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Columbia, MO 65211

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Interaction of Genetics and Stress on the Development of autism

The purpose of this study is to investigate the differences in DNA that are associated with stress and how they may contribute to the cause of ASD. This research is being done because at this time no one knows how autism develops. We think that genes and stress may work together in the development of some cases of ASD. We will be looking at how stress and other environmental factors, including diet, interact with one’s genetic makeup. This study will include surveys and a blood draw.

  • Eligibility requirements: Participation of both parents and child under the age of 8 diagnosed with ASD.  The participation of an unaffected sibling (if available) would be very beneficial.
  • Time required: Approximately 1-2 hours.
  • Location: Thompson Center, University of Missouri
  • Monetary compensation: Yes
  • Contact Person: Patrick Hecht, pmhp6d@mail.missouri.edu
  • Research study director: David Beversdorf, MD

 

Autistic Traits: Life Course and Genetic Structure

This study will determine whether children with complex autism differ from children with essential autism by looking at the physical and mental development of children when compared to family members.

  • Eligibility requirements: children age 4+ diagnosed with ASD and one typically developing full sibling and at least one biological parent that is available to participate
  • Time required: Approximately 1-4 hours, depending on amount of prior testing
  • Location: Thompson Center, University of Missouri
  • Monetary compensation: Yes
  • Contact Person: Jill Akers phone: 573-884-6092 email: akersji@missouri.edu
  • Research study director: Judith Miles, MD, PhD

 

Range of tasks affected by propranolol in autism and effect of sympathetic reactivity

The purpose of this study is to better understand the range of cognitive effects of propranolol in autism. We will test for effects of propranolol on verbal memory, working memory, spatial memory, attention, mood, and anxiety, and determine whether Galvanic skin response and heart rate variability predicts the degree of cognitive benefit.

  • Eligibility requirements: Individuals age 15-24 diagnosed with ASD
  • Time required: 2 visits, 2 hours for each visit
  • Location: Thompson Center
  • Monetary compensation: Yes
  • Contact Person: John Hegarty, email jphpn7@mail.missouri.edu
  • Research study director: David Beversdorf, MD

 

Effects of propranolol on functional connectivity in autism and effect of sympathetic reactivity

The purpose of this study is to better understand the effects of propranolol on cognition (thinking) in those with ASD. Participants will attend 3 sessions at the MU Brain Imaging Center where they will take propranolol, nadolol, or placebo (sugar pill). Then, participants will be placed in an MRI machine where we will measure the effects of the drug on language, memory, problem solving, and connectivity in the brain. Furthermore, we will determine whether Galvanic skin response (i.e. level of skin sweat) and heart rate variability predict the degree of benefit from propranolol.

  • Eligibility requirements: Individuals age 15-25 years of age diagnosed with ASD
  • Time required: 3 sessions (3-4 hours each session)
  • Location: MU Brain Imaging Center
  • Monetary compensation: Yes
  • Contact Person: John Hegarty, email jphpn7@mail.missouri.edu
  • Research study director: David Beversdorf, MD

 

Relationship between gastrointestinal disorders and stress reactivity, immunity, and blood serotonin in autism spectrum disorders

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between stress reactivity, immune response, whole blood serotonin, and gastrointestinal symptomatology in ASDs. This research is being conducted as children with autism are frequently affected by gastrointestinal problems.  This study will help us examine the possible link between gastrointestinal problems and markers of stress.

  • Eligibility requirements:Individuals age 6-18  diagnosed with ASD
  • Time required: 1.5 hours
  • Location: Thompson Center
  • Monetary compensation: Yes
  • Contact Person: Jill Akers phone: 573-884-6092 email: akersji@missouri.edu
  • Research study director: David Beversdorf, MD