How can I learn more?

If you have any questions about or interest in any of the above clinical trials, please reach out to our research team at research@corticacare.com.

Current Research Studies

Cortica is currently seeking participants to enroll in ongoing clinical research trials. These trials are open to all families and are not limited to Cortica patients.

1 - The Tapestry Study Axial Therapeutics is evaluating the effect of a new treatment, AB-2004, to improve irritability symptoms in autistic adolescents over an 8-week treatment period. AB-2004 is designed to adsorb substances produced by certain bacteria in the gut that may reach the brain resulting in characteristics of autism. AB-2004 was shown to be safe and well tolerated in a previous study involving adolescents on the autism spectrum. This trial is taking place at both our Northern California (Marin Co.) and Northern Los Angeles (Westlake Village) locations. Your child may be eligible if they are 13-17 years old, diagnosed with autism, and experience high levels of irritability. For more information or to see if someone you know may be a good fit for this trial, please see www.theautismstudy.com.

2 - The Penguin Study Acadia Pharmaceuticals is evaluating the efficacy of Pimavanserin, an investigational medication, to determine if it may treat irritability and other behaviors in autistic children and adolescents. This trial is taking place at both our Northern California (Marin Co.) and Northern Los Angeles (Westlake Village) locations. The study includes 6 weeks of treatment and an opportunity for a year-long open label extension if desired. Your child may be eligible if they are 5-17 years old, diagnosed with autism, experience high levels of irritability, and have limited exposure to antipsychotic medications. For more information or to see if someone you know may be a good fit for this trial, please see www.penguinautismstudy.com.

Cortica Marin is currently seeking patients to enroll in an ongoing observational study:

3 - Sensory Processing, Imaging, and Neurodevelopment (SPIN) Study The SPIN study is an NIH-funded observational study, uniting University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Cortica Marin. This study combines a battery of cognitive, sensory, and motor assessments at Cortica with a brain MRI at UCSF to illuminate the neurological underpinnings of sensory processing challenges in children aged 8-12. We are approaching our final year of recruitment and are already seeing some incredible findings arising from the data.

Cortica Researchers

The Cortica Innovation Network is led by Dr. Elysa Marco, Dr. Kevin Shapiro, and Dr. Suzanne Goh. Serving as leads in their respective fields, they come together to bridge Cortica researchers and cross-functionally collaborate on groundbreaking research.

Interested in learning more about our model and the research behind it? Read more below.

Dr. Kevin Shapiro

Kevin Shapiro, MD, PhD, a renowned expert in cognitive neuroscience, is Executive Director of Research and Therapeutic Technologies at Cortica. Dr. Shapiro uses his expertise to identify and address the underlying causes that may impact a child’s development.

Dr. Shapiro has dedicated his career to better understand brain development in children with neurodevelopmental differences. With subspecialty training in vascular neurology, Dr. Shapiro is one of only a handful of board-certified pediatric stroke neurologists in the United States.

List of Peer-Reviewed Publications:

1. Mrakotsky, C., Williams, T. S., Shapiro, K. A., & Westmacott, R. (2022). Rehabilitation in Pediatric Stroke: Cognition and Behavior. Seminars in Pediatric Neurology, 100998. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spen.2022.100998

2. Castilla-Valmanya L, Selmer KK, Dimartino C, et al. Phenotypic spectrum and transcriptomic profile associated with germline variants in TRAF7. Genet Med 2020 Jul;22(7):1215-1226. PMID: 32376980

3. Felling RJ, Rafay MF, Bernard TJ, Carpenter JL, Dlamini N, Hassanein SMA, Jordan LC, Noetzel MJ, Rivkin MJ, Shapiro KA, Slim M, deVeber G. Predicting recovery and outcome after pediatric stroke: results from the International Pediatric Stroke Study. Ann Neurol 2020 Mar 25. PMID: 32215969

4. Rafay MF, Shapiro KA, Surmava AM, deVeber GA, Kirton A, Fullerton HJ, Amlie-Lefond C, Weschke B, Dlamini N, Carpenter JL, Mackay ML, Rivkin M, Linds A, Bernard TJ. Spectrum of cerebral arteriopathies in children with arterial ischemic stroke. Neurology 2020 Jun 9;94(23). PMID:32457211

