AUTISM RESEARCH.Studies currently underway may provide clues for treatment,
--Excerpted from the Autism Society of America's Web site http://www.autism/society.org.
The international collaborative Network on Biology and Brain Development in Autism was established in 1997 by the National Institutes of Health through the work of the Autism Society and their parent letter writing campaign. With the goal of solving the "mystery of autism" it puts the best scientific methods, researchers and tools together in a collaborative effort. The Network is co-funded by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD NIDCD National Institute on Deafness & other Communication Disorders ), the Office of the Director of the overall National Institutes of Health (NIH "Not invented here." See digispeak.
NIH - The United States National Institutes of Health. ), and the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM (Operations Administration Maintenance) Refers to managing and maintaining a network or network device. The P in "OAM&P" adds "provisioning" to the list, which is a telephone company term for setting up a service. ).
The following is a list of the Network studies. There is no charge for any service provided as part of the research studies. All eligible subjects receive free diagnostic and, neuropsychological neu·ro·psy·chol·o·gy
The branch of psychology that deals with the relationship between the nervous system, especially the brain, and cerebral or mental functions such as language, memory, and perception. evaluations. No treatments are provided as part of this Network. Because of research requirements, each study has eligibility criteria for participation. Anyone interested in participating should contact the study coordinator for more in-depth information.
Genome Studies of Families with More than One Child with an Autism Disorder
One of the best ways to find the genes for autism is to perform a genome-wide screen for autism susceptibility genes, using DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
or deoxyribonucleic acid
One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes. from families with more than one child who has autism disorder (autism, Asperger's etc.). These families are known as multiplex families. The University of Washington and Yale University (see below) both need your help in finding the autism gene(s) through a genome search. Both projects include scientists and clinicians who have found genes for other disorders. They are among the most experienced in the world of diagnosing autism. Both projects have met all NIH requirements for safety and confidentiality of information. DNA from genetic studies will be preserved so that it will be available for later study by these and other scientists. More than 400 families are needed.
* The University of Washington, Seattle
Dr. Geraldine Dawson (with the Universities of Alaska, Florida, Montana, Oregon, and Vanderbilt University, Tennessee Contact: Cathy Brock; Telephone: (800) 994-9701 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Participants will receive free diagnostic and neuropsychological evaluations. The study will pay for travel and hotel costs for multiplex families. In addition to the genetics studies, this project will study precursors of speech and language, and brain structure and function' in response to speech and social situations. This project also needs first and second birthday videos of children who have autism, and lost speech and social skills during the preschool years.
* Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
Dr. Fred Volkmar and Dr. Catherine Lord (with the University of Chicago, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Oxford University, and the University of London (plus others in England, France, and Germany). Contact: Kathleen Koenig, R. N. Telephone: (203) 785-3488 E-mall: email@example.com
All subjects receive a free diagnosis and a neuropsychological evaluation--including a parent conference and general treatment recommendations. This project is focusing on the of high functioning autism and Asperger's disorder. Studies include the underlying genetics, neuropsychological profiles, and brain structures and functions for the various autism disorders. A follow-up study of children diagnosed at age 2 to 3 will identify early predictors of autism. The European Consortium, linked to the Autism Collaborative Network through this project, is based at Oxford and the University of London For most practical purposes, ranging from admission of students to negotiating funding from the government, the 19 constituent colleges are treated as individual universities. Within the university federation they are known as Recognised Bodies , and is funded by the Medical Research Council of Great Britain and the Wellcome Fund.
Other Genetic Studies
* The University of Rochester The University of Rochester (UR) is a private, coeducational and nonsectarian research university located in Rochester, New York. The university is one of 62 elected members of the Association of American Universities.
Dr. Patricia Rodier (with York University, Ontario, Canada) Contact: Dr. Rodier Fax: (716) 244-2209 E-mall: firstname.lastname@example.org
This project uses an animal model to test a new theory that autism may be caused by exposure to an environmental toxin very early in pregnancy and/or a genetic susceptibility. The studies also evaluate families with more than one child who has autism for specific genetic mutations expected on the basis of this new environmental theory.
