Kennedy Krieger Institute Collaborates On Groundbreaking International Initiative To Advance Autism Research

September 24, 2012
Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE) Represents Unprecedented Progress in Autism Research Community

Kennedy Krieger Institute and 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 and Kennedy Krieger Institute.

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.”

About the Kennedy Krieger Institute
Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD serves more than 16,000 individuals each year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services and school-based programs.  Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental concerns mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop while pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis.  For more information on Kennedy Krieger Institute, visit www.kennedykrieger.org