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Autism Speaks awards $770,000 for gastrointestinal research in autism spectrum disorders
Date:4/13/2011

ral studies have described altered GI and immune function in children with ASD and GI symptoms. In these children the presence of GI symptoms is often associated with increased irritability, tantrums, aggressive behavior and sleep disturbance. For families and children with ASD, access to rigorously studied treatments for medical conditions associated with autism is a major unmet need. Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) provides experts in the care and management of GI problems for children with ASD and engages in clinical research. However, the underlying nature of GI dysfunction in ASD and its relationship to etiology and ASD symptoms are still poorly understood. This information is critical to developing better and more targeted treatments, so both clinical and basic research in this area is needed. To accelerate research and find answers for those who suffer with GI problems and ASD, Autism Speaks issued a special Request for Applications to stimulate research to systematically explore and better understand GI dysfunction in ASD. This new study brings together innovative and cutting-edge pilot projects that form a new synergistic and coordinated effort. The connections between irregular bowel movements, gut barrier function, gut bacteria, immune function, and abnormal behavior have as yet not been investigated in ASD. This Trailblazer Study will examine these potential links.

"This groundbreaking approach has the potential to provide insights into the pathophysiology of GI dysfunction in ASD that we believe can set the stage for larger scale studies and treatment applications," explained Autism Speaks Vice President of Clinical Programs, Clara Lajonchere, Ph.D. "We have great hopes for this collaboration because each of the researchers involved is applying his GI expertise to autism research in an unprecedented way."


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Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein
jrubinstein@rubenstein.com
212-843-8287
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert  

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Autism Speaks awards $770,000 for gastrointestinal research in autism spectrum disorders
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