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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

Maternal dietary factors and risk of autism spectrum disorders

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Santangelo, Susan

Description

Description

Research suggests that autism may result from environmental factors that act during prenatal development. One idea is that a pregnant woman's diet could influence prenatal brain development, perhaps in a way that increases autism risk. Relatively little research has been dedicated to understanding how maternal dietary factors could influence brain development in offspring. One interesting dietary factor is intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish and nut oils; these fatty acids may act in the brain to promote neural growth. Dr. Santagelo's fellow will determine whether women with low intakes of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy have increased risk of having a child with autism. The women studied will be from The Nurses' Health Study II cohort, a large cohort of over 100,000 female United States nurses who have been followed prospectively since 1989. The information collected on this group includes medical, obstetrical, and prospectively collected dietary factors, including omega-3 fatty acid intake. In 2005, over 800 women in the cohort reported having had a child with an autism diagnosis. This study will compare omega-3 fatty acid intakes in women with children with autism to the intake of women without children with autism in order to characterize the relationship between maternal diet and risk of autism.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

0

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2008-2010

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 3LC. Determine the effect of at least five environmental factors on the risk for subtypes of ASD in the pre- and early postnatal period of development by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $25,100,000 over 7 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Maternal dietary factors and risk of autism spectrum disorders (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Harvard Medical School

State/Country

State/Country

Massachusetts

Project Number

Project Number

2210

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Maternal dietary factors and risk of autism spectrum disorders | 32000 | 2009 | 2210

 
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