A-T Clinical Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Kennedy Krieger Institute
The A-T Clinical Center has been invaluable to us. It provides us with the latest information and therapies for current medical care, a resource for our local doctors and proactive care to continue Andrew's health. Touching base every three years or so has been critical for our family. By being educated and reaffirming Andrew's needs, we are better able to advocate for him and provide information to the local doctors, clinicians and educators who work with him every day.
Mother to Andrew, age 12
Warwick, Rhode Island
For an appointment, contact:
Jenny Wright, RN
In 1995, the A-T Children's Project established and funded a multidisciplinary clinical center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland to focus solely on the evaluation and treatment of patients with ataxia-telangiectasia. This center provides a centralized clearinghouse for information about management strategies so that doctors in the U.S. and around the world do not need to struggle with A-T in a vacuum.
The team of physicians includes specialists in immunology, neurology, pulmonology, swallowing, nutrition, physical therapy and adaptive services. An A-T family may typically visit this center every two or three years for a one-day protocol to fully evaluate the patient's condition. Of course, whenever an A-T patient's condition becomes critical, the clinic can immediately use its experience with A-T to assist the home physician in designing a treatment.
The A-T Clinical Center is important to A-T research as well, as clinical experience always assists scientists in devising new research strategies. In addition, as potential therapies are developed, having a medical center with natural history data and a patient base already in existence makes the implementation of clinical trials much easier.
Some Accomplishments So Far...
Since its establishment, the A-T Clinical Center has made significant progress in defining the symptoms of A-T, developing guidelines for best practices and identifying areas in need of further research.
The A-T Clinical Center has:
- identified dysfunctional swallowing with aspiration as a critical cause of pulmonary disease,
- developed tools for assessing the long-term neurological deterioration of A-T,
- described a relatively common problem of dysgammaglobulinemia that may have important implications for understanding the immunologic perturbations of A-T,
- defined growth abnormalities in children with A-T with the aim of developing a hypothesis for their cause,
- looked at the relationship between vitamin A levels and lymphopenia in children with A-T -- a study undertaken because vitamin A deficiency is a common factor linking growth failure and lymphopenia,
- identified a new hazard to older individuals with A-T: the development of progressive central nervous system vascular abnormalities,
- collected and analyzed data on the difficulties with cognitive performance that A-T patients face as they age, and
- published more than twenty papers in peer-reviewed, scientific journals including a recent state-of-the-art paper on pulmonary disease and A-T.
A-T Clinical Center
(Established and funded by the A-T Children's Project)
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
600 N. Wolfe St.
Room CMSC 1102
Baltimore, Maryland 21287-3923
Director: Howard M. Lederman, MD, PhD