LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Children's health in Arkansas ranks in the bottom 10 percent nationally.
It's a statistic Arkansas Children's Hospital is working to change.
“It's a place where we discover, we create and we make new treatments, new ways to diagnose,” said Gregory Kearns, President of Arkansas Children's Research Institute.
According to Kearns, research is the core of improving children's health in Arkansas. One of those areas of focus is obesity in children. The hospital recently received a $10 million grant from the National Institute of Health to develop an obesity prevention program.
“Investigators there are looking at innovative ways, trying to understand the relationship between genetics, the environment, and a big part of our environment is our food we eat, is to try and understand and predict when children are going to have problems and then design treatments that are much easier and effective than what we have today,” said Kearns.
Arkansas Children's allergy program is known around the world. Just recently, researchers discovered a way to make an important drug, Prednisone, tasteless.
“Over the course of 4 months, we went from having a formulation of a drug that had never been in humans and having something now that has commercial application in humans. That all was just done right here,” said Kearns.
Other areas of focus include how obesity in infants affects brain development and designing treatments tailor-made for each patient, rather than a one-size-fits-all treatment.
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