Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital launches study to genetically test for autism

Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital has launched a study to determine whether genetic markers can be used to help identify children who are at risk of developing autism.

The study is designed to confirm the predictive value of established genetic markers and is a follow-up to retrospective studies that have been completed.

Thomas Frazier, Ph.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital Center for , is the principle investigator for the study being funded by IntegraGen, a French biomedical company. The study will enroll 600 children over the next two years.

"This is the first time anyone has done a prospective study on a combination of to examine whether a genetic is helpful in identifying children with autism," Dr. Frazier said. "Autism is currently assessed by looking at behavioral characteristics of children. If we can develop a genetic test to assist in the earlier diagnosis of autism, we can provide beneficial treatment that leads to improved outcomes more quickly."

This study launches as the autism community prepares for the American Psychiatric Association's publication of the fifth edition of (DSM-5) in May 2013. Many experts expect the DSM will have a huge impact on by narrowing the criteria for autism, eliminating Asperger syndrome and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified).

"A genetic has the potential to ensure that high-functioning individuals, who are part of the autism spectrum, continue to be appropriately identified and receive necessary treatments," Dr. Frazier said.

Dr. Frazier's team will also study whether genetic changes may be associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The study will enroll 300 children between the ages of 1 and 12 who are suspected to have an autism spectrum disorder, 75 children diagnosed with ADHD, and 225 children who do not have developmental disorders.

A cheek swab inside the mouth will be used to collect DNA from each study participant. Additionally, parents or caregivers will be asked to complete standardized questionnaires. Parents interested in finding out more information or enrolling their child in the study can contact the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital Center for Autism's Research Coordinator at (216) 448-6493.

The genetic testing will be done in the Genomic Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute. The study is being supported by a clinical research grant from IntegraGen, the company that developed the genetic panel being evaluated.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mental disorders in parents linked to autism in children

May 05, 2008

Parents of children with autism were roughly twice as likely to have been hospitalized for a mental disorder, such as schizophrenia, than parents of other children, according to an analysis of Swedish birth and hospital records ...

Brain scans detect autism's signature

Nov 15, 2010

An autism study by Yale School of Medicine researchers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has identified a pattern of brain activity that may characterize the genetic vulnerability to developing autism spectrum ...

Recommended for you

'Integrated Play Groups' help children with autism

Oct 27, 2014

It's an often-agonizing challenge facing any parent of a child with autism: How can I help my son or daughter socialize with his or her typically developing peers? The solution, SF State's Pamela Wolfberg found, may lie in ...

Autism after high school

Oct 27, 2014

Melanie Tyner-Wilson is facing one of her toughest battles yet. She wants nothing more than to help her son Jay Tyner-Wilson, who is a person with autism, land his first real job.

Association between air toxics and childhood autism

Oct 22, 2014

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more likely to have been exposed to higher levels of certain air toxics during their mothers' pregnancies and the first two years of life compared to children ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.