-counter hearing aids are not currently covered by insurance.<br><strong> </strong><br><strong>Can hearing aids be returned or repaired?</strong><br>When purchasing a hearing aid, it is important to investigate if the device offers a return policy and if any warranty coverage is included. Over-the-counter devices may not have a usable life and may have limitations on whether they can be returned or repaired. Prescription hearing aids, however, can be returned and repaired. At Boys Town, we offer a minimum of a 50-day return policy and a 4-year warranty on our prescription hearing aids and most have a usable life up to 5 years. In addition, they can be refitted if hearing changes. </p><p>At Boys Town, we welcome the arrival of over-the-counter hearing aids. While not a replacement for customized, prescription hearing aids, these new devices will benefit the millions of Americans with hearing loss, who currently do not use hearing aids.​<br></p>