At the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, leaders in the field of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are conducting basic science, clinical, and translational research to help children affected by ASDs and their families. Our research works towards providing a deeper understanding of the psychological, behavioral, and physiological mechanisms that cause ASD and howto address these core problems to promote a chance at recovery and to establish optimal outcomes through targeted interventions. Current research projects include measuring the impact of oxidative stress, mitochondrial function, and environmental stressors on ASD as well as treatment studies to address these underlying issues that may give rise to behavioral dysregulations and medical symptoms associated with autism. The clinical program incorporates investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored clinical trials, development of an autism clinical diagnosis and care system, and collaborations with neurologists, psychiatrists, gastroenterologists, geneticists, and others. Together, these efforts strive to improve the development of novel behavioral and medical therapies to accelerate and optimize recovery of children diagnosed with ASD and to develop strategies for preventing ASD from developing in high-risk children.
Autism Translational Research Center
The Autism Translational Research Center conducts clinical trials of novel treatments for core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, and discovering new biomarkers of autism.
Director - Richard Frye, MD, PhD
Co-Investigator - Jill James, PhD
Coordinator - Leanna Delhey(Telephone: 501-364-4519)
Currently Enrolling Clinical Trials
Treating Oxidative Stress and the Metabolic Pathology of Autism Phase 1 and 2
This study will look at whether targeted nutritional supplements can improve the health and behavior of autisic children. We are looking at the metabolic profile of children by looking at the results of blood tests to see how the body breaks down things like nutrients so they are useful to the body.
There are two phases ot the study:
Phase 1 - We get a small amount of blood drawn by a pediatric phlebotomist at the ACH lab and a medical history of the child. If the tests indicate that the child could benefit from targeted nutritional supplementations, he or she may qualify to take part in the next phase of the study.
Phase 2 - The elibible child from Phase 1 would take part in a 3-month study which consits of 4 visits to ACHRI. The child would be randomly assigned to take supplements or placebo for 3 months. Children who receive placebo would have the option of continuing for another 3 months with hte active supplements and reassessed. This way every child will receive the supplements.
While there are no direct benefits to your child, he or she may help autistic children in the future. The participant will receive a toal of $350 over the course of the study as a thank you for participating.
Children from age 3 to less than 7 years
Diagnosed with an autistic disorder per DSM-IV 299.0 by a physician
No single gene or chromosomal disorders (i.e. Down Syndrome, Fragile X or PKU)
Not on high-dose vitamin, nutritional or herbal supplements (as determined by the principal investigator).
Not receiving anti-folate medications or other medications known to interfere with the study results (as determined by the principal investigator)
No severe GI distress
No anticipated need for new treatment (meds, behavioral, nutrient) during phase 2.
Study Contact Name and Number
Hannah C. Feild, BA 501-364-4665
Folinic Acid Interventions in ASD
This study will assess whether high-dose folinic acid interventions can improve both core symptoms of ASD (i.e., communication, socialization, stereotyped movements) and associated comorbid symptoms (i.e., attention) in a double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial. The study will consist of three phases. Phase 1 and 2 last 12 weeks. If subjects are eligible for phase 3, they have the option of extending the intervention for an additional 12 weeks.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, aged 3 to 14 years of age, Language Impairment, ability to maintain other complementary, traditional, and/or behavioral treatment interventions constant during the study, Unchanged complementary, traditional, and/or behavioral treatment intervention 8 weeks prior to study.
Contact Name and Information
Leanna Delhey - 501-364-4519
Mitochondrial Function in Health and Disease
We are studying the contribution of mitochondrial function on the development of neurologic and neurodevelopmental disorders. We are especially interested in how epilepsy interacts with mitochondrial function and neurodevelopmental disorder so we are looking for children who fall into the below categories with and without epilepsy.
1. Ages 0-17 years
2. One of the groups below with and without epilepsy
• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Developmental Delay
• Mitochondrial Disorder
3. Typically Developing without any major medical problems.
1. Antipsychotic Medications
2. Prematurity (less than 34 weeks gestation)
One or Two Visits of approximately 3 hours each
Each Visit Involves
-Fasting Blood Draw
-First Morning Urine Collection
-Neuropsychological assessments of
-Collection of baby teeth, if available
Mileage and Per Visit Compensation Provided
Study Contact Name and Number
Study coordinator: John Slattery
Principal Investigator: Richard Frye