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ABCD Study News!


ABCD Site Highlight

Virginia Commonwealth University

The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study site at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia began recruiting 9- and 10- year- old participants in November 2016. Led by Drs. James Bjork and Michael Neale, the VCU ABCD Study team has enrolled over 450 children in the study. Along with Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Minnesota, VCU has a special focus on twins. Studying twins gives scientists the extraordinary power to untangle the relationships among genetic and environmental factors that make everyone unique.

Helped by the recruitment efforts of the Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry (MATR), we have enrolled nearly 200 twin pairs in the ABCD Study so far. Our twin families travel from all over the state of Virginia and a few neighboring states, including North Carolina and West Virginia, to participate in this landmark study. We have also enrolled nearly 100 non-twin families from the surrounding area. We are so thankful to all our families for being a part of the ABCD Study!

VCU team

Members of the VCU ABCD Study Team:
Back Row (left to right): Fola Shokunbi,
Dr. Mike Neale, Dr. Jim Bjork
Front Row (left to right): Ivan Kane, Alia Bey,
Ro Provost, Jessica Jones, Rebecca Cespedes,
Lisa Straub, Sravya Uppalapati

Richmond is rich in history, and many of our traveling families enjoy visiting local attractions while making their ABCD trip, such as visits to nearby Jamestown or Colonial Williamsburg. They also enjoy catching up with the VCU ABCD Study team (see photo), getting a picture of their brain to take home, and picking out a prize at the end of their visit - often the hardest mission of the day!

ABCD In The News

Researchers question effects of hurricanes on kids’ brains (FIU News, 5/24/18)
Using data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ABCD) — the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the United States — FIU psychologists Jonathan Comer and Anthony Dick are comparing child brain function before and after hurricane Irma to learn about how children respond to stressful situations and how parents, first responders, media, and policymakers can promote resiliency in children exposed to stress. Click here to read more.

Norma CastroABCD Staff Member of the Month!
Congratulations to Dr. Aimee Goldstone, post-doctoral researcher at SRI International, for her invaluable contributions to the success of the ABCD Fitbit projects, attention to data accuracy, child sleep expertise, and collegiality!

Students' Space

A participant from the University of Vermont ABCD site created a Lego version of his MRI scan after a recent visit! (photo below)


Participants at VCU take a goofy picture after a fun day with the ABCD Study team! (photo below)


Did You Know?

Information in your brain travels up to 268 mph. That is faster than Formula 1 race cars which can hit speeds of up to 240 mph! For more brain facts and activities check out Stanford Virtual Labs.

Race car
Source: Tinggly

Fun Fact
Fun Fact About Richmond
The Science Museum of Virginia, located in Richmond, has a rat basketball team that plays daily in the miniature museum basketball court. Click here to see how the rats learned to play the game and what this teaches us about human behavior.

Source: Idea Stations

ABCD Study Logo


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