Western Australian Autism Biological Registry (WAABR)
The aim of the Western Australian Autism Biological Registry (WAABR) is to collect detailed information on Children with Autism in WA and to centralize this information so that it is accessible to those who are involved in autism research.
It is expected that some of the discoveries made from the WA Autism Biological Registry will contribute to our understanding of autism and related conditions.
Pregnancy Investigation of Siblings and Mothers (PRISM) of
children with autism
The PRISM study will compare pregnancies in which the mother has
had a previous child with autism to pregnancies in which there is
no family history of autism.
Investigators: Andrew Whitehouse, Murray Maybery, Cheryl Dissanayake, Martha Hickey, Craig Pennell, Jeff Keelan.
Fluoxetine for Autistic Behaviours (FAB) trial.
Fluoxetine belongs to a class of medications known as the
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) which are thought
to help in treating repetitive behaviours. Over the last decade,
the use of Fluoxetine and other SSRIs in children with autism has
become increasingly common, both in Australia and overseas. It is
therefore important for us to know that Fluoxetine is effective in
treating repetitive behaviours in children with autism.
Investigators: Dinah Reddihough Catherine Marraffa, Roshan Virasinghe, Philip Hazell, Michael Kohn, John Wray, Katherine Lee, Paramala Santosh, Sue Reid, David Dossetor, Natalie Silove, John Carlin, Andrew Whitehouse.
Andrew is a senior member of the Raine Study research team. The
Raine Study is an ongoing health research project. From 1989
through to 1991, 2900 mothers enrolled during their pregnancy. Over
the past twenty years they, and their children, have remained
involved in the project. The families have provided environmental,
developmental and health information, to provide a unique and
valuable resource for scientists to research a wide range of health
areas. Andrew leads the Raine Mental Health team, and has a keen
interest on investigating how the prenatal environment influences
language and social development.
Investigators: Andrew Whitehouse, Steve Zubrick, Monique Robinson, Angelica Ronald, Martha Hickey, Jeff Keelan, Eugen Mattes, Peter Jacoby, Michael Sawyer, Craig Pennell.
Fish Oil Trial.
The use of fish oil supplements as part of daily dietary intake is very common among children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are important for brain development and may be of significant benefit to children with ASD. This randomised controlled trial of high-dose fish oil will investigate, if as a treatment it is likely to improve behavioural, cognitive or language outcomes in children aged 2-6 years with a known ASD diagnosis.
Investigators: Suzanne Meldrum, Andrew Whitehouse, Karen Simmer.
Studying the Facial Features of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The aims of this study are to determine whether children with ASD have different facial features to typically developing children and to determine whether children with certain behaviours are more likely to have facial anomalies.
Investigators: Ajaml Mian, Syed Gilani, Mark Walters, Murray Mayberry, Andrew Whitehouse.
The TOBY trial.
The TOBY trial is a multisite randomized controlled trial that looks at determining the effectiveness of the TOBY (Therapy Outcomes By You) Playpad application (app) as a complement to existing therapy and to examine the attitudes and beliefs of parents towards the TOBY app as an intervention method.
Investigators: Andrew Whitehouse, Darin Cairns, Wendy Marshall, Svetha Venkatesh, Dennis Moore, Amanda Richdale, Angelika Anderson, David Trembath
The Oxytocin Trial.
The Oxytocin Trial is a multisite randomized controlled trial that aims to determine the efficacy of a novel biological intervention, oxytocin (OT) nasal spray, as a treatment for impaired social functioning in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) aged 3-5 years. The secondary aim of this study is to identify key biomarkers of response that can accurately predict who benefits from OT nasal spray treatment.
Investigators: Adam Guastella, Andrew Whitehouse, Simon Gregory, John Wray, Ian Hickie.
Autism and Language Impairment
It has been suggested that autism and developmental language disorder may share similar causes. We want to find out whether children with autism and children with SLI show some of the same thinking styles.
Investigators: Lauren Taylor, Murray Maybery, Andrew Whitehouse
The effect of prenatal androgen exposure on language development: The case of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
A number of researchers have suggested that there is an inverse
relationship between the prenatal concentrations of testosterone
and language development i.e., higher concentrations of
testosterone are related to slow language development, and vice
This study will compare the language ability of girls with and without CAH to determine whether increased exposure to prenatal testosterone may compromise language development.
Investigators: Lauren Hollier, Murray Maybery, Andrew Whitehouse
Mobile phone communication and Asperger Syndrome
While mobile phones are now considered indispensable among typically developing adolescents, little research has explored their use of among adolescents with Asperger Syndrome. This study investigated the frequency and purpose of mobile phone use among adolescents with Asperger Syndrome.
Investigators: Tehani Wijesundera, Cori Williams, Andrew Whitehouse