GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The nation’s largest autism study is working to collect DNA samples from thousands of families from across the country.
The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative plans to collect 50,000 DNA samples to advance the understanding of autism.
The study, which is named Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge or SPARK, is open to anyone with a professional diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. Biological parents and full biological siblings are welcomed to participate as well.
Brooke Ingersoll, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University, told WLNS in Lansing the importance of taking part in the study.
“We really need larger research projects to better understand both the genetics and environmental factors that contribute to autism, as well as the best way to intervene to make sure that individuals and their families’ quality of life is as high as it can be,” Ingersoll said.