Strategic Plan Objective Detail
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Question 2: Short-term Objective A  

Fiscal Year: 2009

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding.2SA. 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 Funding Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years.

Download 2009 Question 2: Short-term Objective A projects (EXCEL)
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Project Title Principal Investigator Institution
Relationship between celiac disease and autism Russo, A.J. Health Research Institute
Mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction in autism Shoffner, John Georgia State University
Neuroimmunologic investigations of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) Swedo, Susan National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Project 2: Immunological susceptibility of autism Van de Water, Judy University of California, Davis
A mitochondrial etiology of autism Wallace, Douglas University of California, Irvine

Objective Multiyear Funding Table

IACC Strategic Plan Objective 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.