IACC Strategic Plan: How can I understand what is happening

10 Sep

We have discussed the IACC Strategic Plan before. They are looking for feedback. We’ve looked at the issues of vaccines, and the first section “When should I be concerned” already.

The second major section of the IACC draft Strategic Plan looks at the question of understanding what is autism.

Again, I am only pulling out the “Research Opportunities” and the “Goals” sections to keep this brief. Please, take a look at the entire document if you have the chance.

That said, I will take the first paragraph from the introduction to this section:

One of the greatest barriers to progress in determining the biological bases of ASD has been the heterogeneity of the spectrum. A clear need exists to advance understanding of the many phenotypes of ASD, including studies that link genotype to phenotype, investigations of natural and treated history, analyses of genetic interaction with environmental exposures, and studies of co-occurring medical conditions.

It’s a big (BIG) undertaking. Here is an outline of how they are going about this. Take a look and, please, send them comments. The IACC website has details, but, basically, it boils down to email them (use the link, the subject line is already filled in!).

Research Opportunities

• Multi-disciplinary, longitudinal, biobehavioral studies of children, youths, and adults beginning during infancy that characterize developmental trajectories and identify ASD risk factors, subgroups, and potential biological targets for intervention. Such studies could include:
o High-risk siblings of children, youths, and adults with ASD, children without a family history of ASD, and typically developing children
o Multi-disciplinary assessments of brain imaging, metabolic and immune markers, microbiomics, electrophysiology, and behavior

• Research on females with ASD to better characterize clinical, biological and protective features.

• Human and animal studies that examine immune, infectious and environmental factors in the occurrence of ASD.

• An international public-private collaboration to expand current postmortem brain and other tissue resources (e.g., skin fibroblasts) to increase the acquisition, quality, type and availability of biomaterials relevant to studying the pathology of ASD.

Short-Term Objectives

• Establish an international network of brain and other tissue (e.g., skin fibroblasts) acquisition sites with standardized protocols for phenotyping, collection and distribution of tissue by 2010.

• Support at least four research projects to identify mechanisms of metabolic and/or immune system interactions with the central nervous system that may underlie the development of ASD during prenatal-postnatal life by 2010.

• Launch three studies that specifically focus on the neurodevelopment of females with ASD by 2011.

Long-Term Objectives

• Complete a large-scale, multi-disciplinary, collaborative project that longitudinally and comprehensively examines how the biological, clinical, and developmental profiles of children, youths, and adults with ASD change over time as compared to typically developing individuals by 2020.

In many ways, I could see this section getting the least attention from people responding. At the same time, it is the cornerstone for future research. Really, if we understand what is autism (in its many forms) won’t we have a better idea of how to treat it and how it originates?

Take a look and, if you have any thoughts, say “this looks good” or “you should include XXX in this section, email them.

2 Responses to “IACC Strategic Plan: How can I understand what is happening”


  1. Be Careful What You Label Toxic - September 10, 2008

    […] in comments about the draft of the Strategic Plan for ASD Research by September 30. Sullivan on Left Brain/Right Brain has also taken a closer look at the Strategic Plan (which you can see […]

  2. Wohin mit Autismus-Forschungs-Geldern? - January 2, 2011

    […] IACC Strategic Plan: How can I understand what is happening Dieser Artikel gefällt Ihnen? Dann setzen Sie doch einen Link auf diese Seite. Kopieren Sie den HTML-Text aus der Box rechts. […]

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