Medical Professional Publications

Recent Developments in Autism Research

Nationwide Children's Joins Autism Treatment Network

Nationwide Children's has been selected to join the Autism Treatment Network (ATN), connecting Columbus with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Missouri as the nation's only ATN institutions in the Midwest region.

The ATN is the nation's first network of hospitals and physicians dedicated to developing a model of comprehensive medical care for children and adolescents with autism. The ATN offers families care from doctors highly experienced in helping individuals with autism and providing treatment for associated conditions such as gastrointestinal and sleep disorders.

"Being accepted to the Autism Treatment Network is an incredible testament to the work in autism spectrum disorders being done at Nationwide Children's," said Eric Butter, PhD, principal investigator for the ATN projects at Nationwide Children's.  "The ATN enables us to offer enhanced autism care, which is truly exciting," noted Karen Ratliff-Schaub, MD, co-principal investigator and lead autism specilist for the project.

The designation brings together a range of subspecialities including Gastroenterology, Neurology, Genetics and Sleep Medicine.  "We expect that these interdisciplinary collaborations will help to develop guidelines to improve clinical treatment, but also provide a breeding ground for novel clinical research projects related to autism," said Dr. Butter.  The ATN also coordinates a patient registry database of clinical data about autism families and patients used to evaluate and track patient care in network facilities.  Being part of the ATN provides Nationwide Children's faculty access to registry data and the opportunity to propose research studies.

"This designation provides Nationwide Children's an opportunity to serve as a model for autism care and research," said Dr. Butter.

$10 Million Boosts Autism Research with OSU

New collaborations aimed at understanding autism are forming between Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University, thanks to a $10 million donation to support collaborative autism spectrum disorder research.  These collaborations will allow scientists and faculty to attack a comprehensive range of issues, from initial diagnosis through adulthood.  The findings and the tools developed as a result of grants from the fund will be made available to research scientists, physicians, educators and social workers throughout the world.  Funding comes from The Marci and Bill Ingram Research Fund for Autism Specturm Disorders, one of the nation's largest individually-created autism funding resources.

Did You Know?

The Battelle Center for Mathematical Medicine at The Research Institute servse as the Data Coordinating Site for the Autism Genome Project, storing and curating extensive clinical and molecular data on more than 19,000 individuals.

Investigators in the Center for Molecular and Human Genetics coordinate the Central Ohio Registry for Autism, a collaborative project including Wright Patterson Air Force Base aimed at developing a registry for families in central Ohio for children with autism spectrum disorders.

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