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Colorado: New CDC Funding Will Expand Knowledge about Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has been awarded funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out a new phase of the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED).

SEED is one of the largest studies in the United States to help identify factors that may put children at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. Understanding the risk factors that make a person more likely to develop an ASD will help learn more about the causes.

Dr. Carolyn DiGuiseppi
[Photo: Dr. Carolyn DiGuiseppi]

Dr. Carolyn DiGuiseppi, associate dean for faculty, professor of epidemiology, and director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program for the Colorado School of Public Health, is a co-principal investigator for the CU Anschutz site along with Dr. Cordelia Robinson Rosenberg, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the CU School of Medicine.

JFK Partners of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the Colorado School of Public Health, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have collaborated on SEED since 2001.

SEED includes three groups of young children (3-5 years of age) – children with ASD, children with other developmental disabilities, and children in the general population. Detailed information is collected from children and their mothers about the child’s development and health, the mother’s pregnancies, and the family’s health. Blood and saliva specimens are also collected. The three groups of study participants are compared to better understand genetic and environmental factors related to having ASD, health conditions among children with and without ASD, and the range of developmental and behavioral characteristics in children with ASD.

In the previous rounds of the SEED program, more than 1,000 children from the Denver area were enrolled, while more than 5,000 were enrolled nationwide. This round will expand SEED to include El Paso County in Colorado, which will include about 450 additional children.

Full article here.