Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Epidemiological research on autism in Jamaica  

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) appears to be on the rise in developed countries and has become a serious public health concern. In most developing countries, however, the nature and prevalence of factors associated with ASDs are unknown. The long term goal of this planning project is to develop capacity for conducting large scale population-based ASD studies in Jamaica. First, the diagnostic criteria used in Jamaica and the United States will be compared. Then, questionnaires regarding the demographic and socioeconomic position, occupation, and drinking habits of each child's parents will be used, and information will be gathered about family history of developmental disorders, family size, birth order of the affected child, and whether the child is taking any medications. An age and sex matched case-control study, including a dietary questionnaire, will also be conducted to investigate whether environmental exposures to mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium play a role in autism. Blood and saliva samples will be collected to determine if any DNA polymorphisms that might affect interactions with heavy metals are present in children with ASD. New knowledge of potential environmental risk factors for ASD may arise from this research, thereby reducing physical, psychological, and economic burdens on the child, family, and society and helping parents make decisions about avoiding exposure to environmental contaminants. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $131,010.00
Current Award Period 2009-2012
Project Number 5R21HD057808-02
Principal Investigator Rahbar, Mohammad
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented? (Causes)
Subcategory Environment
Strategic Plan Objective New! Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 3SH. Support at least three studies of special populations or use existing databases to inform our understanding of environmental risk factors for ASD in pregnancy and the early postnatal period by 2012. Such studies could include: o Comparisons of populations differing in geography, gender, ethnic background, exposure history (e.g., prematurity, maternal infection, nutritional deficiencies, toxins), and migration patterns; and o Comparisons of phenotype (e.g., cytokine profiles), in children with and without a history of autistic regression, adverse events following immunization (such as fever and seizures), and mitochondrial impairment. These studies may also include comparisons of phenotype between children with regressive ASD and their siblings. oEmphasis on environmental factors that influence prenatal and early postnatal development is particularly of high priority. Epidemiological studies should pay special attention to include racially and ethnically diverse populations. IACC Recommended Budget: $12,000,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
State/Country Texas
Web Link 1 Epidemiological research on autism in Jamaica (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Epidemiological research on autism in Jamaica | $146,500.00 | 2009 | 1R21HD057808-01A1