Early Markers for Autism Study (EMA)
04/2004 - 07/2008
The goal of the study is to look for early biologic markers (also called biomarkers) for autism. Researchers are analyzing maternal blood collected during mid-pregnancy and in infant blood collected at birth. The study includes the examination of immunoglobulin, cytokines, autoantibodies, hormone levels, metals and certain neuropeptides and neurotrophins in the blood of mothers who gave birth to children who later developed autism in comparison to mothers who gave birth to children who did not develop autism. Some of these biomarkers are also being examined in the newborn blood of these children that was collected as part of the state newborn screening program. This study is being conducted as a collaboration between the California Department of Health Services (CADDRE and the Genetic Disease Branch), Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and laboratory scientists at UC Davis. This study, led by Dr. Lisa Croen, is funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health and the National Alliance for Autism Research.