Strategic Plan Objective Detail
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Question 2: Objective 2  

Fiscal Year: 2008

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding.2.2 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. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years.

Download 2008 Question 2: Objective 2 projects (EXCEL)
Note: Initial Sort is by Principal Investigator. Sorting by other columns is available by clicking on the desired column header.
Project Title Principal Investigator Institution
Deriving neuroprogenitor cells from peripheral blood of individuals with autism Fujinami, Robert University of Utah
Impact of innate immunity on regressive autism Jyonouchi, Harumi University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey
Autism: Role of oxytocin Ellerbeck, Kathryn University of Kansas Medical Center
Genetics of autistic disorder Spence, M. Anne University of California, San Diego
Project 2: Immunological susceptibility of autism Van de Water, Judy University of California, Davis
Is autism a mitochondrial disease? Giulivi, Cecilia University of California, Davis
Primate models of autism Amaral, David; Bauman, Melissa University of California, Davis
Maternal inflammation alters fetal brain development via Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha Carpentier, Pamela Stanford University
Markers of inflammation and oxidative damage Chauhan, Abha Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc.
Evaluation and treatment of copper/zinc imbalance in children with autism Ramer, Jeanette Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Influence of oxidative stress on transcription and alternative splicing of methionine synthase in autism Muratore, Christina Northeastern University
Regulation of inflammatory TH17 cells in ASD Littman, Dan New York University School of Medicine
Neuroimmunologic investigations of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) Swedo, Susan National Institutes of Health
Studies of central nervous system functional anatomy Herkenham, Miles National Institutes of Health
Fraternal birth order effects on behavior Breedlove, S. Marc Michigan State University
Psychosis and autoimmune diseases in Denmark Eaton, William Johns Hopkins University
Neuronal oxidative stress in autism Xiongwei, Zhu Case Western Reserve University
Brain region specific oxidative stress Sajdel-Sulkowska, Ellen Brigham and Women's Hospital

Objective Cumulative Funding Table

IACC Strategic Plan Objectives 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total
Support at least four research projects to identify mechanisms of fever, metabolic and/or immune system interactions with the central nervous system that may influence ASD during prenatal-postnatal life by 2010 (Fever studies to be started by 2012).

IACC Recommended Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years
18 projects

30 projects

37 projects

25 projects

26 projects

2.S.A. Funding: The recommended budget for this objective was met.

Progress: Many projects were funded in this area (approximately 20-30 per year), but the field is still developing, and emphasis on this objective should continue in the future. Scientific advances have been made in linking maternal innate immune function and immune-system challenge to aspects of ASD. Methodological advances in the field include the development of animal models for study of the role of the immune system in ASD and PET ligands for imaging microglial activation.

Remaining Gaps, Needs and Opportunities: There is a need for a well-designed, multi-site clinical study of clinical effects of fever and to develop standard measures of fever and behavioral/cognitive outcomes. Questions about fever could be integrated into funded epidemiological studies. There is also interest in further work on metabolic and mitochondrial issues, but in order for this work to be done, there is a need for validation and standardization of measures for assessment of oxidative stress and mitochondrial function. More guidance is needed on the key questions for this field to answer – a workshop to define these methodologies may be helpful. One of the key questions is to determine whether it is the body temperature associated with fever or some consequence of immune activation and production of the febrile state that leads to amelioration of cognitive function.