* The University of Utah The University of Utah (also The U or the U of U or the UU), located in Salt Lake City, is the flagship public research university in the state of Utah, and one of 10 institutions that make up the Utah System of Higher Education.
Dr. Reed Warren and Dr. William McMahon (with Utah State University and the University of Iowa) Contact: Dr. William McMahon Telephone: (801) 588-3559 E-mail: email@example.com
This project tests the idea that autism is caused by an immunogenetic susceptibility that predisposes individuals to autism and may make infants susceptible to pathogens during pregnancy that would be harmless to others. This research is based on the immune and autoimmune abnormalities found in a large subgroup of persons who have autism and/or their parents. Other studies in this project focus on other aspects of autism subgroups, including the study of brain structure and function, particularly executive function, and a study of the enlarged head sizes found in those who have autism.
Autism as a Complex Information Processing Disorder
* The University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Nancy Minshew (with Carnegie Mellon [Pittsburgh] and Case Western Reserve [Cleveland] Universities) Contact: Dr. Nancy Minshew Telephone: (412) 624-0818 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This project tests the assumption that autism results from abnormal development and dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex. Drawing on an outstanding brain imaging and neuropsychology neuropsychology
Science concerned with the integration of psychological observations on behaviour with neurological observations on the central nervous system (CNS), including the brain. team, this project will examine evidence of strengths in basic brain functions and deficits in complex information processing. A cross-sectional study of adults and a longitudinal study of children will assess maturation of language, cognitive abilities, and the neural circuitry underlying both.
Language and Communication Projects
Although the study of language and communication is an integral part o fall the projects (see Dawson, Minshew, and Volkmar listed earlier), two of the projects are focused specifically on defining the developmental course and brain functions related to language and communication.
* University of California The University of California has a combined student body of more than 191,000 students, over 1,340,000 living alumni, and a combined systemwide and campus endowment of just over $7.3 billion (8th largest in the United States). at Los Angeles
Dr. Marian Sigman Contact: Margie Greenwald Telephone: (310) 825-0575 E-mail: email@example.com
This project will determine the biological and environmental contributors to social communicative competence in those who have autism. One study will use functional magnetic resonance imaging functional magnetic resonance imaging
n. Abbr. fMRI
Magnetic resonance imaging that provides three-dimensional images of the brain based on changes in blood flow and that can be correlated with brain functions. (FMRI fMRI
functional magnetic resonance imaging ) to learn how regions in the brain in people who have autism work in tests of empathy, facial expressions, and prosody prosody: see versification.
Study of the elements of language, especially metre, that contribute to rhythmic and acoustic effects in poetry. (the rhythm and accents of speech). Another study will compare two different methods for accelerating language development. Another will assess social and adaptive competence in adolescents and adults who have autism whose social, communicative, and symbolic skills were measured at ages 3 to 5.
* Eunice Kennedy Shriver Eunice Mary Kennedy Shriver (born July 10, 1921 in Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.), is a member of the Kennedy family. Her father was Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., and her mother was Rose Kennedy. Center
Waltham, Massachusetts Dr. Helen Tager-Flusberg and Dr. Susan Folstein (with the University of Massachusetts, and Tufts New England Medical Center) Contact: Cindy Aweimrine Telephone: (617) 642-0180; Fax: (617) 642-0185 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
This project will study the genetics, behavioral characteristics, developmental course, neural processing, and neuropathology neuropathology /neu·ro·pa·thol·o·gy/ (-pah-thol´ah-je) pathology of diseases of the nervous system.
The study of diseases of the nervous system. of autism--particularly as they relate to language and social understanding. This will include study of the Theory of Mind:
* An in-depth study of adolescents who have autism whose IQ's are below 40;
* Structural and functional imaging of language-related brain regions.
