Pregnancy Investigation of Siblings and Mothers (PRISM) of children with autism
Please note, this study is now finished.
There are several reasons to think that developmental differences in autism may start prenatally (i.e., in the mother's womb). For example, many parents report that children with autism show 'different behaviours' shortly after birth, such as poor eye contact and reduced vocalisations. Furthermore, genetic and neurological factors found to be more common in children with autism, are known to be involved in very early (prenatal) development.
However, because autism cannot be diagnosed until early childhood, there is very little known about prenatal development in autism. One way to obtain information is to study pregnancies in which the fetus is at increased genetic risk for autism, such as pregnancies to parents who already have a child with autism.
The PRISM study will use this method, comparing pregnancies in which the mother has had a previous child with autism to pregnancies in which there is no family history of autism.
Investigators: Andrew Whitehouse, Murray Maybery, Cheryl Dissanayake, Martha Hickey, Craig Pennell, Jeff Keelan
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