Current Study Opportunities

Do you know someone who would like to be a Superhero? Here is the chance! The Johnson Center is looking for Superheros who will step forward and help us answer important questions about childhood development, autism, and more.

Click here to learn more about why you should be a Superhero and get involved.

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

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 ages 1.5-8 years of age with or without autism . Children that have an affected sibling are encouraged to participate as ‘sibling controls’.

Click image to download flyer (PDF)

 

Prospective Analysis of Dietary and Nutrient Status of Children with a Developmental Delay or Disorder in an Outpatient Clinical Setting (currently enrolling)

In collaboration with Milestones Therapeutic Associates in McAllen, Texas, this study provides comprehensive nutritional care for children seen at the clinic for feeding, occupational, physical, and speech therapy.

* The main objective of this study is to compare the intake of calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals from food in children with developmental delays or disorders 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 will also be evaluated.

* Additionally, the impact of nutritional status on development, behavior, sleep and gastrointestinal status will be evaluated through a variety of questionnaires.

This study is enrolling up to 250 male and female children aged 18 months-17 years, diagnosed with a developmental delay, developmental disability or developmental disorder

 

Nutritional Status, Anthropometric Measurements, and the Incidence of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Children Diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case-Control Study (currently enrolling)

The purpose of this investigation is to examine growth measures, nutritional status, and the incidence of gastrointestinal problems in children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to age- and gender-matched healthy controls who are typically developing.

Specifically, we will:

* Conduct a case-control study of anthropometric measurements in children with ASD and typically-developing children.

* Examine whether children with an ASD have higher rates of GI symptoms.

* Determine whether reported GI symptoms are correlated with anthropometric measurements and muscle measurements and/or nutritional status in children with ASD.

This prospective research study is enrolling male and female children ages 1.5-8 years of age with or without autism.

Click image to download flyer (PDF)

 

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

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).

Click image to download flyer (PDF)

 

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

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.

 

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) in the Treatment of Children Diagnosed with Autism: A Pilot Study (enrollment closed)

Researchers at The Johnson Center are looking for 20 children ages 2-6 years with gastrointestinal (GI) problems that have been diagnosed with autism.

The main objective of the study is to evaluate whether a Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) improves GI symptoms in children with autism

What is required?
• Blood and stool samples
• Completing several questionnaires
• Undertaking an SCD for 16 weeks (all food is provided)

Who is eligible to participate?
Children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old who have documented GI symptoms, who have been diagnosed with autism

For more information on this study please contact
intake@johnson-center or call 512.732.8400

 

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

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.