“GEMMA” for World Autism Awareness Day

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On Friday 2 April, 2021 at 11.30 CET the National Research Council (Cnr) of Italy participates in the World Day of Awareness of Autism, established by the United Nations, with a live streaming webinar on the social channels of the Communication and Public Relations Unit-Cnr. The goal of the initiative is to raise awareness of GEMMA, the European project for biomedical research on autism, of which Cnr is a partner, and to raise public awareness of autism.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) occur in children in the very first years of age, especially in boys, and persist throughout life. ASD affects 1 in 54 children in the United States and 1 in 89 in Europe, 35 times more than in the 1960s. In Italy, it is estimated that 1.3% of children, that is 1 child in 77 (age 7-9 years), have the condition. Children born into a family with a brother / sister with autism show a ten times greater risk of developing it.

To date, the cause of autism is not known and there is no therapy. The GEMMA project aims to investigate with advanced technologies, the genetic and environmental causes that may contribute to the onset of the disorder and this increase of cases. For this reason, GEMMA is recruiting infants at risk of developing autism, so infants who have an affected brother / sister.

Two years after the start of the project, 6 scientific articles have already been published and plasma and fecal metabolites related to the clinical features of the disorder have been identified.

The webinar intends to raise public awareness of the problem of autism and to share the first results obtained in the first two years of the project, as well as to give useful information to the world of associations and family members, basic pediatricians and specialists, to that of school and nursery schools.

Speakers:

Prof. Alessio Fasano, Professor of Pediatrics and Nutrition, Harvard Medical School, Department of Pediatrics MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Boston, President of the EBRIS Foundation (Salerno), head of the GEMMA project

Dr. Giulio Corrivetti: neuropsychiatrist, director of the Mental Health Department of the ASL-Salerno. Italy

Dr. Alessandro Frolli, child neuroscientist, scientific director and master teacher ABA Unint, Scientific director of the Unint Disability Research Center, Rome

Dr. Alessandra Mezzelani, CNR researcher, Institute of Biomedical Technologies, head of the Translational Bioinformatics Laboratory and the CNR Unit participating in the GEMMA

Dr. Ettore Mosca: Cnr researcher, Institute of Biomedical Technologies, Bioinformatics Laboratory

Italian Facebook page: GEMMA Italia Project

The event will be in Italian. Links for live streaming:

https://www.facebook.com/568598400253350/posts/1169599146819936/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC3mz6HC9oM