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Columbia University

Findings add to evidence that gluten-free diets may help ease GI problems in some individuals affected by autism
June 21, 2013

New research adds to the evidence of a potential link between autism and sensitivities to gluten, a protein found in certain grains such as wheat. The researchers found that elevated antibodies to gluten were more common among children with autism than in others. In addition, the elevated antibody levels corresponded to GI symptoms such as pain and constipation.

The 1999 Research Awards marked the third year NAAR funded autism research programs and the first time the organization had funded autism research in Europe. NAAR invested $800,000 in 1999 to fund 14 pilot studies and two mentor-based fellowships in the United States, Russia and Italy.

Search for susceptibility genes in autism

Catalina Betancur, M.D., Ph.D., INSERM France (Young Investigator)

Conditional neurotrophin knock-out mice as a model for the developmental neuropathology of autism

Schahram Akbarian, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital (Young Investigator)

Molecular Studies in Autism

Huda Zoghbi, M.D., Baylor College of Medicine (Genius Award)
The funds received through the Cure Autism Now Genius Award will allow us to explore new approaches to identify some of the molecular genetic pathways involved in autism. Our strategy will focus on the following hypothesis: Genes that are key in mediating prominent phenotypes seen in autistic patients are likely to be mutated, at least, in a subset of autism patients. A two-pronged approach will be taken to hone in on the most promising candidate pathways.

Cure Autism Now funded a variety of science programs designed to encourage innovative approaches toward identifying the causes, developing means of prevention and treatment and ultimately, finding a cure for autism and related disorders.

Field-building research grants were a core feature of Cure Autism Now's science program: Pilot Project, Young Investigator, Treatment, and Innovative Technology in Autism grants were born out of the necessity to stimulate novel research and entice investigators to join the fight to understand autism.