SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - Maine is a clinical site for a landmark study about autism.
Maine Behavioral Healthcare was recently selected as the northern New England recruiter for the SPARK study, which is trying to obtain 50-thousand genetic profiles of people with autism.
Dr. Matthew Siegel, the principal investigator in Maine, says collecting such a large amount of genetic information will help researchers better understand different forms of autism. "And the point of doing that," says Siegel, "is then we can start to tailor our treatments and understanding of that person's form of autism, and hopefully increase the specificity and effectiveness of what we're doing for them.
The study is seeking saliva samples of people with autism and their parents, to me handled completely online and through the mail. Siegel says the goal is to collect 250 sample sets annually from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont over the next three years.
More can learned about SPARK here.