IACC announces top autism research advances of 2017

April 30, 2018

The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) has published its annual list of the past year’s highlights in autism research – 2017 IACC Summary of Advances in Autism Spectrum Disorder Research.

Eight of the “Top Twenty” reports came out of studies supported by Autism Speaks, either directly through research grants or through the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) in its federally funded role as the Autism Intervention Research Network for Physical Health (AIR-P).

The twenty scientific papers spanned the broad range of autism research, including new findings on:

* early brain development in infants at risk for autism

* the interplay between genetic and epigenetic effects in autism

* the brain and behavioral effects of parent-led, play-based interventions

* a promising medication to curb obesity and diabetes risk related to the use of anti-psychotic medicines

* improved understanding of the benefits and limitations of the behavioral and diagnostic scales used by clinicians when diagnosing and meeting the needs of people who have autism.

“Autism Speaks is proud to have supported these ground-breaking studies in its commitment to being a catalyst for research breakthroughs that improve the lives of people who have autism,” says Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Thomas Frazier. “This work is truly made possible by the passion and generosity of our volunteers and donors.”

The selections supported by Autism Speaks include:

Functional neuroimaging of high-risk 6-month-old infants predicts a diagnosis of autism at 24 months of age. Emerson RW, Adams C, Nishino T, et al. Sci Transl Med. 2017 Jun 7;9(393). [Autism Speaks research grant 6020]

Early brain development in infants at high risk for autism spectrum disorder. Hazlett HC, Gu H, Munsell BC, et al. Nature. 2017;542:348-51. [Autism Speaks research grant 6020]

A prospective study of the concordance of DSM-IV and DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder. Mazurek MO, Lu F, Symecko H, et al. J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Sep;47(9):2783-2794. [Autism Speaks ATN and the AIR-P]

Cross-tissue integration of genetic and epigenetic data offers insight into autism spectrum disorder. Andrews SV, Ellis SE, Bakulski KM, Sheppard B, et al. Nat Commun. 2017 Oct 24;8(1):1011. [Autism Speaks research grants 7659 and 6020]

Adaptive behavior in autism: minimal clinically important differences on the Vineland-II. Chatham CH, Taylor KI, Charman T, et al. Autism Res. 2017 Sep 21. [Autism Speaks science staff and Autism Speaks ATN and the AIR-P]

A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of metformin for the treatment of overweight induced by antipsychotic medication in young people with autism spectrum disorder: open-label extension. Handen BL, Anagnostou E, Aman MG, et al. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017 Oct;56(10):849-856.e6. [Autism Speaks ATN and the AIR-P]

Parent-delivered early intervention in infants at risk for ASD: effects on electrophysiological and habituation measures of social attention. Jones EJ, Dawson G, Kelly J, et al. Autism Res. 2017 May;10(5):961-972. [AS research fellowship 2140]

For more information about the IACC’s publications and activities, visit www.iacc.hhs.gov.

For more on the top research studies of 2017, also see
Autism Speaks names top ten autism studies of 2017.”

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