Proposal summaries

These are research proposals that have been approved by the ALSPAC exec. The titles include a B number which identifies the proposal and the date on which the proposals received ALSPAC exec approval.

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B3341 - Maternal and paternal stress during pregnancy and offspring body composition and cardiometabolic health - 11/07/2019

B number: 
B3341
Principal applicant name: 
Linda O'Keeffe | MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Karen Matvienko-Sikar
Title of project: 
Maternal and paternal stress during pregnancy and offspring body composition and cardiometabolic health
Proposal summary: 

Stress experienced by parents during pregnancy and up to two years after the baby is born can have negative consequences for the mother and the child. The time from pregnancy up until about two years after the birth (also known as the 'first 1000 days') is a sensitive period during which (expectant) parents can experience high stress and anxiety, and during which children are at greater cardiometabolic risk. There is little research examining effects of maternal stress and anxiety on child cardiometabolic outcomes, with even less research examining effects of paternal stress and anxiety.

Impact of research: 
This research will improve our understanding of the effects of maternal and paternal stress in pregnancy and early childhood on child cardiometabolic outcomes. This has the potential to inform development and implementation of interventions that can both improve parent mental health and child health outcomes.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 9 July, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 11 July, 2019
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Mental health, Development

B3340 - Integration of body fat and lean mass loci reveals genetic clusters with distinct cardiometabolic effects - 08/07/2019

B number: 
B3340
Principal applicant name: 
Laura Wittemans | Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Ruth Loos, Dr Kaitlin Wade, Prof Nicholas Timpson
Title of project: 
Integration of body fat and lean mass loci reveals genetic clusters with distinct cardiometabolic effects
Proposal summary: 

Through a large international collaboration, we identified more than a thousand genetic factors that are associated with how much of a person’s weight is fat mass and how much is lean mass. We subdivided these genetic factors into six groups based on how they affect multiple aspects of body size, composition and shape (e.g., body mass index, height, waist-to-hip circumference). These six clusters of genetic factors each have distinct effects on obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, we found that the clusters also had differential effects on body size at birth and in childhood. We would like to use the data from the ALSPAC study to investigate if these six groups of genetic factors affect trajectories of body size and composition throughout the development of a child, from birth until early adulthood.

Impact of research: 
We believe that our study will show that not all body composition genes/loci act the same way; some affect body size/composition early in life, others have a later onset, which in turn may have different effects on obesity-related comorbidities. By using more refined approaches, we aim to gain greater insights in the biology that underlies body size, shape and composition, which eventually may lead to new targets for prevention and treatment.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 2 July, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 8 July, 2019
Keywords: 
Genetics, Obesity, Statistical methods, Growth

B3339 - Summary statistics from metabolomics data - 09/07/2019

B number: 
B3339
Principal applicant name: 
Eleanor Sanderson | University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Dr Jack Bowden
Title of project: 
Summary statistics from metabolomics data.
Proposal summary: 
Impact of research: 
This data will form part of a project which will develop and illustrate new multivariable MR methods and therefore will have an impact on improving research conducted in the future.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 1 July, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 8 July, 2019
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Statistical methods, Mendelian randomisation

B3336 - CoCo90s biobank views of donors - 04/07/2019

B number: 
B3336
Principal applicant name: 
Maria Fannin | University of Bristol (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
CoCo90s biobank: views of donors
Proposal summary: 

Research on cord blood and placenta can be used to develop treatments for conditions that affect pregnancy and can hopefully lead to improvements in children’s health. A large-scale research study in the UK collected over 4,000 umbilical cord samples and over 8,000 placentas from mothers and children in the 1990s. These children have now grown to adulthood and are donating cord blood and placentas from their own pregnancies (or those of their partners) to the research study. This project will investigate how this multi-generational collection of materials collected from birth is viewed by mothers and fathers in the study and by scientists involved in creating and maintaining the collection. This research will enable a better understanding of what donors and research scientists think about cord blood and placenta and the methods for studying and preserving it.

