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Research Topics

The ultimate goal of her research is to work collaboratively to elucidate underlying aberrant, sleep-mediated neurotransmission early in the course of neurodevelopmental disorders that might offer potential therapeutic targets. Disordered sleep is likely a crucial but overlooked mediator of epigenetic change important to the development of neuropsychiatric illness, especially understudied in children. Separately, sleep dysregulation may also be one of the first signs of developmental problems. Ashura’s research is focused on working collaboratively with scientists inside and outside of the NIH to help identify electrical activity patterns in the sleeping brain coupled with other physiological markers of sleep that might serve as useful markers in the earliest detection of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. In this way, NIH IRP has partnered with other centers of excellence through the Sleep & Neurodevelopmental Consortium, to establish a cross disciplinary, cross platform effort to incorporate new advances in recording techniques, big data mining and biomarker exploration into our current understanding of how sleep builds the brain.


Dr. Buckley is Director of the Sleep Disorders and Neurodevelopment Consult Service, Office of the Clinical Director at National Institute of Mental Health, in the Intramural Research Program at the National Institutes of Health. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, her M.D. from SUNY, Stony Brook and completed her training in Child Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She then completed a fellowship in Clinical Trials at the National Institute of Mental Health and a Clinical Fellowship in Sleep Medicine at New York Sleep Institute at NYU. She is board certified in Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child and also boarded in Sleep Medicine. In 2006, the Sleep Service at NIH was established under her directorship. The Service provides clinical assessment and diagnosis of sleep disorders for children and adults for the Clinical Center.

Selected Publications

Markovic A, Buckley A, Driver DI, et al. Sleep neurophysiology in childhood onset schizophrenia. J Sleep Res. 2020

Buckley, A, Hirtz, D et al.  Practice Guideline: Treatment for insomnia and disrupted sleep behavior in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (2020) Report of the Guideline Development, Dissemination, and Implementation Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology, Mar 2020, 94 (9) 392-404

Farmer CA., Chilakamarri P., Thurm AE., Swedo SE., Holmes GL., Buckley AW.  (2018) “Spindle activity in young children with autism, developmental delay, or typical development.” Neurology, Jul 2018, 91 (2) e112-e122

Buckley, A, Scott, R., Tyler A., Mahoney, JM., Thurm, A., Farmer C., Swedo SE., Burroughs S., Holmes G. (2015) “State-Dependent Differences in Functional Connectivity in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder”. EBioMedicine (2015)

Buckley, A., Wingert K., Swedo S., Thurm A., Sato S., Appel S., & Rodriguez A. (2013) “First Night Effect Analysis in a Cohort of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 9(1):67-70

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