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Studying Childhood-onset Behavioral, Psychiatric, and Developmental Disorders

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified March 2, 2017 by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) ) Identifier:
First received: January 26, 2013
Last updated: April 21, 2017
Last verified: March 2, 2017


- Many psychiatric, behavioral, and developmental disorders are genetic. This means that they tend to run in families. Some begin in childhood, while others do not appear until adulthood. Researchers want to look at people of all ages who have these disorders that started in childhood. They will also look at relatives of people with these disorders. This information will allow doctors to learn more about childhood behavioral problems and how they are inherited. It may also help doctors treat those disorders.


- To study the onset and treatment of childhood behavioral, psychiatric, and developmental disorders.


  • Individuals of any age who have a psychiatric, autism spectrum, or developmental disorder, or other behavioral problems.
  • Family members of individuals with the above disorders. This group may include parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, and children.


  • Participants will be screened with a medical history and physical exam. They will have a psychiatric history with tests of thinking, judgment, and behavior. Blood and urine samples will be collected. Brain imaging scans will be performed to look at brain function. They may have a spinal tap to collect cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Relatives will have a medical history and physical exam. They will also have a psychiatric history with tests of thinking, judgment, and behavior. Blood and urine samples will be collected. Brain imaging scans will be performed to look at brain function.
  • A relative s exams may reveal a behavioral or other disorder. If so, he or she may re-enroll on the study as a person with the disorder.

Neurological Disorder

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Other
Official Title: Diagnosis and Treatment of Childhood-onset Behavioral Disorders, Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Gain knowledge about the course of specific neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders in order to better characterize the natural history of such diseases, which can be used to generate hypotheses for future protocols [ Time Frame: 4 years ]

Estimated Enrollment: 3500
Study Start Date: November 14, 2012
Estimated Study Completion Date: July 6, 2020
Estimated Primary Completion Date: July 6, 2020 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

This is a diagnostic and treatment protocol designed to provide opportunities for identifying new clinical syndromes, providing cases for instruction and training, and permitting longitudinal assessments of a variety of childhood behavioral, psychiatric and developmental disorders. Disorders of particular interest are: autism, disorders of social cognition and other neurodevelopmental disorders; childhood psychiatric disorders and particularly those with acute symptom onset; and unique clinical presentations of pediatric behavioral syndromes, such as those associated with genetic disorders or those with a unique family history.


The primary objective of this protocol is to evaluate a variety of behavioral, neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental conditions. Assessing and treating participants will allow the PDN clinicians to maintain their clinical expertise and will provide opportunities for training. Further, the protocol will allow PDN investigators to gain additional knowledge about the course of various childhood behavioral syndromes and their response to standard therapies. The information obtained is expected to generate questions to be answered and hypotheses to be tested in future protocols. In some cases, blood, cerebrospinal fluid or other biologic samples (including urine, saliva and cheek swabs) obtained for clinical studies will be stored for future laboratory studies.

Study Population:

The number of participants to be enrolled will be set at 3,500 participants to permit inclusion of up to 1,000 probands (children, adolescents and adults) and their relatives (n = 2,500 to include key 2nd and 3rd degree relatives, as well as 1st degree relatives).


This is a natural history, treatment and training protocol. The cross-sectional portion of this study will include in-depth medical and laboratory assessments to evaluate the relationship of biological abnormalities with neuropsychiatric symptomatology. Family members will be studied to elucidate the nature of any genetic abnormalities observed in the probands. Clinically useful information (performed in a CLIA certified lab) will be shared with all participants. Standard therapeutic interventions may be utilized to evaluate their effects in well-characterized participants with unique clinical presentations. Participants also may be asked to return to NIH for periodic follow-up assessments, in order to facilitate the longitudinal assessment of natural and treated courses of illness as a means of better understanding their progression and pathophysiology.

Outcome Measures:

No formal outcomes will be measured; however the clinical assessments of enrolled participants may be used to evaluate correlates of clinical symptomatology and response to standard therapeutic interventions. In addition, DNA samples may be obtained from participants and their relatives, in order to identify or verify causative genetic abnormalities in order to establish pathogenic mechanisms and genotype-phenotype correlations.


Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 99 Years   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Participants will be eligible if they:

  • Are aged birth to 99 years
  • Have a diagnosed or undiagnosed neuropsychiatric disorder, neurodevelopmental disability or abnormal behaviors; OR are a relative of a participant with one of the disorders of interest.
  • Have the ability to understand and sign an informed consent on behalf of themselves or their minor children, or have a legal guardian (or designated DPA),Children older than age 7 years with the capacity to provide assent will be asked to provide written, informed assent for study participation.
  • Are under the care of a primary physician.


Participants will not be eligible if they:

  • Are unwilling or unable to be evaluated, treated and followed as clinically indicated. Examples might include children with severe behavioral problems who refuse physical examination or individuals with phlebotomy phobias that prohibit blood collection.
  • The participant does not have a primary healthcare provider.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01778504

Contact: Susan E Swedo, M.D. (301) 496-5323

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike Recruiting
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Contact: For more information at the NIH Clinical Center contact Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office (PRPL)    800-411-1222 ext TTY8664111010   
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Susan E Swedo, M.D. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Identifier: NCT01778504     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 130028
Study First Received: January 26, 2013
Last Updated: April 21, 2017

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Children and Adolescents
Natural History Study
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Nervous System Diseases
Pathologic Processes
Mental Disorders processed this record on April 28, 2017