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Gender Exploration of Neurogenetics andDevelopment to Advance Autism Research

Brief Description:

The main goal of this study is to identify gender differences in brain structure, function, connectivity, and genetics in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Currently, autism spectrum disorders affect more males than females. Research indicates that males are 15 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD. By learning more about these gender differences, we aim to improve techniques for diagnosis and interventions. In order to thoroughly investigate the questions we are asking, we will be using a variety of methods: neuropsychological testing, EEG, fMRI and a genetics portion.

 

Eligibility for Study Participation:

 Children between the ages of 8 to 17 years of age that fit into one of these three groups:

· Children who have an ASD diagnosis
· Children who are typically developing with a sibling with an ASD diagnosis
· Children who are typically developing without a sibling with an ASD diagnosis

Participation Details:

Eligible participants will be invited to the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience for two visits lasting approximately 3-4 hours, asked to complete a few mailed questionnaires (for both the child and the parents), and a blood draw. Participants will receive a payment for each portion, and a toy for each child. We also offer free parking and free child care for any siblings that may accompany you and your child to the LCN.

Research Contact:

MaryKate Driscoll (Nelson Laboratory)
617-455-7238
autismgenderstudy@childrens.harvard.edu

Full Description:

The current study is part of the Autism Center of Excellence (ACE Network) which includes researchers from Yale University, UCLA, the University of Washington, and Boston Children’s Hospital. The purpose of this study is to identify gender differences in brain structure, function, connectivity, and genetics in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Currently, autism spectrum disorders affect more males than females. Research indicates that males are 15 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD. By learning more about these gender differences, we aim to improve techniques for diagnosis and interventions. In order to thoroughly investigate the questions we are asking, we will be using a variety of methods: neuropsychological testing, EEG, fMRI and a genetics portion. For this study, we will be enrolling three groups of children: children diagnosed with an ASD, siblings of children with an ASD diagnosis, and typically developing children without a brother or sister with an ASD.

 

 
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