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University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota (UMN) began enrolling families in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study in December 2016. More than 300 families have joined the study, and we are so grateful for their partnership and dedication! Led by Drs. Monica Luciana and William Iacono, the ABCD team at UMN has enrolled twin participants through the Minnesota Twin Registry at the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research (MCTFR), several sets of triplets, and a family with five children, including two sets of twins! The UMN ABCD team has also recruited over 130 nontwin participants from the local community. UMN leads the twin hub of the ABCD Consortium, which includes three additional sites at Virginia Commonwealth University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Colorado.

In 1979, Tom Bouchard at UMN initiated the famous “Twins Reared Apart” study, and in 1982, David Lykken founded the Minnesota Twin Registry. But it wasn’t until 1987 that we were awarded our first grant from the National Institutes of Health, and we formed the MCTFR as we know it today. We recently celebrated our 30th anniversary!

UMN Team
Members of the UMN ABCD team:
Back Row (left to right): Kevin Haroian, Dr. Monica Luciana,
Dr. Bill Iacono, and Alex Carlson
Front Row (left to right): Rachel Taggart, Makana Bailey,
Marina Bryants, and Molly Waterman

Our ABCD team (see photo) is enthusiastic about contributing to this long tradition of excellence, extending the MCTFR’s studies to include today’s adolescents and their families. The ABCD Study hopes to learn about numerous facets of cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development during adolescence. Studying twins helps to clarify how genetic versus environmental factors impact these developmental processes. We are excited to be nearing completion of our baseline visits and to welcome back our wonderful families for their follow-up visits! 

Our ABCD participants come from all over the state. During their visits, they are treated to pizza party lunches catered by Davanni’s Pizza, a local favorite. Our Center for Magnetic Resonance Research is next door to the University’s TCF Bank Stadium, home of Minnesota Golden Gophers football! In extremely chilly weather, participants can tunnel part of the way from the parking garage to the psychology building (Elliott Hall) using the University’s “Gopher Way,” an underground system of tunnels that connects various buildings on campus.
ABCD In The News

When — and how — do teens’ brains become wired for risky behavior?
Dr. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, Principal Investigator at the University of Utah, shares why the ABCD Study is interesting to families in her community: “We’ve really enjoyed how many children really want to know about this,” she said. “They’re curious about what the brain is, and what that has to do with their ability to learn or how well they do in a sport.” Click here to read the full article. (The Salt Lake Tribune, 3/12/18)

Students' Space

"My favorite part of the ABCD Study was..."

At the end of their visits, participants color brains and write about their favorite part of the day.

UMB participant

Did You Know?

Facts About Twin Births
In all developed countries, including the United States, the twin birthrate (also known as “twinning”) has nearly doubled in the past 30–40 years, largely because of increasing fertility treatments and rising maternal age. The twinning rate is greatest for women aged 35–39, and more women in this age range are having children than in earlier years. More information about multiple births in the United States (including triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets) can be found here.

Fun Fact
Fun Fact About Minnesota
To maximize hockey practice during the off-season, two Minnesota high school students reconfigured their ice hockey boots by inserting in-line wheels and removing the blade. This redesign soon became a prototype for the first commercially available in-line skates, and Rollerblades® were made available to the public in the early 1980s.

For more Minnesota trivia, click here.

rollerblading
Photo Source: http://www.rollerblade.com/


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