A well funded study is hoping to produce groundbreaking new research to help identify autism.
A $28 million dollar effort is underway through a public-private partnership between the National Institutes of Health and the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. The national study will focus on better classification of children with autism with an eye toward improving treatment options.
The four year long study will focus on developing measurements of social impairment.
“The heterogeneity in people with an ASD makes it imperative that we find more precisely diagnosed groups of research subjects so that we can objectively evaluate the clinical effects of an intervention,” said Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
Researchers will follow preschoolers through age 11 at five sites over several months. The group will include children with and without autism. The team will test social functioning measures, including eye tracking and EEGs, lab tests, and assessments by caregivers.