Impact of research: 
An enhanced understanding of the views of new parents regarding tissue donation and the social and cultural dimensions of biobanking human tissues collected from birth. While there are numerous studies of cord blood donation, there are far fewer on placenta donation and this research will make an important contribution to social research on this topic. There are also very few qualitative studies exploring the multi-generational dimension of birth cohort studies.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 28 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 1 July, 2019
Keywords: 
Social Science, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., Qualitative study, Biological samples -e.g. blood, cell lines, saliva, etc., Cohort studies - attrition, bias, participant engagement, ethics, Fathers, Mothers - maternal age, menopause, obstetrics, Parenting, Social science

B3335 - Changing causes and consequences of overweight obesity and underweight a historical comparison of UK and Norwegian cohorts 19 - 27/06/2019

B number: 
B3335
Principal applicant name: 
Amanda Hughes | University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Changing causes and consequences of overweight, obesity and underweight: a historical comparison of UK and Norwegian cohorts, 19
Proposal summary: 

Since the 1980s overweight and obesity have increased dramatically, but we do not know if this has altered their health and social consequences for individuals. In high-income countries, inequalities in underweight is largely ignored, but my research on body weight and unemployment suggests they are greater than realised. Weight misperception (failure to recognise one’s overweight/obesity) has increased, but the implications for individual health and health inequalities are unclear. 

Using UK and Norwegian data from 1984-2021, I will: 

Extend knowledge of economic inequalities in underweight in adults and children  

Investigate influence of overweight/obesity on depression, depression on overweight/obesity, and whether relationships have changed with time 

Investigate consequences of weight misperception for weight, mental health, and health inequalities 

Results will identify high-risk groups for underweight and illuminate causes, explore societal factors modifying body weight-depression links, indicate mental health returns to tackling obesity, and inform effective weight management strategies which also support wellbeing.

Impact of research: 
I hope that the findings around high-risk groups for underweight, and how social patterning of underweight varies by policy context, will feed into debates around the health consequences of welfare policies. With many existing obesity interventions based around informing individuals of their weight status, findings around the health consequences of weight misperception will have implications for designing more effective strategies which also support wellbeing.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 27 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Mental health, Obesity, Statistical methods, BMI, Mendelian randomisation, Social science

B3333 - The Genetic Basis of Developmental Coordination Disorder - 25/06/2019

B number: 
B3333
Principal applicant name: 
Hayley Mountford | Oxford Brookes University (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Professor Anna Barnett
Title of project: 
The Genetic Basis of Developmental Coordination Disorder
Proposal summary: 

Five percent of school age children have developmental coordination disorder (DCD). People with DCD find tasks such as throwing a ball, writing, or brushing their teeth extremely difficult, and are more likely to struggle academically even though they are just as smart. Despite being extremely common, we understand little of why some children get DCD.
We know that sometimes DCD can run in families but we don't understand the causes of this. This study will be the first to look for these inherited causes. We will use genetic data from the ALSPAC cohort to find genes that are underlying DCD. This will help us to understand how these genes affect the pathways that are required in a developing brain.
We will also use this genetic information to help us understand why some children go on to develop other difficulties like ADHD or language problems, whereas other children do not. We can look into how these behaviours interact with the movement and planning difficulties seen in DCD, and whether they are important in the development of these behaviours in typically developing children.

Impact of research: 
The primary outcome of this study is to generate pilot data to identify the first genes involved in DCD. The discovery of the first DCD gene will generate substantial interest. This will place PI Dr Hayley Mountford at the centre of a new and exciting field of study, and form the basis for future, larger research endeavours. Academic outputs will be shared in the form of research articles, with the potential for two to three high impact papers from this study (novel genes, subgroup genetic findings, and GWAS). As this project is of interest to both a human genetics audience and a psychology/ DCD audience, it is important to present to both these subject areas. Findings will be shared by PI Mountford presenting at Europe’s preeminent genetics conference (European Societs of Human Genetics) and attending a DCD specialist meeting in the second year of the project. Similarly, presence at international meetings will build her presence in the field, leading to wider patient cohorts with the ultimate aim to lead the study of DCD genetics, globally. CI Professor Anna Barnett is a world leader in DCD research and will facilitate connections to patient groups such as the Dyspraxia Foundation. PI Mountford will write an accessible article on key findings for the Dyspraxia Foundation, to engage with the public particularly those affected by DCD. Plus, PI Mountford will further develop her public engagement to interact with DCD groups, building a reputation as a geneticist.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Genetics, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Cognitive impairment, Learning difficulty, Speech/language problem, Developmental coordination disorder Dyspraxia, DNA sequencing, Gene mapping, GWAS, Gene-environment association , Development, Genetics, Genome wide association study, Neurology, Whole genome sequencing

B3320 - Gene-environment interplay psychosocial factors and cognition in post-bereavement psychopathology - 25/06/2019

B number: 
B3320
Principal applicant name: 
Christy A Denckla | Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (United States)
Co-applicants: 
Archana Basu, PhD, Rebecca Lawn
Title of project: 
Gene-environment interplay, psychosocial factors, and cognition in post-bereavement psychopathology
Proposal summary: 

Over 75% of all adolescents will experience the death of a close friend by the time they reach college age, and 3 million children will experience the death of a parent by the age of 18 (or the equivalent of one child in every classroom). Bereavement is associated with increased risk for psychopathology, even though available clinical trial data suggest that interventions are effective. Extending these early clinical trial findings to children and adolescents is hampered by the limited understanding of temporal patterns of post-loss psychopathology, as well as the joint effects of genetic liability, developmental timing, cognitive ability, psychosocial variables, and environmental exposures. This project will focus on addressing these knowledge gaps by investigating pathogenic processes in post-exposure psychopathology among youth, ultimately pointing to candidate preventative and intervention approaches.

Impact of research: 
Understanding the interplay of polygenic risk, cognitive functioning and social interaction will lead to insights regarding potential pathogenic and protective mechanisms in post-exposure psychopathology. Ultimately, this may lead to the development of prevention and intervention strategies that reduce vulnerability to adverse health outcomes across the lifespan.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 24 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Mental health, GWAS, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Cognition - cognitive function, Development, Genetic epidemiology, Genome wide association study, Intelligence - memory, Psychology - personality

B3331 - A polygenic approach to understanding resilience to peer victimisation - 25/06/2019

B number: 
B3331
Principal applicant name: 
Oliver Davis | MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol.
Co-applicants: 
Dr Claire Haworth, Jessica Armitage
Title of project: 
A polygenic approach to understanding resilience to peer victimisation
Proposal summary: 

Understanding mental illness is key to ensuring individuals remain mentally healthy across the life course. This study aims to explore the genetic and environmental factors underlying the mental health of victims of bullying. Individuals subjected to bullying are at a greater risk of later mental health issues. Our study will consider whether an increased genetic risk to depression influences the impact of adolescent bullying on later mental health. We will use available data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on depression to construct polygenic scores. These scores will be used to predict the mental health of victims following adolescent bullying, allowing us to test whether polygenic scores can discriminate the resilient from the non-resilient. Investigating why some people may avoid mental health problems after experiences of bullying could hold important implications for the prevention and treatment of victimisation and depression.

Impact of research: 
The current study will be the first to use polygenic risk scores associated with depression to explore the mental health outcomes of victims of bullying. In doing so, the study advances current knowledge on the outcomes of victims and helps to further understanding of their genetic susceptibility to mental illness. Such findings could hold important implications for the treatment and prevention of depression in those with previous experiences of adversity, and could provide further insight into the biological basis of victimisation. This will help to understand why some individuals are more likely be get bullied than others, and may thus help to reduce the occurrence of bullying within schools. By investigating factors that may moderate the influence of polygenic risk scores, the study also hopes to validate the need for further research into factors that attenuate the effects of depression and allow vulnerable individuals to foster resilience. This will provide the necessary information to develop interventions that target at-risk individuals to prevent the occurrence of victimisation and thus, the development of mental illness.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Genetic epidemiology

B3330 - Cannabis exposure in pregnancy on offspring perinatal and childhood developmental outcomes - 27/06/2019

B number: 
B3330
Principal applicant name: 
Daniel J Corsi | Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa (Canada)
Co-applicants: 
Professor G Davey Smith
Title of project: 
Cannabis exposure in pregnancy on offspring perinatal and childhood developmental outcomes
Proposal summary: 

Previous studies have suggested that cannabis use during pregnancy could be associated with adverse birth outcomes. Cannabis use in pregnancy may also be related to developmental impairments in the offspring. Our study will assess if these associations may be causal by looking at the ALSPAC Birth cohort, comparing mothers who did and did not use cannabis and accounting for the partner’s use of cannabis. We will examine follow-up data from the children over several years to assess potential changes in development and intelligence. Our results will inform women and their health providers on the risks of cannabis use in pregnancy and provide the best information to make safe and healthy decisions in pregnancy.

