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ARI Sponsors Specimen Bank

In order to figure out the underlying cause(s) of autism, the
study of tissue is essential. A couple of years ago the Autism Research Institute (ARI) partnered with the Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders at the University of Maryland, under contract to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). In addition, last year ARI began to sponsor the Digestive Function Laboratory Repository for tissues from patients with and without autism at Mass General.

We are pleased to announce that ARI will be working in collaboration with The Health Research Center/Pfeiffer Treatment Center to sponsor a blood serum/plasma, blood cell, and urine bank of non-autistic healthy control specimens. A.J. Russo, Ph.D., the Research Director, will oversee the specimen bank. The aim is to establish a center for control samples accessible to ARI collaborators at minimal cost. The center will collect, transport and house plasma/serum, red blood cells, buffy coat, and urine from age-appropriate non-autistic/neurotypical children.

We need the help of general practitioners, pediatricians, and researchers who work with healthy, 3-12 year old children to solicit samples from them. We will provide you with a release/permission form for your patients to sign. We will also arrange for transport, and process, freeze, and store of the samples at our facility at the Pfeiffer Treatment Center.

If you are willing to help or have questions, please contact Dr. Russo at:

A.J. Russo, Ph.D.
Research Director
Health Research Institute/Pfeiffer Treatment Center
4575 Weaver Parkway
Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone: 630-505-0300 X207
Fax: 630-836-0667


Translated Versions of GI Disorders in ASD Patients Consensus Report Summary Posted to ARI’s website

In January 2010, the journal Pediatrics published a consensus report titled Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders in Individuals with ASDs: A Consensus Report. The report was sponsored by the Autism Research Institute, the Northwest Autism Foundation, Easter Seals, and the Autism Society. Twenty-six scientists reviewed the state-of-the-art research on gastrointestinal problems associated with autism, and they concluded that pediatricians need to be aware of and should treat such problems. In addition, the report urged that more research be conducted in order to determine prevalence, cause and treatment.

ARI recently translated and uploaded to its website a summary version of the paper into four languages, including Chinese, German, Japanese, and Spanish. French, Italian, Russian, and several more languages are currently being translated and will be posted to ARI’s website soon.


Spotlight on Staff Jensen Family

Curtis Jensen joins ARI in a research capacity, exploring ARI’s databases for subtypes of autism in order to better identify which groups respond best to different types of treatments. Using data from ARI’s E-2 Diagnostic checklist submitted by parents, his research involves the identification of certain groups for whom specific treatments (e.g. diet, supplements, other therapies, behavior modification, and social skills training) have greater efficacy. While looking at treatment efficacy across the entire ASD population is useful, this targeted research should prove to have greater clinical significance for practitioners and parents. Curtis recently completed his Master’s Degree in computer science at Cal State University/San Marcos. ARI allowed him to use the E-2 survey data for his thesis (“Using Mining and Machine Learning to Identify Subtypes of Autism.”) After completion of the thesis, Director
Dr. Steve Edelson arranged for Mr. Jensen to continue his research at ARI. Curtis also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from the University of California/San Diego, and has worked in software engineering for 11 years in the medical research and defense industries. He and his wife Alaina live in San Diego, and are the parents of four-year old twins (Levi and Georgia), both on the autism spectrum.

Lenny Schafer  The Schafer Autism Report is a non-profit corporation Unsubscribe: