Revisiting the CHildhood Autism Risk from Genetics and the Environment Study | UC Davis MIND Institute

MIND Institute Research

ReCHARGE and ECHO Studies

Revisiting Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment and Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes

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ReCHARGE and ECHO Studies

In 2003, the CHARGE (Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment) Study began enrolling three groups of children aged 2-5 years: with autism; with other developmental delays; and from the general population with typical development. CHARGE has generated a body of new results on prenatal exposures, such as pesticides, air pollution, medications and maternal nutrition, in relation to autism and developmental delay. For the Re-CHARGE ECHO program, CHARGE children from all three diagnostic groups will be followed up between the ages of 8-20 to understand developmental trajectories for each of these three groups (baseline developmental delay, autism, or typical development at baseline).

The ECHO (Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes) Study brings together 45 cohorts of children from across the country, including The ReCHARGE Study at UC Davis. ECHO will study health broadly, including childhood asthma, other respiratory problems, obesity, diabetes, sleep, neuro-developmental conditions such as autism and ADHD, and birth outcomes like prematurity and birth defects. With data from over 50,000 children and caregiver participants, the ECHO study will help us understand how to improve health during childhood and beyond.

Some things are new since you first joined:

As of September 1, 2023, the ReCHARGE Study has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue participating in the ECHO Program for the next seven years!

  • The full study title is now the ECHO Cohort Data and Biospecimen Collection Protocol
  • ECHO will continue at least until 2030 and maybe longer
  • In addition to over 50,000 children and their caregivers, ECHO will include up to 20,000 pregnant participants, their partners, and those children that are born
  • We will contact you at least once a year to complete questionnaires and forms, or to collect samples
  • It will take about 1-2 hours of your time to complete these things each time we contact you

The Participants

Families with children who:

  • Participated in the first cycle of the ReCHARGE ECHO Study
  • The child is between the ages of 8 and 20 years of age
  • Are willing to participate in annual follow ups
  • Able to come to the UC Davis MIND Institute

The Study Protocol

For your convenience, most of the information we collect will be completed remotely

  • Complete informed consent remote appointment
  • Parent and child complete annual online questionnaires (approximately 1 hour) regarding your child’s home environment, nutrition, development, behavior, and overall health and well-being.
  • The information and samples we collect may be different each time we contact you and as you child grows
  • You and your child may be asked to provide biological samples such as urine, blood, hair and/or other samples
  • Give permission for study staff to obtain your child’s medical records
  • Attend a one hour in person clinic visit to evaluate your child or provide biological samples

Study Goals

By participating in the ECHO Study, your family will contribute to a better understanding of how our environment can be improved in schools, communities, and homes to improve children’s lives: their achievements, their relationships with others, and their health.

Contact Us

UC Davis MIND Institute
Attention ReCHARGE Study
2825 50th Street Sacramento, CA 95817


​Crystal Herrera
ReCHARGE Research Manager

​Ashley Ratcliffe-Ikemiyagi
ReCHARGE Research Supervisor

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