Impact of research: 
Recent data suggest that cannabis use in pregnancy may be increasing. The proposed study will provide valuable information regarding the health and safety of use during pregnancy and potential developmental effects on children. Results could be used to inform interventions at optimizing maternal care (e.g., mental health screening and substance abuse support, parenting skills training) and child brain development (e.g., speech and language, occupational, behavioural therapy, ongoing cognitive assessment) following prenatal exposure.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 24 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Cognitive impairment, Mental health, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., Statistical methods, Birth outcomes, Cognition - cognitive function, Development, Environment - enviromental exposure, pollution, Fathers, Intelligence - memory, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc., Offspring

B3334 - Shaping future data collection in ALSPAC - 28/06/2019

B number: 
B3334
Principal applicant name: 
Kate Northstone | UoB (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Claire Bowring
Title of project: 
Shaping future data collection in ALSPAC
Proposal summary: 

As we go into our next funding period we are thinking about how we can collect data efficiently and to help develop the best strategy to ensure that as many participants respond to our questionnaires and attend clinics as possible. We would like to include some questions in the next questionnaire to the original study children (and ideally their parents as well) in order to help develop that strategy. We will also gather some basic sociodemographic information to determine whether there are any differences in responses. This will help us to determine whether we should target particular groups of the population in different ways. We would also like to randomise participants to receive the Q completion incentive as they do now (i.e. automatically) or opt-in (i.e. incentive is sent on request)

Impact of research: 
Will inform our own data collection strategy and add to the knowledge base around cohort studies
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, survey methodology, Cohort studies - attrition, bias, participant engagement, ethics

B3332 - Digital Innovation Hub - 16/07/2019

B number: 
B3332
Principal applicant name: 
Adam Wells | Wessex Academic Health Science Network
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Digital Innovation Hub
Proposal summary: 

A cross sector consortium from is bidding on the HDRUK call to become a Digital Innovation Hub. University of Southampton is the lead partner. The hub will focus on respiratory disease and is seeking access to high value datasets both newly available and existing, of which ALSPACE is one, in order to link and make available data for the purposes of improving the ability for researchers and industry to understand disease and develop new approaches to condition management.

Discussions have taken please with Nic Timpson in detail regarding this project.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 24 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 25 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Health Services Research/Health Systems Research, Respiratory - asthma, DNA sequencing, Environment - enviromental exposure, pollution

B3328 - Effects of breastfeeding on offspring development linking evolutionary models with human cohort studies - 24/06/2019

B number: 
B3328
Principal applicant name: 
Doretta Caramaschi | Bristol Medical School - PHS
Co-applicants: 
Ms Vee Ashburn, Dr Gemma Ford, Dr Sinead English
Title of project: 
Effects of breastfeeding on offspring development: linking evolutionary models with human cohort studies
Proposal summary: 
Impact of research: 
There is currently considerable interest in understanding the consequences of breastfeeding so we expect this research to have broad impact on the community of families and health professionals. Moreover, lactation and breastfeeding are important biological processes across mammals and understanding their role in evolution will advance knowledge on fundamental aspects of life.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 19 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 24 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Mental health, Obesity, Statistical methods

B3329 - Multivariate prediction of childhood psychopathology using polygenic scores - 24/06/2019

B number: 
B3329
Principal applicant name: 
Hannah Sallis | MRC IEU (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Omowonuola Akingbuwa, Professor Marcus Munafo, Professor Christel Middeldorp
Title of project: 
Multivariate prediction of childhood psychopathology using polygenic scores
Proposal summary: 

Childhood psychopathology traits are complex, being affected by a large number of genetic variants, each with a small effect. They are also associated with a number of other phenotypes, both psychiatric and non-psychiatric (Meinzer et al., 2013, Erickson et al., 2016). These associations may be explained by different mechanisms, e.g. shared biological pathways or pleiotropy, where the same genetic variant(s) influence multiple phenotypes. Either way, polygenic risk scores (PRS) – aggregate scores reflecting an individual’s liability for a trait based on multiple genetic variants – can, and have been used to investigate these associations (Nivard et al., 2017, Stergiakouli et al., 2017, Jansen et al., 2018). When PRS of one trait significantly predict another, we can conclude that the traits are genetically correlated.

