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Autism Science Foundation to Develop Brain Tissue Awareness Campaign

Posted Oct 02 2012 6:28pm

One thing I learned at IMFAR last year was that brain tissue is critical to many areas of autism research and that there is very little tissue available for research . OK, that’s two things. This year saw an amazingly sad event where a large number of brain tissue samples were ruined in a freezer failure .

The ASF’s announcement is below and also on their website as Autism Science Foundation to Develop Brain Tissue Donation Awareness Campaign with Support from Simons Foundation

The Autism Science Foundation has received a two-year, $600,000 grant from the Simons Foundation to develop a multi-media campaign designed to increase awareness of the importance of brain tissue donation to further autism research.

“No effort is more important than raising awareness among families and scientists about the need for research on human brain tissue,” said Dr. Gerald Fischbach, Director of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative.

Brain tissue research is critical for developing effective prevention and treatment options for autism but research in this area has lagged because of lack of tissue.

“In every area of medicine,” said Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, “new diagnostics and new treatments have come from studying the affected organ. In autism, we have been challenged by trying to understand a complex neurodevelopmental disorder without having enough brain tissue available for study. In so many ways, our ability to deliver for families with autism depends on the success of this effort.”

ASF President Alison Singer will serve as principal investigator on the project. Prior to founding the Autism Science Foundation, Singer served as Executive Vice President for Communications and Awareness at Autism Speaks, where she developed and co-produced the award-winning “The Odds” autism awareness campaign in conjunction with the Ad Council.

By Matt Carey

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