Seaver Autism Center Research

Recently, our understanding of the genetic basis of autism and related conditions changed. The large genetic consortia, including the Autism Genome Project and the Autism Case Control study, identified several new causal genetic loci underlying specific cases of autism. That means that autism can now be conceived of as having multiple independent causes where in many cases the cause can be largely attributed to a specific etiological event. This perspective, called the "multiple rare variant hypothesis", raises both great challenges and great opportunities. One challenge is that this complexity may necessitate studying and/or treating different forms of autism differently.

With these rare causal variants, it becomes much more straightforward to give an etiological diagnosis for a given case of autism, to have more predictive power regarding risk, to develop model system for aspects of autism, and to think about novel targeted therapeutic approaches.

Why participate?

Although you or your child may not benefit directly from participation in research studies, the information we collect may increase knowledge about the symptoms, biology, and treatment of autism. In this way, you can help us advance treatments for autism in the future.

Studies of etiological and therapeutic approaches depend on the participation of dedicated families and individuals. All participants in genetic and treatment studies are evaluated by our multidisciplinary team and may receive a no-cost evaluation including comprehensive diagnostic testing (e.g., Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised), cognitive evaluation, measurement of adaptive behaviors, and genetic testing during their participation.

If you would like to participate, contact 212-241-0961 or

Contact the Seaver Autism Center

To learn more about our services and research:

Tel: 212-241-0961
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Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Department of Psychiatry
Box 1668
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029  Map