Families facing autism needed!

SPARK, the largest genetic study of autism ever in the U.S., is seeking DNA from individuals with autism and their family members to expand the understanding of the genetic aspects of the disorder.

Enrollment is simple, non-invasive (a saliva sample) and can be done from home.

The University of Minnesota is one of 25 universities, hospitals and autism research centers across the U.S. partnering with SPARK (Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge), an online research initiative collecting DNA from at least 50,000 individuals with autism plus their biological family members.

Autism is known to have a strong genetic component. Research suggests there may be 500 to 1,000 genes involved; about 90 have been identified so far. Launched in April 2016, SPARK has already enrolled 10,000 complete “trios” (individuals with ASD and both biological parents).

The U of M is currently looking for more families to participate by the end of May.

To learn more or get involved, go to sparkforautism.org/uminnesota or call 612-624-0116.