Projects Launched 2009
Diet and Nutrition in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An ATN Study is an observational study led by Susan Hyman out of Rochester. Participating sites include Arkansas (Jill James), Cincinnati (Patty Manning), and Pittsburgh (Cynthia Johnson). This ATN AIR-P Nutrition study is a two-year project funded by AIR-P. The objective of the study is to determine the nutritional status of 450 children ages 2 to 11 with autism.
Parent-Based Sleep Education Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders is randomized control trial led by Beth Malow out of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Participating sites include Colorado (Ann Reynolds), and Toronto (Shelly Weiss). This ATN AIR-P Sleep study is a three-year project funded by AIR-P. The objective of the study is to determine the most effective education/behavior intervention in addressing insomnia in families of approximately 150 children ages 2 to 10 years old with autism.
Projects Launched 2010
Bone Mineral Density in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders is a cross sectional study led by Ann Neumeyer out of LADDERS/Lurie Center. The Bone Density study is a one-year study funded by AIR-P. The study aims to determine whether 20 boys, ages 8 to 14 years old with autism, have lower bone mineral density than age-matched controls, and explore risk factors for low bone mineral density.
Markers of Iron Status and Metabolism in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders is a cross-sectional, observational study led by Ann Reynolds of Colorado in collaboration with the sites from the AIR-P Nutrition Study. The Iron Status study is a two-year study funded by AIR-P. The study’s objective is to evaluate associations between iron intake, iron status, GI symptoms, and novel markers of iron status, iron absorption and inflammation in 450 children ages 2 to 11 years old.
Defining the Relation of Sleep Disturbance in Autism Spectrum Disorder to Psychiatric and Behavioral Comorbidities was a cross-sectional, analytical, study led by Suzanne Goldman and Beth Malow out of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The study was a one-year project funded by AIR-P, which concluded in September 2010. This study used the ATN registry to define the psychiatric and behavioral comorbidities associated with disordered sleep across the spectrum of age, IQ, and functional status.
Prevalence of Creatine Deficiency Syndrome (CDS) in children with ASD and the impact of genotypic variability of CDS genes is a pilot, observational study led by Andreas Schulze and Alvin Loh out of the Toronto site. Participating sites include LADDERS/Lurie Center (Margaret Bauman), and Colorado (Anne Tsai). The Creatine study is a two-year project funded by AIR-P. The objective of the study is to identify the prevalence of CDS in 600 children with autism and assess the interaction of genotypic variability of the three known genes involved in creatine metabolism with the autism phenotype.
Projects Launched 2011
The Autism Impact Measures (AIM): A New Tool to Measure Treatment Outcome in ASD is an observational study led by Stephen Kanne at the Baylor College of Medicine ATN site. Participating sites include Oregon Health and Science University (Darryn Sikora) and six collaborating ATN sites (Kennedy Krieger Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, University of Missouri at Columbia, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Children’s Hospital, and University of Colorado, Denver). The study is a one-year study funded by AIR-P. The proposed study’s objective it to test the validity and reliability of the AIM (a newly developed assessment tool that tracks parent-reported frequency of core ASD symptoms and the impact of those symptoms on function) and to further refine the measure using a large sample size of 400 children.
Maternal Cholesterol and Autism is a pilot, observational study led by Jean-Baptiste Roullet and Robert Steiner out of Oregon Health and Science University. Collaborating sites include Colorado (Anne Tsai) and Kennedy Krieger Institute (Elaine Tierney). This is an 18-month study funded by AIR-P. The objective of the study is to characterize maternal sterol metabolism in 100 mothers of children with autism including mothers at risk to have another autistic child.
Epileptiform Discharges and its Relation to Cognition and Behavior in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders is a pilot, observational study led by Greg Barnes and Julie Paolicchi out of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Collaborating sites include Columbia (Reet Sidhu, Erica Kovacs) and LADDERS/Lurie Center (Kathy Martien, Kenneth Sassower). This is an 18-month study funded by AIR-P. The objective of the study is to test putative links between interictal epileptiform discharges, sleep, and behavior/cognition in 60 children ages 3 to 7 years old.
