Sensory Perception in Children with and without Autism
The purpose of this study is to explore sensory perception in children from 4-17 years of age. The information collected from the study will help to increase knowledge about sensory issues in children with and without clinical conditions, such as autism spectrum disorders and Sensory Processing Disorder (e.g. over-sensitivity and under-sensitivity to touch). We will explore responses to sensory stimuli, such as lights, sounds, and touch. Children will be observed as they are exposed to various harmless stimuli while the parent completes questionnaires.
A Multi-Site Study of Memantine vs. Placebo in Children with Autism Targeting Memory and Motor Planning
This study examines the role of memantine (brand name: Namenda) on improving memory, language, and motor abilities in children with ASDs. Funded by Autism Speaks’ Clinical Trial Network (CTN), this study is designed to further investigate promising preliminary data on the potential role of memantine on improving these important skill areas in children with ASDs. Participants will be randomized to receive 24 weeks (6 months) of treatment with memantine or placebo (sugar pill). Participants who did not show improvements and were randomized to placebo are eligible to receive the drug under the clinical care of a study psychiatrist for a 12-week period.
The Effects of Oxytocin on Social Cognition in Autism Spectrum Disorders
This is an NIH-funded study which examines the critical role that oxytocin plays in social behavior and social cognition in adults with ASD. Oxytocin may be a promising candidate to target the social deficits in ASD. This study uses intranasal oxytocin during a brain scan (e.g. fMRI) to investigate the effects of oxytocin on complex social cognition, the mirror neuron system, and social reward.
Informational and Neural Bases of Empathic Accuracy in Autism Spectrum Disorder
This study examines how people with ASD use different types of information in a social context to understand what other people are feeling. In the Empathic Accuracy test, participants attempt to identify the real emotions of people in videos while undergoing a functional MRI (fMRI) scan. In addition to Empathic Accuracy, this study also examines two more basic components of social information processing: the Mirror Neuron System and the Reward System. The Mirror Neuron System is thought to provide a neural mechanism for understanding the actions, intentions, and emotions of others, and the Reward System helps us understand the role of social reward in modulating implicit learning.
The Neural Basis of Sensory and Perceptual Symptoms in Autism
This study examines the sense of touch in adolescents using fMRI and investigates the neural pathways that mediate sensory-perceptual abilities in ASD in order to assess brain activity in response to self-produced tactile stimulation and to better understand the sensory sensitivities seen in ASD.
Characterizing the Phenotype in SHANK3 Deficiency and Piloting Treatment with IGF-1 (SHANK3 Clinical Trial)
The purpose of this study is to pilot the use of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) treatment in SHANK3 deficiency in order to evaluate safety, tolerability, and efficacy for a core deficit of autism – social impairment. IGF-1 is an injection under the skin that contains human IGF-1. IGF-1 is approved by the FDA under the brand name Increlex for the treatment of children with short stature due to primary IGF-1 deficiency. It is being used off-label in the current study and is not FDA approved, nor has it yet been studied in humans for the treatment of SHANK3 deficiency.
SynapDx Autism Spectrum Disorder Gene Expression Analysis (STORY) Study
The goal of this study is to identify a diagnostic screening tool that uses gene expression patterns to help predict an autism diagnosis. Children ages 1½ - 4 years with suspected autism spectrum disorder or developmental delay are eligible to participate.
YAI Family Peer Advocate Study
YAI and Premier HealthCare has partnered with the Seaver Autism Center on an important study that uses Family Peer Advocates to help improve the health and well-being of children with autism. Families with children ages 5-12 who are of African American or Latino descent and reside in the Bronx or Manhattan may be eligible.
Brain Imaging of Children with Developmental Delays or Autism
This study is looking at how the brains of children with developmental delay or autism respond to speech and other sounds. We are also studying brain structure and the connections between brain regions. Children ages 2-17 may be eligible.
A Randomized, Double-blind, 12-week, Parallel-group, Placebo-controlled, Study of the Efficacy and Safety of RO4917523 in Patients with Fragile X Syndrome
The purpose of this study is to see how safe, tolerable, and effective a study medication called RO4917523 is in patients with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). Patients will be randomly given one of three study treatments: 0.5 mg of RO4917523, 1.5 mg of RO4917523, or placebo. People between the ages of 5-50 who have a full fMR1 mutation may be eligible to participate in this study.
Study of New Tests to Screen for Autism
The goal of this project, part of the National Children’s Study, is to find the best way to identify young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We will evaluate some new ways to ask about, or watch for, behaviors in children 33 to 39 months old that might indicate that they have an ASD. Children suspected of having either a developmental delay or autism will play and complete some activities while being observed. Parents will be asked to complete 2 brief interviews during the study visit, which will last no longer than 3 hours. A comprehensive, gold-standard developmental evaluation will be provided at no cost approximately one week later.
For more information on the above studies, please contact the Seaver Autism Center at 212-241-0961.