Frequently Asked Questions
A: Yes, the M.I.N.D. Institute is primarily a research institute. The ultimate goal is to find the cause, effective treatments and ultimately cures for neurodevelopmental disorders. This means that we need to keep focused on the research that will help us accomplish this. Having a clinic helps us do this, but it is not our primary goal. Education and dissemination of information are also important to assure that our research is broadly implemented, but it is also not our primary purpose.
Q: What is the ultimate goal of the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute?
A: The goal is to find cures for neurodevelopmental disorders, starting with autism.
Q: How would you describe the major emphasis or focus of the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute?
A: The M.I.N.D. Institute is primarily a research organization, striving to understand the causes and develop effective treatments and ultimately cures for neurodevelopmental disorders. Given our lack of knowledge about these disorders, a research focus is essential to accomplishing these goals.
Q: Is UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute primarily focused on Autism?
A: The institute is primarily focused on autism, but not exclusively. M.I.N.D. Institute leadership recognized that it was important to focus efforts initially on a few neurodevelopmental disorders and autism seems a pressing problem where interdisciplinary research is critical. We also have research protocols and see patients with fragile X syndrome, language and learning disabilities, ADHD, epilepsy and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Q: Doesn't the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute have a lot of money?
A: Significant support from the State of California helped to launch the institute and has been used to fund the outstanding building where we will carry out our mission and to establish our infrastructure. Like other programs at UC Davis, we have received funds from the medical center, which has helped a lot. But ours is a big task and we have a long way to go. Research grants, clinical revenue, state appropriations and the continued support of the medical center will not be sufficient - even with our careful and conservative use of these resources.
Q: What is the purpose of the clinic?
A: The purpose of the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute clinic is to provide a place where:
- Experts from pediatric specialties diagnose and recommend treatment for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.
- Pediatric specialists who treat people with neurodevelopmental disorders can see patients and share ideas leading to new and more productive research.
- Potential subjects for research studies can be identified and evaluated.
- Practitioners can be trained in state-of-the-art methods for evaluating and treating children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
Q: Does the clinic provide treatment?
A: The clinic provides treatment recommendations for all patients. On some occasions, ongoing treatment or consultation at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. clinic is offered, but usually recommendations are provided to families and their referring physicians or to agencies.
Q: Does the clinic provide diagnostic evaluations for all children with neurodevelopmental disorders?
A: The clinic has so many referrals that it must limit its patient base to individuals who are the research focus of UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute practitioners and researchers or those with whom the institute has a contract with to provide evaluations and recommendations. We do not usually provide “second opinion” evaluations and we see very few adolescents or adults. We maintain a database of potential research subjects and may develop future studies that could include people we have not evaluated previously.