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Calls to Action

New Jersey Language & Autism Genetics Study (NJLAGS), Newark, NJ

Clinical research projects currently seeking participants:
January 01, 2008

The Autism Center at UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

"New Jersey Language & Autism Genetics Study (NJLAGS)"

New Jersey Language & Autism Genetics Study is the first large genetics study to look at a connection between autism and language-based learning disabilities in New Jersey. Over a 5-year period, NJLAGS will directly explore the possible genetic link between autism and language disorders. Previous research has shown that families who have a member with the diagnosis of autism are more likely to have other family members who have had some type of language-based development problems (i.e. language delay, language disability, dyslexia). This project's goal is to better understand this occurrence by gathering mental health information, language/learning information and genetic material (i.e. DNA from a blood sample) from people who either have autism or are related to someone who has autism.

In addition, participants in this study will have their genetic material anonymously stored at The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) cell and DNA repository. This will enable family members who provide only one blood sample and one clinical assessment to participate in multiple future studies, thus greatly multiplying the scientific benefits of their participation, and leading to a better understanding and better treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Families are eligible if:

  • They have a child age 4 or older who is diagnosed as having autism
  • They have at least 5 immediate or extended family members available to participate (including the child with autism)
  • They have a history of language-based learning problems in at least one other family member beside the child with autism
  • The participating family members are native speakers of English

For information about enrolling in this program, contact Denise Soto at (888) 777-6227, ext. 38, or via e-mail at dsoto@naar.org.

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