Early Markers for Autism Study (EMA)

Project Timeframe: 2004 to 2015

There is widespread hope that the identification of biomarkers for autism will reveal the causes of autism and offer methods for diagnosis and intervention. The goal of the Early Markers for Autism (EMA) study is to identify these biomarkers. Researchers are analyzing maternal blood collected during mid-pregnancy and in infant blood collected at birth. The study includes the examination of autoantibodies, immunoglobulin, hormone levels, certain neuropeptides and neurotrophins, metals, and other chemicals in the blood of mothers who gave birth to children who later developed autism. Their results will be compared to mothers who gave birth to children without autism. This study is being conducted in collaboration with the California Department of Health Services (CADDRE and the Genetic Disease Screening Program), Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, and laboratory scientists at UC Davis.