Polygenic risk scores have been used to show genetic associations between childhood psychopathology and a range of adult traits including psychiatric disorders like major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia, functional outcomes like educational attainment, and other psychopathology related traits including insomnia, neuroticism, subjective wellbeing, and BMI, which are generally stable over age. However, it is unknown what the patterns of correlations or associations between adult traits and childhood psychopathology are and how they contribute to the associations between them, as well as the developmental trajectories of these associations. Taking a multivariate approach, we hope to understand the patterns of correlation/association between our traits of interest as well as investigate which adult traits show the biggest contribution to the association with childhood psychopathology.

Impact of research: 
This research has the potential to improve our understanding of the aetiology of childhood psychopathology, and how associations between traits may explain developmental trajectories in psychopathology.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 24 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 24 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Mental health, Statistical methods, Genetic epidemiology

B3326 - Mental Health in Autism Spectrum Disorders Secondary data analysis across a range of population-based datasets - 18/06/2019

B number: 
B3326
Principal applicant name: 
Emma Colvert | King's College London (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Professor Francesca Happé
Title of project: 
Mental Health in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Secondary data analysis across a range of population-based datasets.
Proposal summary: 

Recent research studies estimate approximately 75-80% of autistic individuals will experience mental health problems during their lifetime, compared to 25% of the non-autistic population (Autistica, 2018). Additional mental health problems add burden to those with ASD, their carers and their wider family. Research highlighting the elevated rates of suicide and self-harm among those with ASD make clear the extent and possible effects of mental health difficulties for this group, with research by both Cassidy et al. (2014) and Culpin et al. (2018) identifying depression as a key factor in the suicidal ideation and self-harm shown by those on the autism spectrum.

Current knowledge of mental health problems in ASD is patchy, inconsistent and often contradictory, owing in part on the reliance on clinic-based samples and non-systematic assessments of difficulties. In order to gain a more accurate picture of the rates and patterns of additional mental health problems, population-based research is needed. The proposed study aims to provide a comprehensive secondary data analysis of the existing information on mental health problems accompanying ASD in five population-based studies. The study aims to examine the types of mental health problems experienced by those with ASD, the developmental course of difficulties, risk and protective factors, possible gender differences (including issues surrounding later diagnosis for females) and impact on wellbeing and life outcomes, with the hope of improving recognition and treatment of mental health in ASD.

Secondary data analysis has been chosen to tackle this topic area as a wide range of studies have included measures of mental health and ASD as part of research programmes and these data are available to be examined, thereby negating the need to cause potential burden or stress to those with ASD by creating new studies to focus specifically on this area. In addition, combining existing datasets will give an unprecedented sample size, giving greater statistical power to provide valid results.

Impact of research: 
The proposed study's focus on mental health is currently one of the key research priorities in the field of ASD research, and the study will have a number of areas of impact. Firstly, the study will benefit researchers in the fields of ASD and mental health by providing much needed synthesis of information from population-based sources, academic and research impact will be via dissemination in open-access peer reviewed journal articles and presentations at both national and international conferences. Secondly, the study will benefit clinicians working with individuals with ASD and their families, by providing clarity of information about mental health problems experienced by this group. Again, dissemination of information will be via peer reviewed journal articles and presentations at clinically attended conferences, this will facilitate societal and economic impact, in terms of informing about mental health and the possible need for targeted services for this group. Finally, the study will benefit those with ASD themselves and their families/carers. By examining types and factors related to mental health problems the study will add much needed quantitative population-based information to add to the debate about recognition and treatment of problems for this group, with the aim of improving the targeting of services and enhancing quality of life. The findings will have impact for this group via dissemination at talks open to the general public, via parent groups, schools, colleges and open lectures about our work (a model we have used with great success for the SR Study). Additionally, the research findings and their implications will be publicised through websites and social media (e.g. the Twitter account@Happelab>7,000 followers). We will also share information through the National Autistic Society, Autistica and the NAHT National Forum for Neuroscience and Special Education (of which Prof Happé is a co-founder) to reach stakeholders.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 12 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 13 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Statistical methods, Autism Mental health

