The MARBLES Study: UC Davis MIND Institute

Participation in MARBLES

Who is eligible to participate in the study?

Women who are currently pregnant, or who are planning to become pregnant in the near future, and who have a biological child with autism spectrum disorder are invited to participate.

In addition to being pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the mother must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be the biological mother of a child with autism spectrum disorder (or carrying the child of a man who has a biological child with autism spectrum disorder)
  • Live within a 2 hour drive of Davis/Sacramento Calif.

MARBLES participants undergo a series of evaluations during pregnancy, birth, and the first three years of the child’s life.  

  • Participants keep diaries about their health, diets, and household product use
  • Environmental samples, like dust, are taken in their homes
  • Information on consumer products and chemicals in the home is recorded
  • Blood, urine, hair, and saliva samples are taken at different time points from the mother while she is pregnant and from the child once he or she is born through 3 years of age
  • Umbilical cord blood and placental tissue are collected at birth
  • Breast milk is collected from participants who breast feed
  • Trained staff and clinicians evaluate the child’s behavioral development

For participant convenience, most of the sample and data collection is conducted in the participants’ homes and in the hospital when their babies are born.

  • Results of child developmental evaluations
  • Information on ways to reduce chemical exposures
  • The satisfaction of contributing to finding the causes of autism
  • $200 in compensation over the course of the study

There is no charge for your participation in this study. Neither you nor your insurance carrier will be charged for your participation in this research. The sponsors of this research will pay for all costs associated with this research.

Please contact the Study Coordinator either by phone or via e-mail: