Baby Hair Needed for National Autism Research Study

Arizona State University is conducting a research study of the level of mercury, toxic metals, and essential minerals in the baby hair of children with autism compared to non-autistic children. The purpose of this study is to replicate two previous studies:

1) a study by Dr. Amy Holmes et al. that found very low levels of mercury in the baby hair of children with autism, and
2) our recent study (submitted for publication) which found low levels of several essential minerals in children with autism.

The study is open to any child in the United States who meets the following criteria:
1) Born in 1988-1999
2) Has a sample of the “first-cut” baby hair between 12 and 24 months
3) Can provide a copy of vaccination records up until the first haircut, including manufacturer’s name and lot number (this information should be available by calling your pediatrician)
4) For children with autism, a written diagnosis of autism per DSM IV criteria by a certified professional
5) For non-autistic children:
a) normal development – no ASD/PDD/ADD/ADHD or speech/language delay
b) no asthma, severe atopic allergies, Type I diabetes, or other autoimmune disease
c) no first or second degree relatives with ASD/PDD/ADD/ADHD
d) normal vaccination schedule up to age of first haircut

We also ask for your help in finding typical non-autistic children to provide baby hair samples, even if your child cannot participate in the study.

Participants will be asked to fill out a 1-page medical history and a 1-page evaluation of the severity of their child’s autism.

Benefits: Participants will receive the results of their child’s hair analysis, a $20 gift certificate to Toys ‘R’ Us, and a copy of the study findings. We hope that this study will help us determine possible causes of autism, so that we are better able to treat it.

To Participate: please send us your email address (preferred) or mailing address:
Email: (preferred mode of contact)
Mail: Prof. James B. Adams, Arizona State University, PO Box 876006,
Tempe, AZ 85287-6006.

This study is led by Prof. James B. Adams, Ph.D., at Arizona State University,

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Autism Research Institute (directed by Bernard Rimland, Ph.D).
We also gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS, a branch of NIH), which will conduct the hair analysis.

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