In addition to free diagnostic, and neuropsychological evaluations, eligible participants will receive free language evaluations. Travel costs from Massachusetts and surrounding areas to the Shriver shrive
v. shrove or shrived, shriv·en or shrived, shriv·ing, shrives
1. To hear the confession of and give absolution to (a penitent).
2. Center (10 miles west of Boston) will be covered.
Hearing in Autism
* Albert Einstein College of Medicine
The Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM) is a graduate school of Yeshiva University. It is a private medical school located in the Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus of Yeshiva University in the Morris Park
Dr. Michelle Dunn Contact: Dr. Dunn Telephone: (718) 430-2459; Fax: (718) 430-8785
This project will examine the integrity of auditory processing in children who have autism through behavioral (audiometric au·di·om·e·ter
An instrument for measuring hearing activity for pure tones of normally audible frequencies. Also called sonometer.
au ), physiologic, and electrophysiologic (event-related potentials ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) An integrated information system that serves all departments within an enterprise. Evolving out of the manufacturing industry, ERP implies the use of packaged software rather than proprietary software written by or for one customer. ) measures, and relate it to later language development This project may represent the most thorough assessment of hearing yet undertaken in autism.
Movement and Sensory Processing
* University of Colorado Health Sciences Center The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC) is part of the University of Colorado System. It has recently been merged with the University of Colorado at Denver (UCD) to form the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center. , Denver
Dr. Sally Rogers and Dr. Bruce Pennington Contact: Dr. Sally Rogers Telephone: (303) 8714403 E-mail: sally, firstname.lastname@example.org
This project is measuring sensory processing in adults and young children who have autism and Fragile X syndrome Fragile X Syndrome Definition
Fragile X syndrome is the most common form of inherited mental retardation. Individuals with this condition have developmental delay, variable levels of mental retardation, and behavioral and emotional difficulties. . Some of the most sophisticated brain imaging technology available will be used to test hypotheses regarding auditory memory, cortical hyper reactivity and other aspects of brain functioning in autism. This study conducted over time, will measure early sensory, affective, and the motor abilities of preschool children, and assess their impact on later attentional and social functioning. A related study (Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University, mainly at Baltimore, Md. Johns Hopkins in 1867 had a group of his associates incorporated as the trustees of a university and a hospital, endowing each with $3.5 million. Daniel C. ) will assess language and social functioning of relatives in families with more than one child who has autism.
NIH STUDY SUBJECT RECRUITMENT CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY
The Human Performance Laboratory at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's Hospitals in St. Louis, Missouri, is seeking children with cerebral palsy (CP) to serve as controls for an NIH-FUNDED research project.
WHO: Children with spastic diplegia CP must be 4 to 25 years of age and ambulating independently, or with crutches or canes (orthotics orthotics /or·thot·ics/ (-iks) the field of knowledge relating to orthoses and their use.
n. are acceptable).
PURPOSES: To study the effectiveness of the selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR See software defined radio. ) surgical procedure and develop an objective method to help select candidates.
METHODS: Four groups of children are being recruited.
Group 1 will undergo the SDR and have intensive physical therapy (PT). Group 2 will not undergo the SDR but will have intensive PT. Group 3 will not undergo the SDR and will continue with their current PT. Group 4 will be children with able bodies.
We are currently recruiting children for Groups 2 and 3. No surgery will be performed on these children. Children who are randomly assigned to the Group 2 will have intensive PT (3-4 times/week) in their hometown paid by the grant. Children will be tested. 4 times over a 22 month period. Tests will include an analysis of gait, strength and spasticity spasticity /spas·tic·i·ty/ (spas-tis´i-te) the state of being spastic; see spastic (2).
1. A spastic state or condition.
2. Spastic paralysis. (ankle, knee, hip), oxygen uptake, gross motor function measure (GMFM GMFM Gross Motor Function Measure
GMFM Gauss-Markov Fading Model ) and disability questionnaire. All tests will be paid by the grant. Substantial participation incentives are provided to offset patient expenses and minimize attrition.
For more information please contact:
Sandy A. Ross, MHS, PT, PCS Senior Physical Therapist Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's Hospitals Department of Rehabilitation at Washington University 4555 Forest Park Parkway St. Louis. Missouri 63108
Phone: (314) 454-8335
Fax: (314) 454-5388
E-mail: sross@roadrunner roadrunner
or chaparral cock
Either of two species of terrestrial cuckoo, especially Geococcyx californianus (family Cuculidae), of Mexican and southwestern U.S. deserts. About 22 in. .carenet.org E-mail for the Human Performance Lab: roadrunner.carenet.org (grant summary and more information, click on "Subject Recruitment")