An Introduction to Autism BrainNet

I have the pleasure to introduce today’s speakers, Dr. David Amaral and Carolyn Hare.

Dr. Amaral is the scientific director of Autism BrainNet and the MIND Institute Autism Center of Excellence. He is a professor of psychiatry at UC Davis School of Medicine and he is engaged in interdisciplinary research into the causes and treatment of autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. He is a nationally and internationally renowned authority in autism.

Carolyn Hare is Clinical Director for Autism BrainNet. She began her career in special education and eventually took a turn toward autism research. She is a certified tissue bank specialist and works directly with donor families.

Webinar Overview

Dr. David Amaral is the scientific director of Autism BrainNet and researches the causes and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Amaral leads this webinar with Carolyn Komich Hare, the clinical director for Autism BrainNet. They start the webinar with Autism BrainNet’s mission; their goal is to build an essential resource for research into the causes of autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions and help to identify new, effective treatments. Next, they talk about why brain tissue donations are important as the brain is the primary organ affected by neurodevelopmental conditions. Since 2014, there have been around 252 brain tissue donations, and that number is growing. Autism BrainNet enables researchers from all over the world to apply for brain tissue at no cost, with the hope of fostering innovative ASD research. This resource has already allowed scientists to examine anxiety levels in patients with autism by studying the neurons in the amygdala of patients with and without ASD. Dr. Amaral and Hare close by talking about the donation process which includes the use of a 24 hour hotline and a Donor Family Aftercare Program. Not only is supporting ASD research important to Autism BrainNet, but supporting and following-up with the families is also a critical part of their project.

Other Relevant Publications by Dr. Amaral

Altered Development of Amygdala-Connected Brain Regions in Males and Females with Autism

Association of Amygdala Development With Different Forms of Anxiety in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Identifying autism symptom severity trajectories across childhood

Other Relevant Publications by Carolyn Komich Hare

Contribution of olivofloccular circuitry developmental defects to atypical gaze in autism

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