5. Buranahirun C, Walsh KS, Mrakotsky C, Croteau SE, Rajpurkar M, Kearney S, Hannemann C, Wilkening GN, Shapiro KA, Cooper DL. Neuropsychological function in children with hemophilia: A review of the Hemophilia Growth and Development Study and introduction of the current eTHINK study. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2019 Oct 8:e28004. PMID: 31595670

6. Giudice C, Rogers EE, Johnson BC, Glass HC, Shapiro KA. Neuroanatomical correlates of sensory processing deficits in children with neonatal arterial ischemic stroke. Developmental Medicine Child Neurology 2019 Jun;61(6)667-671. PMID: 28924555

7. Johnston SC, Easton JD, Farrant M, et al. Clopidogrel and aspirin in acute ischemic stroke and high-risk TIA. N Engl J Med 2018 Jul 19;379(3):215-255. PMID: 29766750

8. Caverzasi E, Mandelli ML, Hoeft F, Watson C, Meyer M, Allen IE, Papinutto N, Wang C, Gandini Wheeler-Kingshott CAM, Marco EJ, Mukherjee P, Miller ZA, Miller BL, Hendren R, Shapiro KA, Gorno-Tempini ML. Abnormal age-related cortical folding and neurite morphology in children with developmental dyslexia. NeuroImage: Clinical 2018 Mar 14; 18:814-821. PMID: 29876267

9. Sturm VE, Datta S, Sible IJ, Holley SR, Watson C, Rah E, Meyer M, Pakvasa M, Mandelli ML, Caverzasi E, Miller ZA, Shapiro KA, Hoeft F, Hendren R, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. Enhanced visceromotor emotional reactivity in dyslexia and its relation to intrinsic salience network connectivity. Cortex 2021 Jan;134:278-295. PMID: 33316603.

10. Beber B, Mandelli ML, Santos MA, Binney R, Miller B, Chaves M, Gorno-Tempini ML, Shapiro K. A behavioral study of the nature of verb-noun dissociation in the nonfluent variant of primary progressive aphasia. Aphasiology 2019; 33(2):200-215.

Kevin Shapiro, Cortica Staff Photo

10. Shapiro KA, Kim H, Mandelli ML, Rogers EE, Gano D, Ferriero DM, Barkovich AJ, Gorno-Tempini ML, Glass HC, Xu D. Early changes in brain structure predict language outcome in children with neonatal encephalopathy. NeuroImage: Clinical 2017 15:572-580. PMID: 28924555

11. Papinutto N, Galantucci S, Mandelli ML, Gesierich B, Jovicich J, Caverzasi E, Henry RG, Seeley WW, Miller BL, Shapiro KA, Gorno-Tempini ML. Structural connectivity of the human anterior temporal lobe: A diffusion magnetic resonance imaging study. Hum Brain Mapp. 2016 Jun; 37(6):2210-22. PMID: 26945805

12. Shapiro KA, McGuone D, Deshpande V, Sadow PM, Stemmer-Rachamimov A, Staley KJ. Failure to detect human papillomavirus in focal cortical dysplasia type IIb. Ann Neurol. 2015 Jul; 78(1):63-7. PMID: 25893423

13. Pisano T, Numis AL, Heavin SB, Weckhuysen S, Angriman M, Suls A, Podesta B, Thibert RL, Shapiro KA, Guerrini R, Scheffer IE, Marini C, Cilio MR. Early and effective treatment of KCNQ2 encephalopathy. Epilepsia. 2015 May; 56(5):685-91. PMID: 25880994

14. Shapiro KA, Bové RM, Volpicelli ER, Mallery RM, Stone JH. Relapsing course of immunoglobulin G4-related pachymeningitis. Neurology. 2012 Aug 7; 79(6):604-6. PMID: 22843267

Dr. Elysa Marco

Elysa Marco, MD is a board-certified cognitive and behavioral pediatric neurologist, neuroscience researcher, and author. She specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children with sensory processing disorder, autism, and other neurodevelopmental conditions at Cortica in San Rafael, California. Dr. Marco's research has focused on the genetics, brain anatomy, and treatment of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Over her career, she has authored more than 40 peer-review scientific articles and book chapters.

List of Peer-Reviewed Publications:

A complete list can be found here.

