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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.


Dr. Buckley is a pediatric neurologist and sleep medicine research physician at the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental 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 particularly interested in the role of sleep, both normal and abnormal, in shaping the developing brain, with a focus on abnormal sleep neurophysiology in severe forms of autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, depression and other serious neurodevelopmental disorders. The ultimate goal of her research is to work collaboratively to elucidate underlying aberrant, sleep-mediated neurotransmission early in the course of neurodevelopment that might offer potential therapeutic targets.

Research Interests

The Sleep and Neurodevelopment Service provides sleep consults, diagnoses sleep disorders, and works with translational investigators to incorporate sleep metrics into research protocols. In addition, the service seeks to help researchers and clinicians understand how monitoring the sleep EEG can provide valuable insight into neuropsychiatric illness, maturation, and neurodevelopment. Tracking how different parts of the developing brain begin to coordinate with one another during sleep might also reveal core signatures for behavioral abnormalities that present later in life. The ultimate research goal for Dr. Buckley is to find 'sleep signatures' unique to particular trajectories of abnormal development that might lead to earlier interventions and to new therapies.

Selected Publications

Functional Brain Connectivity in Electrical Status Epilepticus in Sleep (ESES). Mott et al (2018). Epileptic Disorders. in press

Spindle activity in young children with autism, developmental delay, or typical development. Farmer et al. (2018). Neurology. PMID: 29875224.

State-Dependent Differences in Functional Connectivity in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Buckley, A, Scott, R., Tyler A., Mahoney, JM., Burroughs S., Thurm, A., Farmer C., Swedo SE., Burroughs S., Holmes G. (2015) . PMID: 26844269.

An Open Label Trial of Donepezil for Enhancement of REM Sleep in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Buckley, A., Sassower K., Rodriguez AJ., Jennison K., Wingert K., Buckley, J.,Thurm, A., Sato, S. & Swedo, S. (2011). Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. 21 (4): 353-357 PMID: 21851192.

REM Sleep Percentage in Children with Autism Compared to Children with Developmental Delay and Typical Development. Buckley, A., Rodriguez, A., Jennison, K., Buckley, J., Thurm, A., Sato, S., & Swedo, S. (2010). Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 164 (11): 1032-1037 PMID: 21041596.

Magnuson Clinical Center, Room 1C250
Phone: +1 301 496 5190