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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

CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS IN CHILDREN WITH ASD AND THEIR INFANT SIBLINGS

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Taylor, Marc

Description

Description

Sleep disturbance and irregular hormone profiles are extremely common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), suggesting impairments in the circadian timing system. Though similar sleep and circadian disturbances have been observed in adolescents and adults with ASD, early development of these functions has not yet been examined. Since ASD is only diagnosed reliably after 2-3 years of age, the proposed research will take the innovative approach of examining sleep and hormone rhythms in infants at greater risk for developing ASD because they have an older sibling with the disorder. Sleep behaviors and hormone fluctuations will be characterized within high- and low-risk infants at three different ages that represent important milestones in the early development of the circadian system: 3, 9, and 12 months. Patterns of light exposure, an important environmental factor that regulates both sleep and circadian rhythms (but has been largely ignored in research to date) will also be examined. Utilizing a battery of combined circadian and photic measures within individuals is currently the only way to obtain information regarding the mechanistic basis for disturbances in humans; however, such a strategy has not yet been employed in ASD. Furthermore, all proposed methods can be applied even at the earliest of ages and are relatively inexpensive, non-invasive, and not subject to performance or behavioral variability. This study will allow us to identify the mechanisms underlying sleep and circadian disturbances in ASD. In addition, establishing when and how these abnormalities first present will increase our understanding for the role of sleep and the circadian system in ASD. Examination of high-risk infants may reveal the development and origins of circadian atypicalities, providing insight into risk factors, etiology, and potential early biomarkers of ASD. Ultimately, better understanding the sleep and circadian dysfunction often co-occurring with ASD may help guide treatment strategies and minimize the negative impact of these disturbances on both the children and their families.

Funder

Funder

Department of Defense - Army

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

99000

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2014-2015

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. 2SE. Launch three studies that target the underlying biological mechanisms of co-occurring conditions with autism, including seizures/epilepsy, sleep disorders, wandering/elopement behavior, and familial autoimmune disorders, by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,000,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS IN CHILDREN WITH ASD AND THEIR INFANT SIBLINGS (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Naval Medical Research Center

State/Country

State/Country

Maryland

Project Number

Project Number

AR130253

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Federal

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS IN CHILDREN WITH ASD AND THEIR INFANT SIBLINGS | 0 | 2014 | AR130253
CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS IN CHILDREN WITH ASD AND THEIR INFANT SIBLINGS | 0 | 2015 | AR130253

 
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