The Study of Toddlers with Autism and Regression (STAR) Protocol – Screening for Treatable Disorders and Biomarkers of Inflammation and Immune Activation in the Plasma and CNS study is an observational study led by Alvin Loh, Evdokia Anagnostou, Jessica Brian, and William Logan out of the Toronto ATN site. Collaborating sites include Arkansas (Jill James) and Kennedy Krieger Institute (Deepa Menon). This is an 18-month study funded by AIR-P. The objective of the study is to determine if 50 children ages 18 to 36 months have increased signs of systemic inflammation and oxidative stress compared to children with autism and no regression.
Constipation and Toilet Training in Autism is a pilot, observational cohort study led by Peggy Marcon and Pam Green at the Toronto ATN site. This is a one-year study funded by the AIR-P. The goal of this pilot study is to describe and develop an effective and clearly defined behavioral treatment protocol for 10 children ages 4-9, to complement and enhance current medical treatment of constipation in children with ASD.
Projects Launched 2012
Treatment of Overweight Induced by Antipsychotic Medication in Young People with ASD is a 3-year study to conduct a 16-week, double blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial of fixed dose metformin to decrease weight gain associated with atypical antipsychotic (AAP) medication in children with ASD. A total of 90 subjects (ages 6-17) will be recruited from the ATN registry and other research/clinical databases. Evdokia Anagnostou, MD leads the projects out of the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab/ The Hospital for Sick Children/Surrey Place Centre in affiliation with Ben Handen, PhD at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Jeremy Veenstra- Vanderweele, MD, PhD at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Mike Aman, PhD at Ohio State University / Eric Butter, MD at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Iron Treatment of Sleep Disorders in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder is a proposal for a 3 year, 2-phase study designed to evaluate the effect of iron supplementation on restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement of sleep. The first phase is an open label trial of oral elemental iron for children with ASD and low ferritin levels. The second phase is a randomized placebo-controlled trial of oral elemental iron treatment for insomnia in children with ASD and low ferritin levels. A total of 180 children (ages 3-10) will be enrolled across four ATN centers. Ann Reynolds, MD at the University of Colorado, Denver leads the projects in affiliation with Heidi Connelly, MD at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Shelly Weiss, MD Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab/ The Hospital for Sick Children/Surrey Place Centre , and Beth Malow, MD at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Evaluation for Functional Causes of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Children with ASD is a one-year, single-site research effort lead by Kent Williams, MD at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This proposal has been awarded AIR-P support under RFA ATN-AIR-11-03 as a LEVEL 1 study. The project proposes to gather pilot data to explore mechanisms associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders in children with ASD.
Evaluating the Impact of Emergency Room Services for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders is a 2-year, multi-site research effort lead by Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, MD at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in collaboration with Wendy Roberts, MD at the Hospital for Sick Children. This proposal has been awarded AIR-P support under RFA ATN-AIR-11-03 as a LEVEL 2 study. The investigators propose to examine emergency room (ER) accessibility and experience among children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Relationship between Gastrointestinal Disorders and Stress Reactivity, Immunity, and Blood Serotonin in Autism Spectrum Disorder is a 2-year, multi-site research effort lead by David Beversdorf, MD – University of Missouri, Thompson Center and Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, MD – Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Margaret Bauman, MD – Lurie Family Center, MGH. This proposal has been awarded AIR-P support under RFA ATN-AIR-11-03 as a LEVEL 2 study. The investigators plan to examine factors related to immune markers and whole blood serotonin, and how stress response, gastrointestinal disorders, immunity, and the serotonin system interact in autism.
Presentations & Publications
ATN/AIR-P researchers have been actively sharing some preliminary results of the ATN Registry and research efforts by presenting at over five national and international scientific, medical and specialty meetings and conferences. Read more about these presentations here.
Learn more about our publications, here