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Children: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Join a Research Study: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Brain Behavior Study in Children

Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health are seeking children between the ages of 4 years and 8 years who have been diagnosed with either an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to participate in a study examining the use of Near Infra-Red Spectroscopy (NIRS). A group of children who are typically developing will also be recruited as a comparison group. 

The purpose of this study is to test whether the NIRS system, which is a functional imaging technique that can monitor brain activity while allowing for movement, can be used to monitor cognitive brain activity and detect differences in children who are diagnosed with an ASD or ADHD. The study involves an initial screening evaluation that will include a comprehensive caregiver interview and behavioral assessment of the child. Eligible participants will then complete a NIRS scan while performing computer generated tasks. One follow-up visit at an 18 month interval will include another administration of the NIRS scan while the participant completes computer generated tasks. This study will involve outpatient visits and will be conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. 

The results of this study will provide information about the utility of the NIRS technique to detect differences in children with ASD or ADHD and may aid in the understanding of the cognitive functions that underlie these disorders. 

Compensation will be provided.

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-435-7962 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

Join a Research Study: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Markers of Autism Spectrum Disorders in At-risk Toddlers: A Pilot Study

Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health are seeking toddlers 10-14 or 16-20 months of age with language delays, such as having no words at 16-20 months of age or only limited vocalizations at 10-14 months of age, or with typical language development to participate in a study of language delay as a risk factor for autism.

The purpose of this study is to examine early language delay as a risk factor for autism and to examine how these delays correlate with brain structure and function. The study involves an initial evaluation that will include a caregiver interview and behavioral and language assessments of the child. Following the initial evaluation, participants will have an overnight EEG and an MRI scan of the brain. Follow-up outpatient visits without an EEG or MRI will occur every 6-12 months. The final study visit will occur at 36 months of age and will involve repeating behavioral assessments, sleep EEG recording, and MRI scan.

This study will involve both outpatient and inpatient visits and will be conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-435-7962 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].

Join a Research Study: Autism Spectrum Disorders

The dREMe Study: A trial of donepezil for REM sleep enhancement and improvement of ASD core symptoms

The purpose of this study is to study the effect of donepezil (Ariceptr) on communication and other symptoms of ASD. All children enrolled in this study will receive behavioral and medical tests at a baseline evaluation. Participants will then be seen in the research clinic for periodic follow-up visits to track their developmental progress.

Children 24 to 50 months of age with ASD will be included.

This study requires eight visits to NIH over an 18 month period. Five overnight stays for sleep studies will be required. Your child will receive donepezil or placebo (a capsule without any medication in it) for 6 months. At the end of those six months, your child will stop taking the study capsule. After your child stops taking the capsule, he/she will continue to come to NIH to be tested. We will monitor the children for one year after their last dose of the study capsule to follow their development.

The study is conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. There is no cost to participate and parental permission is required. 
 

To find out if you qualify, email NIMH or call 1-301-435-7962 [TTY: 1-866-411-1010].