CART ACE II - Project 1: Identifying early signs of autism in high-risk infants

Project summary

The major aim of this study is to identify accurate brain-based markers of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the first year of life in infant siblings of children with ASD.  Infant siblings are at an increased risk to develop ASD; studying these infants allows us to characterize the early cognitive and behavioral profiles in infants who later go on to develop autism. Research—including past infant sibling studies (eg. Sigman lab) at UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) —has identified several behavioral, social, and communicative patterns in this population within the first two years of life. This current study builds on this strong foundation and employs a multifaceted approach that incorporates non-invasive MRI, EEG, eye-tracking, and behavioral assessments to closely track these infants’ development in the first year of life. Identification of such predictive brain-based markers of autism early in infancy will allow for earlier diagnosis and intervention, which has shown to improve developmental outcomes in these children. 

You may be eligible for this study if you have an infant under one month old and either:

*Two children with autism; or

*One child with autism and an extended family history of autism

Primary Investigator: 
Scott Johnson, Ph.D.
Primary Investigator: 
Mirella Dapretto, Ph.D.
Shafali Jeste, M.D.
Ted Hutman, Ph.D.