Researchers seek DNA of families affected by autism

Short stuff: Health roundup

llinois families with one child with autism can now help uncover causes and treatments for autism by donating their DNA.

The University of Illinois at Chicago, along with a dozen other universities, is gathering samples from 2,000 autism patients and their families. Dubbed the Simons Simplex Collection, this initiative is the first database for families with one child with autism.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in every 150 children is diagnosed with some form of autism. The level of functioning varies greatly and scientists now believe there may be many forms. DNA samples may help identify and treat these subtypes.

Eligible children will receive a behavioral assessment and donate blood. Their unaffected siblings and parents will also donate blood. The collection will be stored in one repository and used by scientists worldwide.

For more information, contact Lana Roth at (312) 413-4624 or

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