NIH Funds New Study to Refine Measurement of Social Behavior and Treatment Response in Children with ASD
On Monday, NIH announced a four-year, $28 million grant that will fund 5 academic centers to develop new tools to more precisely measure changes in core ASD symptomatology. These novel measures, which include eye tracking responses and measures of brain activity (EEG) will be combined with genetic analyses to better evaluate the clinical effects of different interventions or treatments for children with ASD. The study is supported by the Biomarkers Consortium—a public-private research partnership— which employs a “precision medicine” approach to develop targeted technologies and treatments for ASD by combining information about an individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle.
For the current study, researchers will first develop new lab-based measures to assess changes in social functioning and impairment over time and compare them to the gold-standard clinician and caregiver assessments of social function. Once these lab-based measures have been validated, the projects will examine the extent to which eye tracking and EEG relate to these lab-based measures of social function.
UW is one of the 5 sites funded to conduct the project, with Dr. Raphael Bernier serving as the lead researcher. This project will be recruiting preschoolers (3-5 years) as well as school-aged children (6-11 years) with and without ASD.
For more information about this project and the Biomarkers Consortium, click here. Families interested in participating can go online at www.asdbiomarkers.org or http://depts.washington.edu/rablab or call 206-616-2889.