(Baltimore, MD) -- The Interactive Autism Network (IAN)--the first national online autism registry spearheaded by the Kennedy Krieger Institute--has registered an unprecedented number of individuals and families living with autism. Never before have researchers been offered access to such a large pool of family-provided data on this puzzling disorder. In only one month, IAN (www.IANproject.org) has achieved significant milestones:
- More than 13,000 registered participants
- Representation in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Marshall Islands and Palau
- Diverse family registration, including: six sets of triplets, 37 sets of identical twins and 157 sets of fraternal twins
Researchers from institutions across the country have already begun to access IAN data to:
- Supplement and enhance current research studies
- Compare and validate existing research results obtained from smaller sample sizes
- Explore hypotheses for future research and search for parallels among individuals with autism and their families in a way that was not previously possible
"In one short month, IAN has become the country's largest pool of autism data," said Dr. Paul Law, Director, Interactive Autism Network at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. "The fact that IAN has already become a vital resource for researchers, so early in its lifespan, bodes extremely well for the potential of this project, and ultimately, to the pursuit of answers in autism."
IAN has become successful in registering families largely due to the tight knit nature of the autism community and the outpouring of support from parents. Testimonials continue to echo the great need for and tremendous potential of IAN.
"What better opportunity to help our children, to help each other and to learn more about autism. We have been given the power to DO SOMETHING to combat autism. Go to the website, accept this responsibility & watch us change the future of this heartbreaking disorder."
Posted on CNN.com Health Blog by an IAN participant
IAN is funded by a grant from Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness about the growing autism health crisis and raising funds for critical autism research.
About the Kennedy Krieger Institute
Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD serves more than 12,000 individuals each year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental concerns mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop while pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis. For more information on Kennedy Krieger Institute, visit www.kennedykrieger.org.