Sex Specific Dissection of Autism Genetics

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  • Study director: Lauren A. Weiss, PhD
  • Sponsor: NIH, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
  • Recruiting?: Yes
  • Official study title: Sex specific dissection of autism genetics
  • Conditions studied: Autism spectrum disorders
  • Purpose: The purpose of this study is to find genes related to autism spectrum disorders. Boys are affected by autism spectrum disorders much more often than girls, however girls on the autism spectrum are more severely affected. If we understand why girls get autism, we may be able to protect boys and girls from getting autism in the future.


  • Inclusion criteria: ASD diagnosis (autism, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS); all ages.
  • Exclusion criteria: Diagnosis of a known genetic syndrome (e.g., Fragile X, Turner syndrome). Non-English speakers.

What is involved?

  • Testing: Ideally, we will ask for a blood sample from the affected individual and both biological parents. If blood cannot be obtained, we can sometimes use saliva as a source of DNA. You will be asked to answer two short questionnaires about your son/daughter and provide a brief family and medical history. You can complete the questionnaires in-person, over the phone with the study coordinator, or at home for your convenience.
  • Frequency of visits: 1 visit to the UCSF Parnassus campus for blood sampling.
  • Materials needed prior to evaluation: None
  • Costs: No costs will be charged for any of the study procedures. Parking will be validated at UCSF. The family will receive a $20 honorarium upon complete participation (providing blood sample for all three family members and completion of the questionnaires).

Contact information

November 10, 2014