Biobehavioral Markers of Anxiety in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Aug 1 2012
Aug 1 2014
America/New York
Center for Autism Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


Brief Description:

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have problems with social relationships and communication. Some individuals with ASDs also have other problems, such as anxiety, that may or may not be related to ASD. Our research is trying to understand why some individuals with ASD also have other co-occurring problems. This knowledge may help researchers develop targeted treatments for ASD and co-occurring problems.

This research study needs individuals between the ages of 7 and 17. Children with ASD are needed to take part; children who do not have ASD and are developing typically are also needed. Participants may not have metal in the body (for example, braces). Participants may not be taking an atypical antipsychotic medication (for example, Risperidone, Quetiapine, or Aripiprazole).

Individuals who take part will receive detailed evaluations and reports. There is no cost to participate and insurance will not be billed. Families will be paid for their time and reimbursed for travel costs.


Eligibility for Study Participation:

Participants cannot:

- Be younger than 7 or older than 17 years 10 months

- Have metal in the body (for example, braces)

- Currently be taking an atypical antipsychotic medication (for example, Risperidone, Quetiapine, or Aripiprazole)

- Have known genetic syndromes (e.g., Fragile X, Down Syndrome)

- Have significant hearing or vision problems

- Be nonverbal or use single words

- Have significant brain injury, e.g., stroke, brain bleeding, brain tumor, hydrocephalus

- Have been born premature, born before 32 weeks

- Have been adopted after 3 months (unless adoptive parents have records regarding birth history and early development)


Participation Details:

Families will need to come to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia or in King of Prussia. Study visits will take place in 2-4 visits, depending on what is most convenient for the family taking part.

Children taking part in the research study will receive social, behavioral, intelligence (IQ), and other developmental testing. Children will also have brain imaging and will be asked to give small samples of blood or saliva. Lastly, children will be asked to complete computer tasks while we record basic responses including eye gaze patterns, heart rate, perspiration rate, and breathing. Parents will be asked to answer questions over the phone, in person, and on paper.


Principal Investigator:

Dr. John Herrington


Contact Information:

Julianne Fretz, 1-866-570-6524 or


For more information visit: