AUTISM: DISORDERS IN PARENTS AND SIBS

  • Folstein, Susan, (PI)

Project: Research project

Description

In a cross-national study, we propose to investigate etiological
heterogeneity in autism by focussing on disorders in the first degree
relatives of autistic probands which may be genetically associated with
autism and thus, may represent a genetic predisposition to autism. 220 families will be ascertained through a school-aged autistic child (110
from each site). The autistic probands will be stratified by sex and IQ,
and characterized according to their early environmental history, and
clinical features and tested for fragile-X. Their first degree relatives
will be examined to detect cognitive abnormalities (mental retardation,
language delay and reading disability), abnormalities of social
relatedness, and the major psychiatric disorders, (affective disorder and
schizophrenia). The first degree relatives of 80 children with Down's syndrome (40 at each
site), matched on relevant variables, and the first degree relatives of 40
adopted autistic children, (20 at each site), will be similarly studied to
establish base rates of the proposed "associated" abnormalities as they
occur in families of children handicapped by a condition known to be
genetically absent from the other family members. The major hypotheses of the study are that mental retardation, language
delay, reading disability, and abnormalities of social relatedness, but not
the major psychiatric disorders, will be more common among the family
members of autistic probands than among the family members controls; that
within the families of autistic children, these abnormalities will be less
frequent among family members of autistic probands who suffered from
environmental injuries (infectious or traumatic); that the abnormalities of
reading ability, language delay and social relatedness will be more common
among family members of autistic probands with higher IQa ("pure autism"),
and that mental retardation, on the other hand, will be more common among
family members of autistic probands with low IQs; and finally, that
Fragile-X will explain some but not all of the familial loading in autism.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date4/1/866/30/95

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $627,962.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $585,435.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $626,460.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health

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Autistic Disorder
Parents
Language Development Disorders
Intellectual Disability
Reading
Semantics
Down Syndrome
Prenatal Injuries
Baltimore
Facial Expression
Advance Directives
Anxiety Disorders

ASJC

  • Medicine(all)