Research

fcMRI Studies of Autism

Reference Number: 201109189

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY?

Our goal is to understand more about what causes Autism. Findings could help design better screening and diagnostic tests. Autism may involve problems with the typical pattern of connections that develop in the brain. A special kind of MRI brain scan (fcMRI) will allow us to study connections between different areas in your brain.

WHO IS NEEDED?

Volunteers age 9-14 with an Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis
Volunteers age 22-30 with an Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis

WHAT IS INVOLVED IF I PARTICIPATE?

Duration: You will be in the study for approximately 8 hours separated over several days (depending on the number of assessments you participate in to confirm or rule out a research diagnosis).
 
Tests/Procedures: Answer questions and participate in interviews to determine your eligibility and assignment to an experimental group. Your participation will also involve answering a health questionnaire to make sure that there is no reason why you cannot participate in the MRI scan. Some assessments may be audio-taped and videotaped. The responses are kept entirely confidential.
This study requires you to participate in assessments needed to confirm a research diagnosis of Autism or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, followed by two separate MRI sessions: a mock or practice scan, and the real MRI scanning session.
 
Risks: There are no known risk factors associated with MRI scans. The MRI uses strong magnetic fields and weak radio waves. The magnitude of these and the duration of exposure will be similar to that used by a radiologist in standard clinical use of MRI. These exposures are thought to be extremely safe, and presently no limit exists for the number of MRI studies one may have in a lifetime. Of course, there is the possibility that some unknown risk does exist.

IF YOU HAVE ANY SURGICALLY PACED METALLIC OBJECT OR A HISTORY OF CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIA, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE SINCE THESE ARE KNOWN RISKS. THESE ISSUES WILL BE ADDRESSED BEFORE THE FIRST VISIT.
 
Benefits: Experiments of this type have been used for a variety of socially useful purposes such as functional brain area localization, the design of better tests for brain injury, and the like. There are benefits in improved knowledge of human brain organization. Each subject who participates will get a picture of his/her brain. In completing the assessments you will have a chance to review measures of your social and behavioral functioning. Copies of completed questionnaires (but not the MRI scans) will be provided to you upon request. These, may, in turn, be brought to the attention of your doctor. We also hope that we will spark your interest in the brain sciences.
 
Compensation: $15.00 per hour of participation is provided for time and effort in the study, and $25.00 per hour is provided for the actual MRI scan. Risks will be discussed with volunteers as part of the informed consent process.

WHO IS THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (DOCTOR)?

John R. Pruett, MD, PhD

WHERE WILL THE STUDY TAKE PLACE?

Washington University School of Medicine; East Building; 4525 Scott Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110

CONTACT INFORMATION

Cognitive & Perceptual Development Lab
e-mail: squiree@psychiatry.wustl.edu
phone: 314-747-6751
1-877-CPDLVOL (273-5865)
fax: 314-747-6753

WEB SITE

cpd.wustl.edu