1: Lazerwitz, M.C., Rowe, M.A., Trimarchi, K.J. et al. Brief Report: Characterization of Sensory Over-Responsivity in a Broad Neurodevelopmental Concern Cohort Using the Sensory Processing Three Dimensions (SP3D) Assessment. J Autism Dev Disord (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-022-05747-0

2: Miller LJ, Marco EJ, Chu RC, Camarata S. Editorial: Sensory Processing Across the Lifespan: A 25-Year Initiative to Understand Neurophysiology, Behaviors, and Treatment Effectiveness for Sensory Processing. Front Integr Neurosci. 2021 Apr 9;15:652218. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2021.652218. PMID: 33897385; PMCID: PMC8063042.

3: Jurigova BG, Gerdes MR, Anguera JA, Marco EJ. Sustained benefits of cognitive training in children with inattention, three-year follow-up. PLoS One. 2021 Feb 4;16(2):e0246449. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246449. PMID: 33539468; PMCID: PMC7861383.

4: Narayan A, Rowe MA, Palacios EM, Wren-Jarvis J, Bourla I, Gerdes M, Brandes- Aitken A, Desai SS, Marco EJ, Mukherjee P. Altered Cerebellar White Matter in Sensory Processing Dysfunction Is Associated With Impaired Multisensory Integration and Attention. Front Psychol. 2021 Feb 3;11:618436. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.618436. PMID: 33613368; PMCID: PMC7888341.

5: Mis EK, Sega AG, Signer RH, Cartwright T, Ji W, Martinez-Agosto JA, Nelson SF, Palmer CGS, Lee H, Mitzelfelt T, Konstantino M; Undiagnosed Diseases Network, Jeffries L, Khokha MK, Marco E, Martin MG, Lakhani SA. Expansion of NEUROD2 phenotypes to include developmental delay without seizures. Am J Med Genet A. 2021 Apr;185(4):1076-1080. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.62064. Epub 2021 Jan 13. PMID: 33438828.

6: Connaughton DM, Dai R, Owen DJ, Marquez J, Mann N, Graham-Paquin AL, Nakayama M, Coyaud E, Laurent EMN, St-Germain JR, Blok LS, Vino A, Klämbt V, Deutsch K, Wu CW, Kolvenbach CM, Kause F, Ottlewski I, Schneider R, Kitzler TM, Majmundar AJ, Buerger F, Onuchic-Whitford AC, Youying M, Kolb A, Salmanullah D, Chen E, van der Ven AT, Rao J, Ityel H, Seltzsam S, Rieke JM, Chen J, Vivante A, Hwang DY, Kohl S, Dworschak GC, Hermle T, Alders M, Bartolomaeus T, Bauer SB, Baum MA, Brilstra EH, Challman TD, Zyskind J, Costin CE, Dipple KM, Duijkers FA, Ferguson M, Fitzpatrick DR, Fick R, Glass IA, Hulick PJ, Kline AD, Krey I, Kumar S, Lu W, Marco EJ, Wentzensen IM, Mefford HC, Platzer K, Povolotskaya IS, Savatt JM, Shcherbakova NV, Senguttuvan P, Squire AE, Stein DR, Thiffault I, Voinova VY, Somers MJG, Ferguson MA, Traum AZ, Daouk GH, Daga A, Rodig NM, Terhal PA, van Binsbergen E, Eid LA, Tasic V, Rasouly HM, Lim TY, Ahram DF, Gharavi AG, Reutter HM, Rehm HL, MacArthur DG, Lek M, Laricchia KM, Lifton RP, Xu H, Mane SM, Sanna- Cherchi S, Sharrocks AD, Raught B, Fisher SE, Bouchard M, Khokha MK, Shril S, Hildebrandt F. Mutations of the Transcriptional Corepressor ZMYM2 Cause Syndromic Urinary Tract Malformations. Am J Hum Genet. 2020 Oct 1;107(4):727-742. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.08.013. Epub 2020 Sep 4. PMID: 32891193; PMCID: PMC7536580.

7: Li J, Maghera J, Lamothe SM, Marco EJ, Kurata HT. Heteromeric Assembly of Truncated Neuronal Kv7 Channels: Implications for Neurologic Disease and Pharmacotherapy. Mol Pharmacol. 2020 Sep;98(3):192-202. doi: 10.1124/mol.120.119644. Epub 2020 Jun 24. PMID: 32580997.

