May 10, 2012

Malow’s contributions to sleep research honored

Malow’s contributions to sleep research honored

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is honoring Beth Malow, M.D., professor of Neurology and Pediatrics and Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development, with its Sleep Science Award, which recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to sleep research.

Malow, also a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Investigator, is recognized for her pioneering work with sleep in relation to neurological disorders, including autism and epilepsy.

Beth Malow, M.D.

Beth Malow, M.D.

She received the award April 24 at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in New Orleans.

“I am very honored to receive this award, and wanted to thank all of my mentors and colleagues for their support,” Malow said.

“It is a very exciting time to be involved in neurological sleep research. Sleep is receiving increasing attention in a myriad of areas related to neuroscience, including development and cognition. Sleep disorders are being recognized as an important component of major neurological conditions that include stroke, movement disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Malow’s contributions to sleep research in the field of epilepsy include investigating the effects of sleep and sleep deprivation on epileptic seizures, the influence of vagus nerve stimulation on sleep and the impact of treating sleep apnea on seizure control.

In autism, she has conducted trials of family-based behavioral sleep education for children with autism and of supplemental melatonin. She also serves as principal investigator for Vanderbilt’s Autism Treatment Network (ATN), and co-chairs the ATN Sleep Committee.

The ATN is focused on developing and implementing standards of medical care in 17 sites across North America.

With her ATN colleagues, Malow has developed a sleep toolkit for health care providers, educators and parents, and guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of insomnia in this population.

Malow also serves as principal investigator for Vanderbilt’s Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials, director of Vanderbilt’s Sleep Core, director of clinical research for the Department of Neurology, and is the sleep/circadian representative for the Vanderbilt Brain Institute Steering Committee.