NIH Awards More than 50 New Autism Grants

(From the NIH)

The National Institutes of Health has awarded more than 50 autism research grants, totaling more than $65 million, which will be supported with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. These grants are the result of the largest funding opportunity for research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to date, announced in March 2009.

Awards were based on the quality of the proposed study and how well it addressed short-term research objectives detailed in the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s (IACC’s) Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research.

“These studies currently hold the best promise of revealing what causes autism, how it might be prevented, what treatments are effective, and how service needs change across the lifespan — questions noted in the IACC strategic plan as critically important to improving the lives of people with ASD and their families. The Recovery Act funding makes it possible to do the type of innovative research necessary to find these answers more quickly,” said Thomas R. Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of NIH, and IACC chair.

Read more, including examples of grants funded.

2 Replies to “NIH Awards More than 50 New Autism Grants”

  1. Have any of these studies ever helped an autistic person? Why does every study end it’s report with “further study needed” ? Are we really to beleive a 6 week study done with minimal and often forged observation data is helpful? Let’s think about this, because as far as I see, all the money squandered in research could be set up in funds to directly help families raising autistic children. Of course, with autism being misdiagnosed in epidemic numbers, who care anymore, right? The entire autism community is compromised…we saw that the minute they let Jenny McCarthy speak for them. Her son doesn’t even have the disorder.

  2. Lots of scientific studies have helped autistic people. A recent study that comes to mind is one from last summer showing that Celexa, a commonly prescribed medication for autistic children, worked no better than placebo. There are plenty of others, like the one showing B12 injections don’t work, or the many studies showing that ABA therapy does help.

    It’s a great idea to raise money to “directly help families raising autistic children,” and some organizations have been formed to do just that. But one way to “directly help” is to make sure the treatments and therapies autistic kids receive are helpful and not harmful. This can only be achieved through good science.

    Not sure what makes you think autism is being misdiagnosed or over-diagnosed. Autism has, however, become something of an umbrella term, with kids now labeled as autistic who would not have gotten that diagnosis ten or twenty years ago. That doesn’t mean they are misdiagnosed, just that the diagnostic criteria have changed.

    I have heard people speculate that Jenny McCarthy’s son is not autistic, but I’ve never met the kid and I’m not a doctor.

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