Autism Center of Excellence (ACE)
Interdisciplinary Studies of Insistence on Sameness (IS) in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
With a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development of NIH, the UIC ACE focuses on an interdisciplinary, translational program of research, from gene to biochemistry to neurophysiology to behavior. Specifically, our group is investigating the pathophysiology and treatment of insistence on sameness in autism. Over 250 families are expected to participate by the end of the current period of support in the summer of 2012.
Three projects are included in the ACE:
- Project I, Genetics of Serotonin in Autism: Neurochemical and Clinical Endophenotypes, will combine data from 250 ACE participants with 225 previously studied subjects and their parents for a total of 475 trios. This project will study serotonin-related genes for association with autism and with IS more specifically.
- In Project II: Translational Studies of Cognitive, Affective and Neurochemical Processes Underlying Insistence on Sameness in Autism, fMRI studies of IS will be conducted on 50 subjects also in Project III, 50 subjects not in project III and 50 control subjects. In addition, rat studies in which parallel behavioral and neurochemical approaches are used.
- Project III: The Pharmacogenetics of Treatment for Insistence on Sameness in Autism has been designed to replicate and extend a preliminary study of escitalopram treatment of insistence on sameness-related irritability/anxiety in ASD.
Additional information including information for potential research participants