ASD Biomarker Study

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  • Study director: Elliott Sherr, MD PhD
  • Sponsor: NIH and private foundations and grants
  • Recruiting?: Yes
  • Official study title: Biomarker Discovery in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Conditions studied: Autism spectrum disorders that have been clinically diagnosed
  • Purpose: This research study is aimed at better understanding the biological mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A first step towards this process would be development of an easily and reliably measurable biomarker, which requires an understanding of the common elements underlying ASD biology. In the proposed research, we aim to make rapid progress toward identifying a blood biomarker for autism spectrum disorders. If a reliable biomarker for a significant percentage of ASD individuals can be ascertained, it would hold promise for early diagnosis, before the behavioral deficits are reliably detected. Identification of a robust biomarker would also allow investigators and pharmaceutical companies to use this as a supplemental measure for response to treatment.


  • Inclusion criteria:
    • People with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
    • If under 18, parent/guardian must participate along with minor
    • Both parents and siblings will be asked to participate if available
    • Must be available to travel to UCSF Parnassus for the study procedures
  • Exclusion criteria:
    • None

What is involved?

  • Testing: Blood draw, sharing of medical records, cognitive testing and questionnaires
  • Frequency of visits: 1 in-person visit to the UCSF Pediatric Clinical Research Center (PCRC) for the blood draw
  • Materials needed prior to evaluation: None
  • Costs: There are no costs to the participants. Participants are provided with necessary material for blood draws and other study participation.

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