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Calls to Action

National Institute of Mental Health Tells Cure Autism Now Foundation: "Recruit More Families!"

Jun-03
October 14, 2007


Does your family or a family you know have more than one member diagnosed with autism, PDD or Asperger's Disorder?
Click here to contact the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange, now!

Families now have a significant opportunity to contribute to the future of research which will lead to effective treatments and a cure for autism.

In the past, researchers have struggled to recruit enough families with more than one member affected by autism for genetic studies. Progress tracking the genes responsible for autism was slowed. The needed large family collections for genetic analysis were unavailable.

It was then that the Cure Autism Now Foundation (CAN) established the Autism Genetics Resource Exchange (AGRE) - the world's largest autism gene bank with samples from families with more than one member diagnosed with autism.

CAN, known for its nationwide network of families, has successfully recruited 450 families in just five years. This year, CAN received a 4-year, $3.9 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to build on that success and expand its recruitment efforts. AGRE's goal is to recruit 400 new families by 2007.

Families that have more than one member diagnosed with autism, PDD or Asperger's Disorder are encouraged to join AGRE. Families are asked to complete clinical assessments and participate in a family blood draw. Family blood samples are "immortalized" through a laboratory process making the samples a perpetual resource, one that is used repeatedly by qualified researchers worldwide.

AGRE recruiters coordinate all aspects of family participation. Professionals, such as research associates, phlebotomists, and pediatric neurologists, visit the family in their homes to accommodate families' schedules and make participation goes as smoothly as possible.

Once a family's data is collected, AGRE makes confidentially-coded family samples immediately available to researchers for analysis, to publish research, and submit grant proposals. There are currently 102 AGRE-approved researchers worldwide with access to the AGRE samples.

If your family or a family you know has more than one member diagnosed with autism, PDD or Asperger's Disorder, please join us by calling:
Marianne Toedtman
888-AUTISM-2 (288-4762)

familyagre@agre.org
www.familyagre.org