8: Granadillo JL, P A Stegmann A, Guo H, Xia K, Angle B, Bontempo K, Ranells JD, Newkirk P, Costin C, Viront J, Stumpel CT, Sinnema M, Panis B, Pfundt R, Krapels IPC, Klaassens M, Nicolai J, Li J, Jiang Y, Marco E, Canton A, Latronico AC, Montenegro L, Leheup B, Bonnet C, M Amudhavalli S, Lawson CE, McWalter K, Telegrafi A, Pearson R, Kvarnung M, Wang X, Bi W, Rosenfeld JA, Shinawi M. Pathogenic variants in TNRC6B cause a genetic disorder

9: Fischer-Zirnsak B, Segebrecht L, Schubach M, Charles P, Alderman E, Brown K, Cadieux-Dion M, Cartwright T, Chen Y, Costin C, Fehr S, Fitzgerald KM, Fleming E, Foss K, Ha T, Hildebrand G, Horn D, Liu S, Marco EJ, McDonald M, McWalter K, Race S, Rush ET, Si Y, Saunders C, Slavotinek A, Stockler-Ipsiroglu S, Telegrafi A, Thiffault I, Torti E, Tsai AC, Wang X, Zafar M, Keren B, Kornak U, Boerkoel CF, Mirzaa G, Ehmke N. Haploinsufficiency of the Notch Ligand DLL1 Causes Variable Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Am J Hum Genet. 2019 Sep 5;105(3):631-639. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.07.002. Epub 2019 Jul 25. PMID: 31353024; PMCID: PMC6731356.

Elysa Marco, Cortica Staff Photo

9: Yerys BE, Bertollo JR, Kenworthy L, Dawson G, Marco EJ, Schultz RT, Sikich L. Brief Report: Pilot Study of a Novel Interactive Digital Treatment to Improve Cognitive Control in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Co-occurring ADHD Symptoms. J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Apr;49(4):1727-1737. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3856-7. PMID: 30569407.

10: Payabvash S, Palacios EM, Owen JP, Wang MB, Tavassoli T, Gerdes M, Brandes- Aitken A, Mukherjee P, Marco EJ. White Matter Connectome Correlates of Auditory Over-Responsivity: Edge Density Imaging and Machine-Learning Classifiers. Front Integr Neurosci. 2019 Mar 29;13:10. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2019.00010. PMID: 30983979; PMCID: PMC6450221.

11: Nabais Sá MJ, Jensik PJ, McGee SR, Parker MJ, Lahiri N, McNeil EP, Kroes HY, Hagerman RJ, Harrison RE, Montgomery T, Splitt M, Palmer EE, Sachdev RK, Mefford HC, Scott AA, Martinez-Agosto JA, Lorenz R, Orenstein N, Berg JN, Amiel J, Heron D, Keren B, Cobben JM, Menke LA, Marco EJ, Graham JM Jr, Pierson TM, Karimiani EG, Maroofian R, Manzini MC, Cauley ES, Colombo R, Odent S, Dubourg C, Phornphutkul C, de Brouwer APM, de Vries BBA, Vulto-vanSilfhout AT. De novo and biallelic DEAF1 variants cause a phenotypic spectrum. Genet Med. 2019 Sep;21(9):2059-2069. doi: 10.1038/s41436-019-0473-6. Epub 2019 Mar 29. PMID: 30923367.

12: Payabvash S, Palacios EM, Owen JP, Wang MB, Tavassoli T, Gerdes M, Brandes- Aitken A, Cuneo D, Marco EJ, Mukherjee P. White Matter Connectome Edge Density in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Potential Imaging Biomarkers Using Machine-Learning Models. Brain Connect. 2019 Mar;9(2):209-220. doi: 10.1089/brain.2018.0658. PMID: 30661372; PMCID: PMC6444925.

13: Tavassoli T, Brandes-Aitken A, Chu R, Porter L, Schoen S, Miller LJ, Gerdes MR, Owen J, Mukherjee P, Marco EJ. Sensory over-responsivity: parent report, direct assessment measures, and neural architecture. Mol Autism. 2019 Feb 4;10:4. doi: 10.1186/s13229-019-0255-7. PMID: 30740199; PMCID: PMC6360663.

