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Next Generation Gene Discovery in Familial Autism

Location: Seattle and other sites in the U.S. (we will visit families out of state)

Researchers at the University of Washington are aiming to learn more about the genetic basis of autism. Armed with a better understanding of what genes are involved in autism, we can develop more effective early detection methods and targeted interventions for individuals with autism.

To answer these complicated questions, we are seeking families with at least one child diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and one or more extended family members diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Through this project, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, we hope to identify the genes that play a role in autism.

Placebo-controlled Trial of Dextromethorphan in Rett Syndrome

Location: Baltimore, MD

It has been shown that a brain chemical glutamate and its receptor (NMDA) are markedly increased in the brain of young Rett patients. This increase has a neurotoxic effect that may be responsible for causing seizures, behavior problems and learning disability in these children. DM is a commonly used cough syrup available over the counter and this blinded study proposes to determine if DM can block the NMDA receptors in the brain to ameliorate the symptoms of Rett syndrome compared to the placebo.

Joint Attention Mediated Learning Study

Location: Central Indiana, Kansas City, KS and Central North Carolina

The purpose of this study is to test the effects of an intervention that targets promotion improved social-communication of toddler who are at-risk for autism.

Biomarkers in Autism of Aripiprazole and Risperidone Treatment (BAART)

Location: South Carolina

The BAART clinical trial is a comparative study of the relative effectiveness and side-effects between two FDA-approved medications for the treatment of irritability in children with autism: Abilify (Aripiprazole) and Risperidol (Risperidone). All children will receive active medication. After an initial screening process, children will receive weekly comprehensive physical and psychological examinations by a physician for a month, during which the medication dosage is carefully monitored and adjusted. Visits continue biweekly for another 6 weeks. An optional extension phase consisting of monthly visits for 3 months is available. Financial compensation is provided. Doctor visits and study medication are free of charge.

Musical Preferences in Autism

Location: Online Survey

The overarching aim of our research program is to gain a firm understanding of how individuals with autism spectrum conditions use and are affected by music. Toward the end, the present study investigates the musical preferences, engagement, and strong experiences of those with autism. Our intention is to identify the underpinning psychological qualities in music that people connect with and how they relate to life with autism.

Providers’ Perspectives: Providing Services and Recommendations to Families of a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Location: Online Survey

This is a research study that seeks to understand how professionals provide services and recommendations to families of a child with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. Even though interventions for autism spectrum disorder have drastically improved over the past decade, research has shown that it remains difficult for parents to access quality interventions for their child in the community. By understanding how professionals provide services to families, and the barriers that professionals experience in providing services to children with autism spectrum disorder, we can understand how to improve service access within the community.

Testing the Generalizability of the Multiple Social Tasks with Adolescent Males

Location: California State University at Northridge

The current project is designed to explore possible differences in cognitive/emotional information processing between adolescents with High-Functioning Autism and normally developing adolescents. While the adolescents from the two groups take a dual task in an indivdiual session, their brain activities will be carefully recorded using diverse measures.

The investigation into how maternal attachment style contributes to social-emotional functioning in early school-aged children diagnosed with autism

Location: Questionnaire via mail

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between attachment style and social skills in children diagnosed with autism. Specifically, mothers of children ages 2 to 18 with pre-existing autism spectrum disorder diagnoses will be recruited for this study. The primary investigator, with the help of the faculty supervisor, will contact schools and organizations that reach this population. If the subjects choose to participate in the study, they will be administered three self-report questionnaires at a time arranged by the mother and the primary investigator or they will be sent the questionnaires via mail and will be given pre-stamped envelopes to send them back to the primary investigator. No self-identifying information will be collected for the purpose of this study.

Participant Database for Persons Interested in Research Studies of Developmental Disorders

Location: Charlestown, MA

Our research laboratory, TRANSCEND, at the Massachusetts General Hospital is currently recruiting for a research project to study brain connectivity in autism spectrum disorders. The project will employ the latest, safest and non-invasive technologies to compare the brains of healthy children and children with developmental disorders. Specifically, we will be using MEG (MagnetoEncephaloGraphy) to study brain waves and brain connectivity, and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to take pictures of the brain.


