Four universities have just been designated Autism Centers for Excellence for individual research or as a network, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced. Five such centers were designated in 2007.
Grants will foster collaborations between teams of specialists to study a particular autism research problem in depth, The NIH states in identifying the new centers:
Yale University researchers will study early social interactions and development disruptions in these processes in children 1 to 2 years old with autism spectrum disorders. They’ll seek to identify rare genetic variants that may be involved.
Wayne State University in Detroit will study the effect of using buspirone in promoting more normal growth and development of the brains of children with autism.
The University of California Los Angeles aims to recruit 400 more families that have one child affected by autism to expand data on the relationship between autism-related genes and physical traits.
Drexel University in Philadelphia plans to follow 1,200 mothers of children with autism in pursuit of risk factors and biological indicators for autism during the prenatal, neonatal, and early postnatal periods.