QCIDD's mental health research is led by Dr Cathy Franklin and includes a number of research projects:

    I-CARDS Study – Investigation of Catatonia and Acute Regression in Down Syndrome

    Cathy is the Principal Researcher for this study which is conducted in collaboration with a number of eminent researchers from the Qld Brain Institute at UQ. Cathy was successful in her application for the BICARE grant ($120 000 over 3 years) to fund the study. The study will use MRI imaging, amyloid PET scans, genomic sequencing, blood inflammatory biomarkers and stem cell research to investigate the cause of catatonia and acute regression in young people with Down syndrome.

    Diagnosing Autism through Brain Network Connectivity

    Cathy is co-investigator on this project under the Autism CRC Program 1 (Diagnosis). This project is led by Professor Linda Richards of the Qld Brain Institute. It aims to identify changes in functional and structural connectivity in autistic individuals compared to controls using the 7T MRI scanner at the Centre for Advanced Imaging.

    Investigation of individuals with Idiopathic Intellectual Disability

    This project, led by Associate Professor Paul Dawson, studies the genomic sequencing of individuals and their families with ID of unknown cause. Cathy and Prof. Lennox are both Principal Investigators on the study. It is hoped that the results of this study will provide pilot data for a future successful NHMRC proposal.

    Longitudinal Down Syndrome Study

    Cathy has been invited to collaborate with researchers from a number of universities in the USA (including Massachusetts General Hospital, Duke University, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Children’s Hospital of Boston) in contributing to a Down syndrome registry that, in addition to forming a longitudinal study of medical conditions in Down syndrome, also focusses each year on a particular health issue, collecting additional information.

    Survey of Australian Psychiatrists Views on Intellectual Disability and Use of Medications

    This project is led by Dr Niki Edwards and is replicating a previous study conducted 15 years ago, this time targeting Psychiatrists and psychiatry trainees across Australia.

    To find out more, please contact Dr Cathy Franklin:

    Tel: +61 7 3163 2412

    Email: c.franklin1@uq.edu.au