Funders Health Care

The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation to fund groundbreaking research in youth mental health

The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, a nonprofit providing suicide prevention training and education services in North Texas, has provided research funding in the amount of $49,950 to Dr. Crystal Cooper, a researcher with the Cook Children’s Jane and John Justin Neuroscience Center, called Cognitive and Neuroimaging Biomarkers of Well-being in Youth with and without Epilepsy.

Dr. Cooper states, “Here at Cook Children’s Neuroscience Research Center, we use the latest innovative developments in pediatric neuroimaging to understand brain structure and function. On top of that, our physicians are invested in harnessing research knowledge to aid clinical care.” Cooper continues, “Like depression, epilepsy is a common, diverse disorder with various causes, treatments, and outcomes. Having multiple mental health struggles are common in patients with epilepsy, with nearly 50% of patients having depression.” 

In addition to mental health disturbances among the general population, psychiatric disorders occur at high rates in patients with epilepsy, with nearly 50% of patients having depression, and 30% having anxiety. Additionally, a CDC study published in Epilepsy and Behavior reported a 22% higher rate of suicide among those with epilepsy compared to the general population. The work of Dr. Cooper in Cook Children’s Neuroscience Research Center, directed by Dr. Christos Papadelis, is bridging mental health and cognitive neuroscience to better understand and inform the clinical world’s ability to enhance its precision treatment for these young patients. Her work is aligned with the main goal of the center to facilitate the development of methods, technologies and treatments to alleviate the negative effects of these diseases and in some cases, to cure them.

Christina Judge, Executive Director of The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation states, “We are very excited to provide this funding for Dr. Cooper’s project and have the utmost respect for the groundbreaking research projects going on at Cook Children’s Health Care System to support the health and well-being of our community’s children.”

About the author

Barbara Clark Galupi