Canines, Kids and Autism

share with Twitter email this

Every year, one out of every 68 children in the United States is diagnosed with some form of autism, with these numbers steadily rising over the last decade. Alarmingly, it is believed that boys are five times more likely to have some form of the disorder than girls. Though the instances of children on the autism spectrum are increasing year to year, the amount of funding given to autism research is far lower than with other childhood diseases and disorders, and this has led to fewer researchers examining the autistic spectrum. Undeterred, however, a new groundbreaking study looking at autistic tendencies present in certain breeds of dogs has been launched, with implications that could lead to earlier diagnoses in children, is available for funding.

American Humane Association is launching a study in partnership with the non-profit Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) that seeks to uncover the genetic basis of obsessive-compulsive disorder in dogs. The research findings from this Canines, Kids and Autism study could also lead to clues about the origins of such behavior in children, especially the growing number of those with autism. The study will look first at the causes of obsessive-compulsive disorder commonly found in three types of purebred dogs: Bull Terrier, Doberman Pinscher and Jack Russell Terrier

Using state-of-the-art technology, TGen scientists will conduct whole genome sequencing to analyze the genomes of these dogs in hopes of pinpointing those genes that might be responsible for atypical behaviors. The study aims to provide both physicians and veterinarians with new insights for earlier diagnoses and innovative therapeutics.

Joining American Humane Association and TGen are collaborators from the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. American Humane Association advisors will collaborate with the research team, and assist in study design and data interpretation. 

A core part of American Humane Association’s 137-year-old mission is the study of the human-animal bond. The study, Canines, Kids and Autism  is the organization’s second study involving dogs and children. The association is also involved in a full clinical trial of the Canines and Childhood Cancer study in partnership with Zoetis, which is investigating the biological and psychosocial effects of therapy dogs on pediatric cancer patients.

The recent federal budget cuts mean federal funding is not available for this study, so the collaborators are seeking private funding for this novel research. Prospective supporters should contact American Humane Association at 866-242-1877.

« Back

  Please enter your contact information.

 

 

 

 

 

If you respond and have not already registered, you will receive periodic updates and communications from American Humane Association.

 

What's this?

   Please leave this field empty