What we do

Completed studies

Bone Accrual Rates in Boys with ASD

Lead principal investigator
Ann Neumeyer, MD
Study period

Nov 2014 – Aug 2015

This study proposed to re-examine boys with ASD and controls from an earlier AIR-P research study and evaluate changes in the bone mineral density (BMD) over time, and examine volumetric BMD, micro-architecture and strength estimates.

Bone Mineral Density in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Lead principal investigator
Ann Neumeyer, MD - Lurie Center for Autism
Study period

Sep 2009 – Aug 2011

We determined whether bone mineral density (BMD) is lower in boys with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) than controls, and also assessed variables that may affect BMD in ASD. BMD was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 18 boys with ASD and 19 controls 8–14 years old. Boys with ASD had lower BMD Z-scores at the spine, hip and femoral neck, and differences at the hip and femoral neck persisted after controlling for maturity and BMI. Vitamin D intake from food and in serum were lower in ASD subjects, as was exercise activity. We conclude that BMD is lower in peripubertal boys with ASD and may be associated with impaired vitamin D status and lower exercise activity.

Characterizing underserved populations participating in the ATN: evaluating disparity through demographic influences

Lead principal investigator
Jill Hollway, PhD – The Ohio State University / Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Study period

Dec 2015 – Aug 2016

A secondary analyses study to: 1) examine demographic factors found to impact age of diagnosis; 2) further our knowledge of the disparity of services found in ASD populations, including those with low-socioeconomic status (SES); 3) extend the literature by expanding our ability to generalize the results; and 4) inform clinicians/social workers, and the general public, which could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment.

Clonidine for Sleep Disturbance in Children with ASD

Lead principal investigator
Jill Hollway, PhD – The Ohio State University
Study period

Jun 2016 – Jan 2017

This study is a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled (PBO), parallel groups study to test the efficacy of Clonidine (CLN) following a brief sleep hygiene intervention. Participants include children, ages 6-14 years, with sleep disturbance and ASD. Outcome measures include sleep questionnaires, daytime behavior questionnaires, and actigraphy. Biomarkers for medication response will include galvanic skin response and skin temperature.

Constipation and Toilet Training in Autism

Lead principal investigator
Peggy Marcon, MD - University of Toronto / Hospital for Sick Children
Study period

Sep 2010 – Aug 2011

Focus on the development of an effective behavioral treatment protocol to complement and enhance the medical treatment of constipation in children with ASD. Final N=12

Defining the Relation of Sleep Disturbance in Autism Spectrum Disorder to Psychiatric and Behavioral Co-morbidities

Lead principal investigator
Suzanne Goldman, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Study period

Oct 2009 – Aug 2010

Multiple sleep problems have been reported in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The association of poor sleep with problematic daytime behaviors has been shown in small studies of younger children. We assessed the relationship between sleep and behavior in 1784 children, ages 2–18, with confirmed diagnosis of ASD participating in the Autism Treatment Network. Sleep problems were identified using the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ). The Parental Concerns Questionnaire (PCQ) was used to evaluate behavioral concerns and to define good or poor sleepers.

Development of a Manualized Wireless Moisture Alarm Intervention for Toilet Training Children with Autism

Lead principal investigator
Daniel Mruzek, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center
Study period

Jun 2013 – Aug 2014

The AIR-P Wireless Manualized Pager (WMP) study is a 12 month, multi-site effort to formulate and conduct a pilot test of a standardized toilet training protocol involving a novel wireless moisture alarm and step-by-step manuals for clinicians and parents. A total of 30 subjects (ages 3-6) will be recruited for enrollment into the study.

Collaborators:

  • Whitney Loring, PhD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Eric Butter, PhD, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital

Development of a Parent-Based Sleep Education Program for Children with ASD

Lead principal investigator
Beth Malow, MD - Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Study period

Sep 2008 – Aug 2012

This study provided sleep education to parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to determine whether an individual or group format was more effective in improving sleep and aspects of daytime behavior and family functioning. Eighty children, ages 2–10 years, with ASD and sleep onset delay completed the study. Actigraphy and parent questionnaires were collected at baseline and 1 month after treatment. Mode of education did not affect outcomes.

Diet and Nutrition in Children with ASDs: An ATN Collaborative Study

Lead principal investigator
Susan Hyman, MD, University of Rochester
Study period

Sep 2008 – Aug 2011

The impact of abnormal feeding behaviors reported for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) on their nutritional status is unknown. We compared nutrient intake from food consumed by children with and without ASD and examined nutrient deficiency and excess.

Effectiveness of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Services with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Lead principal investigator
Nalin Payakachat, PhD
Study period

Sep 2014 – Aug 2015

This study proposes to identify variation in the receipt of early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services for children with ASDs in relation to severity of the condition and other characteristics and to also calculate quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gains for children with ASDs from EIBI services taking into account treatment heterogeneity.