Decoding Workplace Social Dynamics: A Pilot Study

Location: Online Survey

The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of using comics as a medium to assess the ability to decode and pass judgments on employee/customer interactions characteristic of entry-level employment heavy in customer service demands.

Factors Involved in Parental Choices of Treatments for their Children with Autism

Location: Online Survey

In this research we will be investigating what factors are involved in parental choices when choosing therapies and treatments for their children diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). We will attempt to identify where parents find out about potential treatments, why they choose one treatment over another, and what treatments they choose to use and avoid.

An Interprofessional Approach when Caring for Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Location: Online Survey

The goal of this research study is to learn more about the health care experiences of people with autism. We hope to learn more about how health care providers care for people with autism and how health care providers work with each other.

The Power of Parents: A Pilot Epidemiological Study Examing Hotspots in the Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Location: Online Study

The purpose of this study is to better understand the environmental components for the increase in the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Diagnoses. These environmental exposures can come from types of products used in the home, types of employment, geographic areas, and other factors.

Vulnerability of individuals with autism spectrum disorder to naïve involvement in criminal activity

Location: Online Survey

The aim of this project is to understand whether features that may be present in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder influence their understanding of social situations and appropriate behaviour. If the relationship between ASD and offending is better understood, employees within the criminal justice system, including judges, juries, and magistrates may be able to make more informed decisions regarding the behaviour of individuals with the disorder who offend (Freckelton & List, 2009; Mouridsen, 2012).

A 6-Week Randomized, Parallel, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled, Fixed-Dose, Multicenter Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Lurasidone in Children and Adolescents with Autistic Disorder

Location: Clinton, Utah

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 2 fixed doses (20 mg/day and 60mg/day) of Lurasidone for 6 weeks compared to placebo in pediatric and adolescent subjects with irritability associated with autistic disorder.

A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study to Investigate the Efficacy and Safety of Circadin (Melatonin) to Alleviate Sleep Disturbances in Chidren with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Location: Clinton, Utah

The purpose of this study is to compare the treatment effect of Circadin (long-lasting melatonin) 2/5 mg to that of placebo on sleep maintenance as assessed by the Sleep and Nap Diary after 13 weeks of double-blind treatment for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and neurodevelopmental disabilities caused by neurogenic diseases.

Autism Spectrum Genetics in the African American Community

Location: Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Bronx, NY

The Children’s Research Unit at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY is conducting a study on Autism in African Americans. In the majority of the current research on Autism, African Americans are not well represented. This study will be inventigating genetics as well as issues surrounding the diagnosis of Autism in African Americans which can lead to earlier diagnosis and better treatment options for the African American community.

Career Decision-Making Patters of College Students with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (HFASDs), Learning Disabilities (LDs) and College Students without Disabilities

Location: Online Survey

The purpose of this study is to provide an understanding regarding career planning, job attainment, academic achievement, school adjustment, supports and potential barriers in your career pursue of college students with HFASDs and LDs.

Recognizing Young Women with High Functioning Autism

Location: Online Focus Group

We are offering educators of young women with high-functioning autism or Asperger's (HFASD) an opportunity to evaluate a screening tool and participate in an online focus group to help create a quick screening tool to be use to recognize HFASD in young women ages 13 to 26.

Resilience and Adjustment During Transition to College: Comparison of Emerging Adults with and without a Sibling with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Location: Online Survey

The purpose of this study is to examine the factors that influence resilience and adjustment, and the relationship between resilience and adjustment among emerging adult college students who have a sibling at home with ASD compared to emerging adult college students with typically developing (TD) siblings. The central hypothesis is that resilience is positively associated with adjustment and is mediated by the severity of ASD in the sibling with ASD.  

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