U of Iowa Looking For Families To Participate In Autism Study

Northwest Iowa — (Radio Iowa) — The University of Iowa is taking part in what’s being called the largest-ever genetic study of autism. Some 50-thousand families are being recruited across the country for the research project aimed at understanding the biological causes of autism.

The lead investigator in Iowa, Jacob Michaelson, says parents of autistic children should want to get involved as a contribution to science.

The University of Iowa College of Medicine is the only site in the state taking part in the study along with two-dozen other sites nationwide. Michaelson, a U of I psychiatry professor, says the project aims to gather genetic samples to help determine the causes of autism.

Michaelson says he tells parents understanding the scientific reasons for autism removes the fear connected to uncertainty. The study is being funded by the New York-based Simons Foundation, which supports scientific research. The study is known by the acronym SPARK.


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