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National Institutes of Health

Science Update
December 30, 2008

NIMH Grants Focus on Innovative Autism Research

Autism is a complex brain disorder involving communication and social difficulties as well as repetitive behavior or limited interests. Autism is often grouped with similar disorders, such as Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder, all of which may be referred to collectively as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The underlying causes of ASD are unclear. Currently, there is no cure for the disorders and treatments are limited.

NIMH is committed to reducing the burden of autism and related disorders through research that can lead to methods of prevention, recovery, and cure. To accomplish this goal, the Institute recently funded nine research projects that focus on ASD: