A long-distance telehealth study at Purdue University could help researchers identify autism symptoms in infancy, which could ultimately help children receive targeted therapy earlier.
Bridgette Tonnsen, PAC member and an assistant professor of clinical psychology, who studies autism in high-risk infants, is leading the five-year study which is focused on prospective surveillance of autism symptom emergence in high-risk infants with fragile X and other neurogenetic syndromes. The nearly $1 million study is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Tonnsen is a member of the Purdue Autism Cluster.
“While we have made a lot of progress in autism as far as understanding what the symptoms look like, and how to treat and support families, we are still lacking reliable markers of autism before the first year,” said Tonnsen. “The brain changes rapidly during the first year of life, so if we are not detecting children until they are three or four we are missing a great opportunity to support their development. We certainly don’t want to rush a diagnosis, but having some pre-diagnostic interventions could significantly help these children for the long-term.” Read more…
Bridgette Tonnsen, 765-494-6754, firstname.lastname@example.org