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Co-clinical trials in mice and humans in autism

Principal Investigator:
  • Evdokia Anagnostou,

    Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

  • Jason Lerch, University of Toronto
Team Members:
  • Jane Foster, McMaster University
  • Barry Greenberg, Krembil Research Institute
  • Robert Nicolson, University of Western Ontario
  • Teresa Bennett, McMaster University
  • Rosanna Weksberg, The Hospital For Sick Children
  • Stephen Scherer, The Hospital For Sick Children
  • Azrieli Foundation
  • National Bank of Canada

Project Overview

Autism has many causes, yet no single cause explains why many children and adults have autism. This makes treating the symptoms of autism difficult, since how somebody responds to treatment might depend on what cause autism in the first place. We thus need both better treatments and ways of figuring out which treatments will work for whom. In this projects, Drs Lerch and Anagnostou plan to take innovative new drugs to clinical trial – and have a trial in mice at the same time as the trial in youth. Using mice will allow them to isolate some of the individual causes of autism, and they will test whether the drug works better in mice with one particular cause than mice with another. They will also obtain as much information as they can about the youth and the mice participating in the clinical trials to see if there is anything that helps predict who benefits from the drug. The hope of the team is that these co-clinical trials in youth and mice will allow for the creation individual plans for each patient so that he or she can benefit from new treatments for autism.