This proposal reflects the overarching goal of enhancing interventions that address core communication deficits common in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Despite earlier diagnosis and increased awareness of the importance of early intervention, language and communication outcomes remain highly variable in ASD, with some longitudinal samples showing as many as 50% of children diagnosed with autism at age 2 still non-verbal, or lacking phrase speech by age 9 (Anderson et al., 2007). Despite the importance of such an unmet treatment need, few studies have empirically tested the possible additive effects of combined interventions, especially combined psychosocial and medical interventions, as we propose to do. This innovative project tests the hypothesized benefits of the addition of the dopamine-stabilizing drug, aripiprazole (ARI) versus placebo, on short-term social communication and language outcomes in 6-11 year old children with ASD lacking phrase speech receiving an intensive, developmentally informed language intervention. Drawing from converging lines of evidence suggesting abnormalities in social motivation and reward responsivity in ASD, and behavioral moderators of treatment response in ASD, we propose a translational study to test for a hypothesized positive effect of ARI administration, based on effects on social motivation, in combination with a state-of-the-art communication intervention in children with ASD and low language ability. Data from the proposed study can inform an empirically based approach to choices of intervention for school-age children with ASD and low language ability. The proposed study should represent a trial design that could serve as a platform for future studies of future targeted treatments for ASD, identified by anticipated new understandings of the core pathophysiology. If our proof-of-concept trial suggests that ARI facilitates language acquisition in ASD, such a result could have clinical implications once replicated in a larger controlled study. The project directly addresses goals of the lACC to increase controlled intervention studies addressing key needs of individuals with ASD.

Public Health Relevance

This is a new project as a part of the renewal application for the UCLA Autism Center of Excellence. The project directly addresses goals of the lACC to increase the number of controlled intervention studies addressing key needs of individuals with ASD.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
2P50HD055784-06
Application #
8426260
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-Y (54))
Project Start
2012-09-04
Project End
2017-05-31
Budget Start
2012-09-04
Budget End
2013-05-31
Support Year
6
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$281,072
Indirect Cost
$98,558
Name
University of California Los Angeles
Department
Type
DUNS #
092530369
City
Los Angeles
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90095
Green, Shulamite A; Hernandez, Leanna; Bookheimer, Susan Y et al. (2016) Salience Network Connectivity in Autism Is Related to Brain and Behavioral Markers of Sensory Overresponsivity. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 55:618-626.e1
Green, Shulamite A; Hernandez, Leanna; Bookheimer, Susan Y et al. (2016) Reduced modulation of thalamocortical connectivity during exposure to sensory stimuli in ASD. Autism Res :
Shire, Stephanie Y; Gulsrud, Amanda; Kasari, Connie (2016) Increasing Responsive Parent-Child Interactions and Joint Engagement: Comparing the Influence of Parent-Mediated Intervention and Parent Psychoeducation. J Autism Dev Disord 46:1737-47
Gulsrud, Amanda C; Hellemann, Gerhard; Shire, Stephanie et al. (2016) Isolating active ingredients in a parent-mediated social communication intervention for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 57:606-13
DiStefano, Charlotte; Gulsrud, Amanda; Huberty, Scott et al. (2016) Identification of a distinct developmental and behavioral profile in children with Dup15q syndrome. J Neurodev Disord 8:19
Messinger, Daniel S; Young, Gregory S; Webb, Sara Jane et al. (2016) Commentary: sex difference differences? A reply to Constantino. Mol Autism 7:31
Miller, Meghan; Iosif, Ana-Maria; Young, Gregory S et al. (2016) School-age outcomes of infants at risk for autism spectrum disorder. Autism Res 9:632-42
Hutman, Ted; Harrop, Clare; Baker, Elizabeth et al. (2016) Joint engagement modulates object discrimination in toddlers: a pilot electrophysiological investigation. Soc Neurosci 11:525-30
Lee, Ji-Ann; Damianov, Andrey; Lin, Chia-Ho et al. (2016) Cytoplasmic Rbfox1 Regulates the Expression of Synaptic and Autism-Related Genes. Neuron 89:113-28
Jann, Kay; Smith, Robert X; Rios Piedra, Edgar A et al. (2016) Noise Reduction in Arterial Spin Labeling Based Functional Connectivity Using Nuisance Variables. Front Neurosci 10:371

Showing the most recent 10 out of 100 publications