National Institute of Health Awards INCITE Three-Year Grant for Work on Assisted Reproductive Technology and Autism

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant to co-Principal Investigators Peter Bearman, Director of INCITE, and Christine Fountain, Associate Professor of Sociology at Fordham University to support their work on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and Autism. Keely Cheslack Postava, Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, is a Co-Investigator on this project.

The goal of this study is to build and analyze the largest and most detailed dataset in existence—containing more than 11 million children born over two decades—on ART and developmental disabilities including autism, intellectual disability, and cerebral palsy, with the ultimate aims of understanding the relationship between ART and risk of these disorders, and distinguishing the social and biological mechanisms of the association. A unique feature of the dataset is rich geospatial data, enabling researchers to explore neighborhood and contextual factors that shape ART usage and autism diagnoses. In addition, the longitudinal nature of the data will provide a crucial picture of the long-term outcomes of children with autism from diagnosis and into adolescence and beyond. This research will provide families and health care providers with better information on which to make decisions, and help identify potential modifiable risk factors for autism and other developmental disabilities.  

Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Autism Study Published in American Journal of Public Health

The latest study in INCITE's ongoing Understanding Autism project has been published in the American Journal of Public Health!

In this study, the authors assessed the association between assisted reproductive technology (ART) and diagnosed autistic disorder in a population-based sample of California births. They concluded that the association between ART and autism is primarily explained by adverse prenatal and perinatal outcomes and multiple births.

Read the article.

 

Christine Fountain, Yujia Zhang, Dmitry M. Kissin, Laura A. Schieve, Denise J. Jamieson, Catherine Rice, and Peter Bearman. (2015). Association Between Assisted Reproductive Technology Conception and Autism in California, 1997–2007. American Journal of Public Health. e-View Ahead of Print. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302383.

 

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Autism Study Published in Human Reproduction

 

 

Are assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment factors or infertility diagnoses associated with autism among ART-conceived children?

Our study suggests that the incidence of autism diagnosis in ART-conceived children during the first 5 years of life was higher when intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was used compared with conventional IVF, and lower when parents had unexplained infertility (among singletons) or tubal factor infertility (among multiples) compared with other types of infertility.

Read the article.

Kissin, D.M., Y. Zhang, S.L. Boulet, C. Fountain, P. Bearman, L. Schieve, M. Yeargin-Allsopp and D.J. Jamieson. 2014. "Association of assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment and parental infertility diagnosis with autism in ART-conceived children," Human Reproduction; doi: 10.1093/humrep/deu338.

Understanding Autism study on Trajectories of Children with Autism Published in Pediatrics

Understanding Autism study on Trajectories of Children with Autism Published in Pediatrics
A study from the ISERP-affiliated Understanding Autism Project was published in Pediatrics. This study's objective was to describe the typical longitudinal developmental trajectories of social and communication functioning in children with autism and to determine the correlates of these trajectories.
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Bearman in LA Times: Autism boom: an epidemic of disease or of discovery?

Exploring the increasing prevalence of autism, The Los Angeles Times cited Peter Bearman's research into the environmental causes of autism. Bearman's research analyzes state data, finding that children who live near somebody with autism were more likely to have the diagnosis themselves. Bearman estimates that the influence of neighbors alone accounts for 16% of the growth of autism cases in the state developmental system between 2000 and 2005.

 

Autism explosion half explained, half still a mystery

Researchers from the Understanding Autism Project, including the project's Principal Investigator Peter Bearman, have spent three years trying to disentangle the causes of Autism, which have increased roughly ten-fold over the past 40 years. As Bearman said in the latest edition of New Scientist-Health, they have now identified three factors that are driving up autism rates, but found that these account for only half of the observed increase. Autism experts say Bearman's work is notable because it provides a powerful overview of the potential causes. "Bearman is giving us the answers we've been looking for,"  Michael Rosanoff of Autism Speaks told New Scientist-Health.

PRESS RELEASE: Peter Bearman Receives NIH Director's Pioneer Award to Study Autism Epidemic

PRESS RELEASE: Peter Bearman Receives NIH Director's Pioneer Award to Study Autism Epidemic
NEW YORK, NY-The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that Columbia University sociologist Peter Bearman will receive the prestigious NIH Director's Pioneer Award, a $2.5 million award that will support Bearman's study of the social determinants of autism.
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