Social Cognition – MRI research study for Adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Research Study

We are studying a part of the brain linked to Social Cognition, called the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). In this study we will ask participants to take assessments that measure Social Cognition (such as being able to recognize emotion from photographs of faces). We will also ask participants to have two separate MRI brain scans. With the MRI scans we will be looking at the levels of GABA (a chemical in the brain that helps send signals from one nerve cell to another) in the ACC. Researchers have found that individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have an imbalance of GABA. The first MRI scan will give us information about the levels of GABA in each participant’s ACC. For the second MRI, we will ask the participant to take one dose of the drug Gabapentin, to see if that increases the amount of GABA in his or her brain. We think that higher Social Cognition skills will show higher GABA in the ACC. The study involves 3-4 visits approximately 4 hours each.

We are looking for volunteers male and female, who are between the ages of 13 and 17, have an IQ over 85 and have an Autism Spectrum diagnosis. Compensation will be provided for time and travel.
Docket # H00012656

Email: ChildResearch@UMassmed.edu

Phone: 774-455-4100

Website: https://www.umassmed.edu/psychiatry/candi/studies/

Submitted on: 2019/11/06 at 9:57 am