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Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment (STAART) Network

What is the STAART Network?

Congress passed the Children's Health Act of 2000 , legislation that mandated many activities, among them the establishment of a new autism research network—at least five centers of excellence in autism research. In response, the five Institutes of the NIH Autism Coordinating Committee (NIMH, NICHD, NINDS, NIDCD, & NIEHS) have implemented the Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment (STAART) network program. Each center will contribute to the autism research base in the areas of causes, diagnosis, early detection, prevention, and treatment.

Are there other centers on autism at NIH?

In 1997, the NICHD started an international network of ten Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism (CPEA). This network is currently funded by NICHD and NIDCD. In addition, two of the Children's Environmental Health Centers  funded by NIEHS focus on autism.

Who is in the STAART Network?

The STAART Network is comprised of eight centers across the country. Most of these centers are evaluating and treating patients, as well as enrolling them into clinical trials. Summary information about each center are included below, including contacts for more details:

Network information provided by the STAART Data Coordinating Center can be found at the NIH Autism Research Network Web site .

Featured STAART Studies

Effectiveness of Early Intervention with Fluoxetine in Enhancing Developmental Processes in Children with Autism .
Interventional study. This study will assess the safety and effectiveness of treating autistic children with fluoxetine to enhance developmental processes in core areas impacted by autism. Ages 30 Months-58 Months. Locations in Los Angeles, CA; Chapel Hill, NC; New York, NY.

Early Characteristics of Autism. 
Treatment study; outpatient. This study will identify factors that distinguish children with autism from children with developmental delay and those with normal development and study the efficacy of intensive behavioral therapy in children with autism. Ages 18-24 months. Seattle, WA.

Diet and Behavior in Young Children with Autism. 
Treatment study; outpatient. This study will determine whether a gluten- and casein-free diet has specific benefits for children with autism. Ages 30-54 months. Rochester, NY.

Citalopram for Children with Autism and Repetitive Behavior. 
Treatment study; outpatient. This study will determine the efficacy and safety of citalopram compared to placebo in the treatment of children with autism. Ages 5-17 years. Locations across the U.S.

Relationship Traning for Children with Autism and Their Peers. 
Treatment study; outpatient. This study will determine whether peer interaction training interventions are effective in enhancing the social relationships of children with autism. Ages 6 to 11 years. Los Angeles, CA.