17.07.2016

EU-AIMS - the largest largest multi-centre, multi-disciplinary observational study on autism spectrum disorder in the world


 

Two companion papers on the EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP)

The LEAP group has recently published two companion papers in Molecular Autism.

LEAP is currently the largest multi-centre, multi-disciplinary observational study on autism spectrum disorder in the world. Our aim is to identify and validate stratification biomarkers for ASD. Stratification biomarkers are tests (for example, they could be a genetic test, blood test, brain scan, or cognitive/ psychological test) that can be used to divide autism into more biologically similar subgroups. We assume that different subgroups may differ in terms of their symptom profile at a given time point and/ or developmental trajectories over time. We also not only expect that different people with autism have different treatment needs, but that any given treatment (or intervention) may only be effective in particular people with ASD - because similar symptoms may have different underlying neurobiological causes.

The first paper (Loth et al., 2017) describes the overall study design, methodologies, and planned analytic stratification approaches to identify stratification markers, and criteria and steps to validate them. We also share some ‘lessons learnt’.

The second paper (Charman et al., 2017) describes the clinical characterisation of the LEAP cohort and examines age, sex and IQ differences in ASD core symptoms and common co-occurring psychiatric symptoms.