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UNC expands brain imaging study of infants at risk for autism
Date:11/26/2008

fits might include the development of early screening measures for autism and a better understanding of the underlying brain mechanisms, which we hope will lead to treatments to prevent or reduce the problems that individuals with autism face," Piven said.

For the study, UNC heads a network of four data collection sites across the country: at UNC, the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington University in St. Louis and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The project also includes a data coordinating center at the Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada.

The study will enroll 544 infants, aged 6 and 12 months, whose older siblings are autistic. At the start, they will receive behavioral assessments and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams. The six-month-olds will then be tested again at 12 and 24 months of age, while the 12-month-olds will be retested at 24 months.

Piven said the additional funding will allow researchers to examine all 544 children at all time points, instead of focusing only on those that are most likely to develop autism.

He also said he welcomed the somewhat novel public-private partnership arrangement for the additional funding between the NIH and an outside funding agency.


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Contact: Tom Hughes
tahughes@unch.unc.edu
919-966-6047
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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