NYU Langone Medical Center Collaborates On Groundbreaking International Initiative To Advance Autism Research

Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE) Represents Unprecedented Progress in Autism Research Community

September 24, 2012 - 8:48am

NYU Langone Medical Center announced today the creation of a new groundbreaking collaboration in autism research. The Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE) is a database of brain scans from more than 15 leading international research institutions and academic medical centers. ABIDE was designed to advance scientific understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by allowing researchers to share autism data within the broader scientific community. The collaboration is led by NYU Langone, coordinator of ABIDE and the single largest contributor of research to the consortium, andKennedy Krieger Institute.

“This collaboration fills an unmet need among the autism research community. By providing access to an unprecedented large-scale dataset, ABIDE has the potential to move autism research forward and thus advance our understanding of a complex disorder,” said Adriana Di Martino, MD, co-founder and coordinator of ABIDE and Leon Levy assistant professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. “We are honored that some of the world’s leading institutions have contributed data and truly feel this initiative will help to change the face of autism research. This is only the beginning.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 88 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder by age 8. A key focus area for autism research is brain imaging to map out the pathology of disease, which can lead to important new understandings about the function and structures of the brain.

ABIDE was created to facilitate and advance autism research and is expected to contribute to increasing collaboration within the autism research community. ABIDE currently includes brain images from more than 1,000 individuals, ages 6 to 64 years old, aggregated from more than 15 leading medical and research institutions around the world.

“Acquiring imaging data in children with autism can be challenging. By establishing a collaborative environment for data sharing, ABIDE helps us overcome obstacles and will undoubtedly lead to progress in understanding brain structure and function in autism,” said Dr. Stewart Mostofsky, co-founder of ABIDE and Director of the Laboratory for Neurocognitive and Imaging Research at Kennedy Krieger Institute. “This is a vital demonstration of how the scientific community can become more cooperative and, by working together, increase our knowledge to help improve autism diagnosis and treatment.”

ABIDE represents an unparalleled resource for researchers and clinicians in the autism field, according to Glenn Saxe, MD, the Arnold Simon Professor and Chair of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and director of the Child Study Center at NYU Langone.

“The magnitude of this initiative cannot be overstated as it may potentially change the landscape of autism research, advance the discovery of diagnostic tools and treatments and most importantly, ultimately help us provide the highest level of patient care to children with this debilitating disorder,” he added. “We hope the ABIDE initiative will become a model for other research areas, as innovation drives the advancement of ideas.”

The Child Study Center (CSC) at NYU Langone Medical Center is a recognized leader in the treatment of child psychiatric disorders through scientific practice, research, and education. The CSC offers a wide range of mental health services for children, adolescents, young adults and families and our experts specialize in the fields of child, adolescent and adult psychiatry, clinical psychology, neuropsychology, social work, pediatric neurology and education and academic achievement. The center recently moved to their new location at One Park Ave. in Manhattan and has facilities in New Jersey and on Long Island. For more information, please visit the Child Study Center website or call (212) 263-6622.

Media Inquiries:
Allison Clair
212.404.3753 | allison.clair@nyumc.org