autismMatch Logs 1000 Participants, with a Call for More Families Signing Up for New Research

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--The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and NIH Build Pool of Volunteers for Autism Studies--

autismMatch is enrolling children and adults of any age. Those participating must live in PA, Delaware, NJ, New York State, Maryland, Ohio or the District of Columbia.

Families of children with autism want advances in treatment; scientists researching autism want more families to participate in studies. A new resource, based at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, addresses both of those concerns by enrolling a centralized pool of children and parents who have volunteered to take part in autism research.

Operated by the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital and funded by the National Institutes of Health, autismMatch, recently registered its 1,000th participant, just in time for Autism Awareness Month, occurring throughout April. Working toward a goal of gathering 7,500 research subjects, the program draws from the Mid-Atlantic region and adjacent areas--six states plus Washington, D.C.

“Collecting data from large numbers of research participants drives clinical research forward,” said Debra Dunn, Outreach Director at the Center for Autism Research. “Our scientists are partnering with families in investigating the causes of autism, and creating and testing more effective treatments.”

autismMatch is enrolling children and adults of any age. They can be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or suspected of having one. Individuals without an ASD are also needed. Those participating must live in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York State, Maryland, Ohio or the District of Columbia.

It takes 20 to 30 minutes to enroll, and interested volunteers can register through the autismMatch website (http://www.centerforautismresearch.com/match) or can call toll-free at 1-866-570-6524 to request enrollment material by mail. Confidentiality is carefully protected under federal government standards, and information that identifies any individual is never shared with others without the individual’s consent.

After registering, participants will be invited from time to time to take part in ASD research, depending on how their personal information and interests match characteristics needed for each research project. The process is voluntary, and participants are free to withdraw at any time.

Among the ASD research areas in which autismMatch participants will be asked to participate are studies covering treatment, diagnosis, genetics and brain imaging. Other studies will concern sleep and anxiety problems that can accompany ASDs.

“Depending on the study, participants may receive clinically helpful information,” said Dunn. “But all the parents and children who take part in these studies can have the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to move research forward.”

Families interested in participating in autismMatch can find details at http://www.centerforautismresearch.com/match or can call 1-866-570-6524.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children’s Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking third in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 516-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu.

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Rachel Salis-Silverman
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
267-426-6063
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