Epileptiform Discharges and its Relation to Cognition and Behavior in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Lead principal investigator
Gregory Barnes, MD, PhD - Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Study period

Sep 2010 – Aug 2012

The role of epileptiform activity in neural circuitry and how that influences sleep, behavior, and cognition in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is unclear. From a theoretical standpoint, epileptiform activity could have a significant disruptive effect on circuit function, thereby contributing to sleep problems, behavioral issues, and cognitive dysfunction.

Evaluating the Impact of Emergency Room Services for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Lead principal investigator
Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, MD, University of Alberta - Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
Study period

Jun 2012 – Aug 2014

The AIR-P ER Services study is a 2-year, multi-site qualitative research effort to examine emergency room (ER) accessibility and experience among children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A total of 65 individuals w/ varying levels of ER care will be recruited for enrollment into the study.

Evaluation for Functional Causes of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Children with ASD

Lead principal investigator
Kent Williams, MD, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital
Study period

Jun 2012 – Aug 2013

The AIR-P Functional GI study was a one-year, single-site research effort to gather pilot data to explore mechanisms associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders in children with ASD. A total of 45 subjects from 3 groups, ages 7-18 (15 each – ASD, TD/FGID, controls) were enrolled in the study.

Exploration of the development and trajectory of Daily Living Skills in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

Lead principal investigator
Amie Duncan, PhD – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Study period

Dec 2015 – Aug 2016

This is a secondary analyses study to examine the following aims: 1) Explore the effects of demographic variables (e.g., age, gender, race, family size) and individual variables (i.e., IQ, autism symptomatology, internalizing/externalizing symptoms, and language abilities) on the development of daily living skills as measured by the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, 2nd Edition; 2) Determine if there are subtypes of daily living skills in children and adolescents with ASD; and 3) Explore the trajectory of daily living skills development over time using longitudinal data

Exploration of the relationship between race/ethnicity and behavioral co-morbidities and medication treatment in children with autism spectrum disorder

Lead principal investigator
Irina Zamora, PsyD – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Study period

Dec 2015 – Aug 2016

A secondary analyses study to understand the relationship between: 1) race/ethnicity; 2) behavioral co-morbidities (specifically attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, aggression and disrupted sleep); and 3) the use of medications for those co-morbidities, in a population of children with autism spectrum disorder. The investigators hope to better understand whether disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral co-morbidities in children with autism exist in order to better inform clinicians providing care to this population.

Iron Treatment of Sleep Disorders in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lead principal investigator
Ann Reynolds, MD, University of Colorado - Denver
Study period

Apr 2012 – Apr 2014

The AIR-P Iron & Sleep study was a 2 year study designed to evaluate the effect of iron supplementation on restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement of sleep. A total of 20 children (ages 3-10) were enrolled and randomized across four ATN centers.

Markers of Iron Status and Metabolism in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Lead principal investigator
Ann Reynolds, MD - University of Colorado
Study period

Sep 2009 – Aug 2012

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) often have food selectivity and restricted diets, putting them at risk for nutritional deficiencies. Previous studies have demonstrated a high prevalence of iron deficiency (ID) in children with ASDs living in Wales, Canada, and Turkey. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of ID and the adequacy of iron intake in children with ASD in the United States.

Maternal Cholesterol and Autism

Lead principal investigator
Jean-Baptiste Roullet, PhD - Oregon Health & Science University
Study period

Sep 2010 – Aug 2012

Characterize maternal sterol metabolism in mothers of children with autism in part to evaluate the rationale of maternal cholesterol supplementation during pregnancy to reduce the risk of having an autistic child

Prevalence of Creatine Deficiency Syndromes and Genetic Variability in Creatine Metabolism in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder - A Pilot Study

Lead principal investigator
Andreas Schulze, MD, PhD - University of Toronto
Study period

Apr 2010 – Mar 2012

Determine prevalence of CDS in children with autism and assess the interaction of genotypic variability of the three known genes involved in creatine metabolism with the autism phenotype.

Final N: N=455 subjects enrolled (age >2 years)

Collaborators:

  • Anne Tsai, MD - University of Colorado
  • Margaret Bauman, MD - Lurie Center

Relationship between Gastrointestinal Disorders and Stress Reactivity, Immunity, and Blood Serotonin in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Lead principal investigator
David Beversdorf, MD, University of Missouri
Study period

Jun 2012 – Aug 2014

The AIR-P GI Stress study is a 2-year, multi-site research effort to examine factors related to immune markers and whole blood serotonin, and how stress response, gastrointestinal disorders, immunity, and the serotonin system interact in autism. A total of 120 subjects (ages 6 to 18 years) will be recruited for enrollment into the study.