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Tissue is Needed to Find Answers About the Increase in Autism - Parents Urged to Register Their Children

Printable Brochure [.pdf]

Autism is a neurological disorder that knows no social, ethnic or racial boundaries. Once considered an extremely rare disorder, autism has now reached epidemic proportions. According to a recent government report 1 in every 88 children is thought to be autistic. It is currently predicted that every twenty minutes a child is diagnosed with autism and more children are diagnosed with autism than AIDS, cancer and diabetes combined. Unfortunately, we have no real answers as to what may be causing this current epidemic of children with autism or what can be done to help them.

Donated tissue may provide key information necessary to help the thousands of children who suffer with this devastating disorder.

University of Maryland
Department of Pediatrics
655 West Baltimore St., 13-013 BRD
Baltimore, MD. 21201-1559
Toll free 800-847-1539
Ph. 410-706-1755
Fx. 410-706-0038

A Precious Need

The Autism Research Institute is working closely with scientists and clinicians throughout the country in an effort to find effective treatments for this devastating disorder. According to these experts, limited availability of tissue from children who suffer with autism is hampering research because without actual tissue it is impossible to determine the basic biological defects responsible for this disorder. In an effort to increase research, the Autism Research Institute has entered into a partnership with the Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders at the University of Maryland in contract to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to support tissue donations. Brain and tissue banks serve the critical purpose of collecting, preserving and distributing tissue to qualified scientific investigators who are dedicated to the improved understanding of autism spectrum disorders and the development of effective treatments.
Research Relies on Tissue Donation

Human tissue donation is a precious gift. For some tissue donation may be difficult to consider whereas for others there is a sense of comfort and satisfaction in knowing that they have been able to help advance the science in an effort to find answers to help end the autism epidemic. In deciding whether or not to donate your loved ones tissue the following points are helpful to know.

  • Tissue donation is accepted by most major religions
  • All costs incurred by the donation are covered by the tissue bank
  • The procedure to recover tissue does not interfere with a traditional funeral service

Anyone Can Be a Donor

Anyone, regardless of age is invited to register as a tissue donor. The tissue bank is just as much in need of control tissue as tissue from those with autism. All donor information remains anonymous and anyone who registers holds the right to withdraw from being a donor at any time. It is very important that tissue be recovered within 24 hours because after this time the tissue has lost most of its usefulness for research purposes. Because of the irreplaceable nature of donated tissue, each lost donation is a blow to research that is impossible to measure. Therefore, advanced registration is especially important in that it enables the intricate process of tissue recovery to occur in a timely manner.
How to Register

To register, call 1-800-847-1539 or 1-410-706-1755 (from outside the continental U.S.) to request a packet or discuss any questions or concerns relating to tissue donation. Your call will be received in strict confidence.
Tissue Recovery

The next of kin or family member should call the toll free number 1-800-847-1539 or 1-410-706-1755 (from outside the continental U.S.) if death is imminent or as soon as possible after a death. Calls are taken 24 hours a day. It is also important that medical and funeral personnel are aware of the desire to donate tissue.

Even if a person is not registered in advance, tissue donation may still be possible by calling the toll free number above. The Brain and Tissue Bank will make every attempt within its means to ensure successful tissue recovery.