14: Brandes-Aitken A, Anguera JA, Chang YS, Demopoulos C, Owen JP, Gazzaley A, Mukherjee P, Marco EJ. White Matter Microstructure Associations of Cognitive and Visuomotor Control in Children: A Sensory Processing Perspective. Front Integr Neurosci. 2019 Jan 14;12:65. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2018.00065. PMID: 30692921; PMCID: PMC6339953.

Dr. Suzanne Goh

Suzanne Goh, MD, BCBA, is a board-certified pediatric behavioral neurologist, behavioral analyst, neuroscience researcher, and author. She has dedicated her career to researching and developing therapies for neurological conditions that impact childhood brain development. Specializing in the treatment of autism, she is the founder of Cortica, and creator of the Cortica Care Model.

List of Peer-Reviewed Publications:

1. O’Neill J, Bansal R, Goh S, Rodie M, Sawardekar S, Peterson BS. Parsing the Heterogeneity of Brain Metabolic Disturbances in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 2020;87(2):174-184.

2. Peterson BS, Zargarian A, Peterson JB, Goh S, Sawardekar S, Williams SCR, Lythgoe DJ, Zelaya FO, Bansal R. Hyperperfusion of Frontal White and Subcortical Gray Matter in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Biological Psychiatry. 2019;85(7):584-595.

3. Naviaux R, Curtis B, Li K, Naviaux J, Taylor Bright A, Reiner G, Westerfield M, Goh S, Alaynick W, Wang L, Capparelli E, Adams C, Sun J, Jain S, He F, Arellano D, Mash L, Chukoskie L, Lincoln A, Townsend J. Low-dose suramin in autism spectrum disorder: a small, phase I/II, randomized clinical trial. Ann Clin Trans Neurol. 2017 doi:10.1002/acn3.424.

4. Denisova K, Zhao G, Wang Z, Goh S, Huo Y, Peterson BS. Cortical Interactions During the Resolution of Information Processing Demands in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Brain Behav. 2016;7(2):e00596.

5. Tseng A, Wang Z, Huo Y, Goh S, Russell JA, Peterson BS. Differences in neural activity when processing emotional arousal and valence in autism spectrum disorders. Hum Brain Mapp. 2016;37(2):443-61.

6. Tseng A, Bansal R, Liu J, Gerber AJ, Goh S, Posner J, Colibazzi T, Algermissen M, Chiang IC, Russell JA, Peterson BS. Using the circumplex model of affect to study valence and arousal ratins of emotional faces by children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. J Autism Dev Disord. 2014;44(6):1332-46.

7. Goh S, Dong Z, Zhang Y, DiMauro S, Peterson BS. Mitochondrial Dysfunction as a Neurobiological Subtype of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence from brain imaging. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(6):665-71.

8. Tseng A, Bansal R, Liu J, Gerber AJ, Goh S, Posner J, Colibazzi T, Algermissen M, Chiang I, Russell JA, Peterson BS. Using the Circumplex Model of Affect to Study Valence and Arousal Ratings of Emotional Faces by Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2014;44(6):1332-46.

Suzanne Goh, Cortica Staff Photo

9. Goh S, Whitaker A, Feldman J, Cull MB, Hoyte K, Algermissen M, McSwiggan-Hardin M, Kugelmass D, Pegerson BS. Teaching Nonverbal Children with Autistic Disorder to Read and Write: A Pilot Study. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities. 2013;59(2):95-107.

10. Goh S, Bansal R, Xu D, Hao X, Liu J, Peterson BS. Neuroanatomical Correlates of Intellectual Ability Across the Life Span. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. 2011;1(3):305-312.

11. Goh S, Bottrell C, Aiken A, Dillon W, Wu Y. Presyrinx in Children with Chiari Malformations. Neurology 2008;71(5):351-356.

12. Goh S, Kwiatkowski D, Dorer DJ, Thiele EA. Infantile spasms and intellectual outcomes in children with tuberous sclerosis complex. Neurology 2005;65:235-238.

13. Doherty C, Goh S (co-first author), Poussaint TY, N Erdag, Thiele EA. Prognostic significance of tuber count and location in tuberous sclerosis complex. Journal of Child Neurology 2005;20:837-841.

14. Goh S, Butler W, Thiele EA. Subependymal giant cell tumors in tuberous sclerosis complex. Neurology 2004;63:1457-1461.