Emirati autism expert paves the way for future advancements

Emirati autism expert paves the way for future advancements

According to the World Health Organization an estimated one in 160 children worldwide has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Based on these statistics, there is a need to better understand the unique genetic causes of Autism as well as the pattern of treatment sought by parents of children with the condition. Al Jalila Foundation invested in ‘A prospective study of UAE children with Autism Spectrum Disorder’ with leading expert Dr Ammar Albanna from Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital.

The pioneering study paved the way for future comprehensive studies that will assist in identifying the genetic underpinning of ASD which will have significant implications, including prevention, healthcare systems planning, and individualised treatment.

Dr Ammar commented “The grant was instrumental in shaping a comprehensive research-based ASD program at Al Jalila Children’s.  The deep phenotyping translates to high-quality assessments following rigorous protocols, which serves as immediate clinical gain. Scientific research is key to improving clinical services, as well as scientific discovery.”

In addition to bolstering the Emirati research community, this grant gained attention in scientific publications, peer-reviewed journals, conferences, and opened collaborations with institutions in the UAE and beyond.

Watch here as Dr Ammar Albanna and his colleagues at Al Jalila Children’s as they commemorate Autism Awareness Month and #StandUpForBlue.