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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

In-vivo MRS assay of brain glutamate-GABA balance and drug response in autism

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

McAlonan, Grainne

Description

Description

Treating Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a challenge as the causes are unknown and the biological diversity of the patient population is very large. However, recent studies indicate that ASD may involve a disturbance in the balance of excitatory (glutamate) and inhibitory (GABA) brain chemicals, suggesting that the glutamate/GABA system offers a treatment target for ASD. For the first time in humans with and without ASD, this project will measure baseline brain glutamate and GABA levels and the response to an anti-glutamate drug, Riluzole, using in-vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Riluzole, is a drug which blocks glutamate release from neurons, and which shows early promise in treatment of ASD. The prediction is that Riluzole will act to restore the glutamate/GABA imbalance towards control levels. This study is likely to provide evidence that the glutamate/GABA system may be a dynamic biomarker for ASD, against which drugs can be targeted and individual response to treatment measured. In addition, this project will promote the application of MRS to identify subgroups of patients likely to respond to a particular drug prior to treatment, thereby tailoring treatment to the individual. Finally, if successful, this work will lead directly to further studies to develop standard screening procedures to accelerate the testing/screening of compounds by the pharmaceutical industry.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

58561

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2013-2015

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2LB. Launch at least three studies which evaluate the applicability of ASD phenotype and/or biological signature findings for performing diagnosis, risk assessment, or clinical intervention by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $7,200,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

In-vivo MRS assay of brain glutamate-GABA balance and drug response in autism (External web link)

Institution

Institution

King's College London

State/Country

State/Country

United Kingdom

Project Number

Project Number

8132

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

In-vivo MRS assay of brain glutamate-GABA balance and drug response in autism | 59949 | 2014 | 8132
In-vivo MRS assay of brain glutamate-GABA balance and drug response in autism | 0 | 2015 | 8132

 
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