Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) for Infant Siblings

What's the study about?

The IBIS Network has been conducting a brain imaging study for infants with an older autistic sibling for over 10 years. We are learning more about the underlying brain mechanisms that impact various aspects of child development around speech, language, cognition, and social/emotional development. This research will inform more individualized treatments and supports for children on the spectrum. We also hope to develop a predictive MRI tool for higher risk infants that can identify autism risk between 6 and 12 months, allowing for earlier intervention.

Who can participate?

Infants under 6 months of age who have a full sibling diagnosed with autism

What will participants be doing?

Participating infants travel to one of five sites closest to them at 6, 12 and 24 months of age. Each visit includes study activities completed over two days:

1) Unsedated MRIs occurring in the evening during the infant’s natural sleep are done on 2 evenings (each session lasting 2-4 hours).
2) A half day of observational developmental assessments are completed.
3) Optional study components include an EEG, saliva sample, and language recordings done from home.

Families receive written summaries of developmental assessments, which may be beneficial for reviewing with their pediatrician. Families receive $300-$400 compensation for each timepoint and out of town families will have travel covered.

Why is this important?

What we hope to learn about early brain development in autism may lead to earlier interventions for infants at risk for autism, as well as more individualized supports for children on the spectrum.