B3327 - Participants Attitudes Towards Data Sharing - 14/06/2019

B number: 
B3327
Principal applicant name: 
Elaine McColl | Newcastle University (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Ms Nicola Howe
Title of project: 
Participant's Attitudes Towards Data Sharing
Proposal summary: 

This study examines attitudes of participants who have taken part in health research studies towards data sharing. Data sharing refers to researchers sharing study data at the end of a study with other researchers for further research.
I have designed a questionnaire to capture participant attitudes, drawing on questions asked in previous research (outwith the UK) on this topic.
Little research has been conducted exploring the attitudes of study participants to this sharing of their data and what limited findings there are, largely relate to settings outside of the UK. Although participants may give their consent for their data to be shared when they join a research study, they may not fully understand what this means.
By asking study participants to complete a questionnaire about data sharing we can find out what their attitudes towards it are.
The survey will be distributed to as wide a variety of participants as possible (both in terms of location and type of study they
took part in). This increases the generalisability of the results- they are more likely to apply to the wider population.
It is hoped that the data collected in the survey will show what participants attitudes are likely to be- how they would prefer to
consent to data sharing, how much information about it they would like at the beginning of a study and if they have any
concerns about the concept and processes. This information could then be used by researchers to modify the consent process, the way in which data sharing is explained to participants or the way in which data is shared.

Impact of research: 
Primarily this research will form the basis of my PhD thesis, and I hope to publish the results of this study in a peer reviewed journal. This research may also provide a useful starting point for other researchers who are seeking to be more transparent in their research (specifically data sharing) practice. Policy makers, funders (for example MRC, ESRC, NIHR), or organisations such as universities or clinical trial units who either make stipulations regarding data sharing or who draw up consent forms and patient information sheets will find it useful to consult this piece of research in order to ensure that research practice aligns with the attitudes and expectations of participants. I will also disseminate my findings thorough the UKCRC (UK Registered Clinical Trials Unit Network) Data Sharing group of which I am a member.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 7 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 10 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Clinical research/clinical practice, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Quantitative questionnaire survey with statistical analysis., Cohort studies - attrition, bias, participant engagement, ethics

B3325 - Maternal iodine status and hearing in the offspring - 06/06/2019

B number: 
B3325
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Sarah Bath | University of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Amanda Hall
Title of project: 
Maternal iodine status and hearing in the offspring
Proposal summary: 

Iodine is required for the production of thyroid hormones which are essential for hearing function and ear development during pregnancy. While severe iodine deficiency in pregnancy is known to cause deafness (as in cretinism), less is known about the effect of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency on hearing function. In the UK, pregnant women are classified as mildly-to-moderately iodine deficient and we have previously shown in the ALSPAC cohort that this is significantly associated with lower IQ and reading scores at 8-9 years.

Impact of research: 
Further understanding of the impact of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency in the UK.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 4 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 4 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Biological samples -e.g. blood, cell lines, saliva, etc.

B3324 - Intensive Mothering and Maternal Physical Health - 03/06/2019

B number: 
B3324
Principal applicant name: 
Sarah Damaske | The Pennsylvania State University
Co-applicants: 
Ms. Jane Lankes
Title of project: 
Intensive Mothering and Maternal Physical Health
Proposal summary: 

Women spend far more time with their children today than in the past several decades, a result of pressure to “intensively mother,” or devote significant time, energy, and resources to raising children. This high cost to parenting creates tensions between investment in children and investment in self. In this study, I will analyze physical health consequences of intensive mothering for mothers. In doing so, this project will advance understandings of women's health, prosperity, and welfare. If certain individuals experience the worst (or best) health consequences of intensive mothering, more nuanced information on this topic will allow for tailored interventions for specific groups of women. This research will enhance both formal health policies and more informal advocacy for maternal self-care.

