Current Study Opportunities

Identification of Biomarkers in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using Genomic, Proteomic and Metabolomic Profiling: A Case-Control Study

This study aims to identify biomarkers that correlate with behavioral and developmental phenotypes, in order to:

  * develop and test biomarker profiles that form a diagnostics tool
  * screen and identify children with ASD who might benefit from specific treatments
  * develop and test biomarker profiles that inform an instrument for monitoring therapeutic response to medical intervention
  * improve the clinical well-being of affected children and increase our knowledge base of this disorder

This prospective research study is enrolling male and female children with autism as well as neurotypical controls (see control study flyer for details). Children that have an affected sibling are encouraged to participate as ‘sibling controls’.

Elemental Diet in the Treatment of Children Diagnosed with Autism Presenting with Gastrointestinal Abnormalities (ongoing)

The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of an Elemental Diet in the amelioration of gastrointestinal symptoms in children with GI dysfunctions and a diagnosis of ASD. The aims of this study are to:

  * conduct a prospective open trial of an elemental diet in a population of children with ASD.
  * administer a nutritionally adequate elemental diet to children with documented evidence of ileitis, colitis, and/or duodenitis, and lymphoid nodular hyperplasia, with ASD
  * quantify symptomatic changes in GI presentation
  * quantify anthropometric and biochemical changes

This prospective treatment study is enrolling up to 50 male and female children aged 2-21 years, diagnosed with ASD with documented evidence of ileitis, colitis, and/or duodenitis, and lymphoid nodular hyperplasia.

Bone Mineral Density in Boys Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (on-going)

Bone Mineral Density in Boys Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ongoing)

The purpose of this investigation is to assess bone mineral density status for boys diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this study we will examine whether:

  * mineral bone density in children with ASD is correlated with nutritional status
  * vitamin and mineral levels are correlated with bone mineral density
  * bone mineral density is correlated with symptomatic GI presentation
  * bone mineral density is correlated with anthropometric measurements

This prospective study is enrolling up to 80 male children aged 4-8 years, either diagnosed with ASD or neurotypical controls (see control study flyer for details).

A Retrospective Analysis of Dietary and Nutrient Status of Children with Autism in an Outpatient Setting (ongoing)

The main objective of this retrospective study is to compare the intake of calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals from food in children with autism, at baseline and follow-up dietary consultations and assessments. The prevalence of dietary inadequacy of these nutrients in this patient population diagnosed with failure to thrive (FTT) will also be evaluated.

This retrospective analysis will consist of chart review of approximately 600 children with autism who were seen on an outpatient basis at the Nutrition Clinic at Thoughtful House Center for Children in 2009. Children ages 2 years to 21 years with an existing diagnosis of ASD will be included in this study.