Mainers With Autism to Participate in Landmark Study

Jul 15, 2017

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 50,000 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 is then we can start to tailor our treatments and understanding of that person's form of autism," Siegel says, "and hopefully increase the specificity and effectiveness of what we're doing for them."

Siegel says they're looking for saliva samples from people with autism and their parents.  It's all 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 information is on Maine Behavioral Healthcare's website.