Impact of research: 
This research has implications for both the literature and policy. This study will clarify past conceptualization of intensive mothering and contribute to general sociological questions on parenting and health. It will also have several practical implications for the improvement of maternal well-being. This study focuses on the United Kingdom in particular because of its increased policy emphasis on intensive parenting as a strategy for child well-being. If intensive mothering has negative consequences for maternal physical health, this may inform how this increased policy emphasis is having unintended negative consequences.
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 31 May, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 3 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Social Science, Chronic fatigue, Diabetes, Hypertension, Mental health, Obesity, Pain, Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., Respiratory - asthma, Statistical methods, BMI, Breast feeding, Mothers - maternal age, menopause, obstetrics, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc., Parenting, Physical - activity, fitness, function, Social science, Statistical methods

B3323 - Longitudinal genome-wide association study of bone accrual in ALSPAC - 03/06/2019

B number: 
B3323
Principal applicant name: 
Ahmed Elhakeem | MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Diana Cousminer
Title of project: 
Longitudinal genome-wide association study of bone accrual in ALSPAC
Proposal summary: 

While many genetic loci are known to be associated with adult areal bone mineral density (aBMD), less is known about genetic determinants of bone accrual. Our aims is to replicate in ALSPAC novel genome-wide associations with bone accrual in the Bone Mineral Density in Childhood Study.

Impact of research: 
High value publication
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 3 June, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 3 June, 2019
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), GWAS, Statistical methods, Growth, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc.

B3313 - Biosocial Birth Cohort Research A cross-disciplinary network - 30/05/2019

B number: 
B3313
Principal applicant name: 
Sahra Gibbon | University College London
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Biosocial Birth Cohort Research: A cross-disciplinary network
Proposal summary: 

This project will establish a network in which social scientists, geneticists and epidemiologists work together to better understand, and benefit from, longitudinal birth cohort studies, which follow participants throughout their lives, often including multiple generations. These studies are becoming more important in disease research, to understand how environmental factors affect our health. So far, social scientists have not played a prominent role in the design or implementation of this type of study. The input of social scientists is important to better understand the relationship between biology and society emerging from birth cohort studies. This project will fill this gap by creating a network of scientists from all disciplines, including the social sciences. The project will include longitudinal birth cohort studies in the Global North and also in the Global South, where little research has been carried out on how these studies work, how they are maintained and used.

Impact of research: 
Through virtual and face to face workshops and exchanges the project will have significant impact on the cross-disciplinary research activities of the leading experts involved in the network engaged in birth cohort research. The establishment of a visible web presence and public key note event in year two will allow the activities of the network to be disseminated to a broader audience, helping to develop wider cross-disciplinary capacity. We will publish in open access format; a. executive reports from the two workshop events b. a journal special issue including cross-disciplinary articles c. a position paper/commentary showcasing methodological innovation
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 15 May, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 30 May, 2019
Keywords: 
This project brings together cross disciplinary researchers from the social sciences and medical/life sciences., There is no specific disease condition that is the focus of this study., We are aiming to bring together expertise from the social sciences and biosciences (including social and genetic epidemiology)

B3312 - Neurocognition in Children with Atopic Dermatitis - 03/06/2019

B number: 
B3312
Principal applicant name: 
Joy Wan | University of Pennsylvania (United States)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Neurocognition in Children with Atopic Dermatitis
Proposal summary: 

Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, is a chronic, itchy skin disorder that affects up to 20% of children. It has been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Previous studies have shown higher rates of sleep disruption, inattention, and forgetfulness in children with AD compared to those without AD; these suggest that neurocognition, which encompasses functions such as language, memory, attention, and executive functions, may be impacted by AD. However, there are few studies of cognition in children with AD. Previous studies have also been limited by small sample size and have shown mixed findings. Thus, the purpose of this study is to compare neurocognitive function between children with and without AD using the large ALSPAC cohort. We will comprehensively assess multiple domains of cognition (e.g. attention, executive function, memory, IQ) using validated and standardized measurements. We will examine the overall impact of AD on these cognitive outcomes, accounting for demographic and socioeconomic factors and other comorbidities. In addition, we will examine whether cognitive function differs with respect to AD disease activity.

Impact of research: 
The proposed study addresses critical gaps in our knowledge about the cognitive impact of AD in the pediatric population. We expect that the findings will inform future prospective studies and mechanistic research on neuropsychiatric comorbidities of AD and also direct the development and implementation of interventions aimed at preventing and/or minimizing the cognitive impact of AD. The insight gained from our proposed aims has the potential to improve overall mental health care and clinical outcomes for children with AD.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 15 May, 2019
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 30 May, 2019
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Cognitive impairment, Eczema, Statistical methods, Cognition - cognitive function, Dermatology

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