Research on Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorders

Environmental Health Perspectives, May 2001 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Research on Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorders


The purpose of this program announcement is to encourage grant applications for research to elucidate the diagnosis, epidemiology, etiology, genetics, treatment, and optimal means of service delivery in relation to autistic disorder ("autism") and autism spectrum disorders. These complex disorders are usually of lifelong duration and affect multiple aspects of development, learning, and adaptation in the community, and thus represent a pressing public health need. The etiologies of these disorders are poorly understood but are thought to include genetic, metabolic, immunologic, and infectious or other environmental influences.

Etiology research involving these disorders requires well-integrated, multidisciplinary, methodologically rigorous scientific approaches and access to a sufficient number of well-characterized patients with these disorders. Basic research into the pathophysiology of autism and autism spectrum disorders, including research on brain mechanisms and genetics, is of special interest. Also of interest are clinical and applied investigations that may lead to the development of diagnostic research instruments, treatments, and intervention strategies.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to 1) epidemiology: development of new screening tools; research on the expression of the full range of autism spectrum disorders; studies on their developmental course; studies that characterize the range of expression within families; research on co-occurring features; and studies to determine risk factors in the etiology of autism, including environmental exposures during pregnancy and early childhood; 2) early identification and diagnosis: key diagnostic features associated with various stages of development; assessment of comorbid features including hyperactivity, attentional dysfunctions, epilepsy, and obsessive--compulsive symptoms; assessment and further differentiation of subtypes of autism spectrum disorders including autism, Asperger disorder, Rett disorder, and childhood disintegrative disorder; and developmental factors relevant to reliable and valid diagnosis; 3) genetic studies: large-scale linkage studies of affected relative pairs or extended pedigrees to identify chromosomal regions harboring disease susceptibility genes; family-based association analysis and other linkage disequilibrium approaches to identify a specific susceptibility gene; high-resolution mapping and positional cloning studies; resolution of locus heterogeneity; analysis of the interaction of autism susceptibility gene(s) with environmental exposures and/or genes responsive to environmental insult; and testing for potential candidate genes; 4) studies of brain mechanisms: studies of brain mechanisms underlying development, regulation, and modulation of behaviors characteristic of autism and autism spectrum disorders, particularly mechanisms involving communication and social interaction; studies of brain mechanisms and biologic factors underlying autistic regression or the loss of previously acquired skills; studies of brain mechanisms involved in the development of abnormal electroencephalograms and epilepsy and studies to clarify the subtypes of seizures and seizure disorders in autism; studies to define the neurobiologic basis of neurologic abnormalities and neuropsychiatric symptoms, including motor stereotypes, gait abnormalities, akinesias, dyskinesias, obsessive--compulsive traits, and the exacerbation of these symptoms, including the role of neuroimmune/autoimmune factors; studies that seek to define basic processing deficits using neuropsychologic and cognitive neuroscience techniques; and studies to develop animal models of brain dysfunction in autism and autism spectrum disorders based on genetic or environmental factors or their interaction.

Also: 5) communication skills: longitudinal developmental studies of behaviors that are precursors to later communication and their emergence in children with autism and autism spectrum disorders; sensory, motor, and social-cognitive impairments that affect interaction and communication; predictors of loss of or regression in expressive language abilities; the nature of severe spoken language deficits when other areas of function (e.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Research on Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorders
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?