Regression and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

These studies include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a technique commonly used by doctors and scientists to see inside of the body using magnetic pulses. Our research is called functional MRI because we take pictures of the brain while participants are viewing pictures, hearing sounds, or watching videos.

Our lab works with children of all ages and has had much success scanning children age 4 and older. We spend time practicing with a simulator scanner so that children can get used to the scanner noises and lying very still so the brain pictures aren't blurry.

To learn more about what it's like to participate in an MRI, please visit


Regression, a loss of developmental milestones, has been associated with the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) since they were first described. This study aims to learn more about regression, and how the brains of children with regression differ from children with non-regressive autism. In this ongoing study, we will see young children, adolescents, and young adults (spanning ages 4 to 35) for an MRI scan and psychological testing. We encourage all families and individuals to participate in a blood draw. We are very interested in recruiting all children with regression to this study, including those diagnosed with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and those with normal development for their first two years.

Criteria for Participation:

All participants must meet MRI safety eligibility.

  • Children with an ASD who have regression traits


Alexander Westphal, M.D.