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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B320 - Discovery of the 6p213 Reading Disability Gene NOW B0529 - 21/02/2006

B number: 
B320
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Jeffrey Gruen (Yale University, USA)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Discovery of the 6p21.3 Reading Disability Gene (NOW B0529).
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 21 February, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 21 February, 2006
Keywords: 
Genes
Primary keyword: 

B319 - The Inheritance of Refractive Errors in ALSPAC - 13/02/2006

B number: 
B319
Principal applicant name: 
Miss Cathy E M Williams (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
The Inheritance of Refractive Errors in ALSPAC.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Monday, 13 February, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 13 February, 2006
Keywords: 
Autism, Motor Co-ordination, Neurology, Vision
Primary keyword: 

B317 - Genetics of Obesity DUPLICATE OF B0246 - 03/02/2006

B number: 
B317
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Lyle Palmer (University of Toronto, Canada)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Genetics of Obesity (DUPLICATE OF B0246).
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Friday, 3 February, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 3 February, 2006
Keywords: 
Genetics, Obesity
Primary keyword: 

B374 - Salt Blood Pressure and WNK Genes in Children and Mothers A Study Aimed at Informing Preventive and Treatment Strategies for High Blood Pressure - 30/01/2006

B number: 
B374
Principal applicant name: 
Professor Martin D Tobin (University of Leicester, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Paul Burton (University of Leicester, UK), Dr Cother Hajat (University of Leicester, UK), Prof Nilesh Samani (University of Leicester, UK)
Title of project: 
Salt, Blood Pressure and WNK Genes in Children and Mothers: A Study Aimed at Informing Preventive and Treatment Strategies for High Blood Pressure.
Proposal summary: 

Blood pressure (BP) is a key determinant of cardiovascular health, but the pathways that underlie the regulation of human BP are incompletely understood. Key to the ultimate development of fully effective preventive and management strategies for high blood pressure, both at an individual and population level, will be a comprehensive understanding of the relevant biological pathways. Studies of environmental and genetic risk factors can inform this understanding, and current approaches recognise the importance of both. Recognised environmental determinants of BP include obesity, salt intake and excessive alcohol consumption. Familial aggregation of BP has long been recognised, and estimates of the heritability of systolic and diastolic BP have exceeded 50%. The identification of genes involved in BP regulation, by improving knowledge of the relevant biology, should facilitate advances in treatment and control of BP. The study designs employed in such studies need to account for the fact that BP is a complex trait. That is, it is caused by multiple genetic and environmental determinants that may interact in complex ways.

Date proposal received: 
Monday, 30 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 30 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Blood Pressure, Genetics
Primary keyword: 

B340 - Chronic pain in adolescents - 23/01/2006

B number: 
B340
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Jacqui Clinch (University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Chronic pain in adolescents.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Monday, 23 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 23 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Autism, Motor Co-ordination, Pain, Vision, Dyslexia
Primary keyword: 

B321 - Use of Dexa for Diabetes Study Non-ALSPAC grant - 23/01/2006

B number: 
B321
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Russ Jago (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Use of Dexa for Diabetes Study (Non-ALSPAC grant).
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Monday, 23 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 23 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Diabetes
Primary keyword: 

B313 - HLA and Smoking - 19/01/2006

B number: 
B313
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Malcolm Taylor (University of Birmingham, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
HLA and Smoking.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 19 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 19 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Cardiovascular , Smoking
Primary keyword: 

B311 - Prevalence of Common Abnormalities of the Optic Disc in a Population of Healthy 12-year old children - 19/01/2006

B number: 
B311
Principal applicant name: 
Miss Cathy E M Williams (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Prevalence of Common Abnormalities of the Optic Disc in a Population of Healthy 12-year old children.
Proposal summary: 

The optic nerve is of key importance for the development of glaucoma and its impairment is the second largest cause of blindness worldwide. Although adult studies have described normal variation in the optic nerves of healthy individuals, there are no population-based data that systematically describe variability of the optic nerve in children. It is not known whether the optic nerve remains of a constant appearance after birth until disease may develop in middle-age, or whether important changes can occur in early life. Furthermore, children with atypical optic nerves are frequently investigated to exclude serious illness, because of the difficulty in characterizing normal variation in optic nerve appearance.

We propose to add much-needed data to the literature by taking the opportunity to grade a recently acquired library of retinal pictures from a population birth-cohort of healthy 12-year old children. The appearances of the optic nerves will be described, and any associations with individual characteristics such as birthweight and refraction will be noted. The pictures are already available, only the staff time to grade them is required, together with time to prepare papers for dissemination of the results. This unique opportunity will provide valuable data that will benefit opthalmologists, researchers and patients.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 19 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 19 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Autism, Motor Co-ordination, Neurology, Vision
Primary keyword: 

B310 - Metabolic and Vascular Changes and Perinatal Outcomes as Identifiers of Maternal CV Risk Obstetric Lifestyle and Genetic Determinants of Atherosclerosis Fat Mass Insulin Resistance and Dyslipidaemia in Women in Early Midd - 19/01/2006

B number: 
B310
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Debbie A Lawlor (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Metabolic and Vascular Changes and Perinatal Outcomes as Identifiers of Maternal CV Risk (Obstetric, Lifestyle and Genetic Determinants of Atherosclerosis, Fat Mass, Insulin Resistance and Dyslipidaemia in Women in Early Middle-age).
Proposal summary: 

Teen Focus 3 (TF3) follow-up of the ALSPAC offspring will begin in October 2006. Core funding for that clinic assessment has been obtained from the MRC and Wellcome Trust and the clinic procedures will focus on obtaining high quality measurements on the children that are funded from that grant. However, since the offspring are still of an age where parental consent will be required the vast majority will be attending the clinic with one of their parents/guardians. Some parts of the TF3 assessment require the parent/guardian NOT to be present and from experience with the TF1 and TF2 assessments there are other parts of the assessment where the parent does not stay with their offspring. Thus, there is an opportunity to complete some assessments with the parents/carers who are attending their offspring's assessment at TF3. This proposal is concerned with the scientific rationale and procedures for undertaking opportunistic assessments on the parents/carers who will be attending with their offspring at TF3.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 19 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 19 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Genetics
Primary keyword: 

B309 - Parkinsons - Neurogenetics - 19/01/2006

B number: 
B309
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Huw Morris (University of Cardiff, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Parkinson's - Neurogenetics.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 19 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 19 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Genetics
Primary keyword: 

B339 - Neurodevelopment - Access to DNA Bank - 18/01/2006

B number: 
B339
Principal applicant name: 
Declan Nolan (Not used 0, Not used 0)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Neurodevelopment - Access to DNA Bank.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 18 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 18 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Genetics, Neurology, DNA
Primary keyword: 

B338 - Eating Disorders - 17/01/2006

B number: 
B338
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Kapil Sayal (University of Nottingham, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Eating Disorders.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 17 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 17 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Diet, Eating Disorder
Primary keyword: 

B336 - A pilot study to establish the reliability of parental targeted video material for studies of social communication in early childhood - 07/01/2006

B number: 
B336
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Phil Wilson (Not used 0, Not used 0)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
A pilot study to establish the reliability of parental targeted video material for studies of social communication in early childhood.
Proposal summary: 

The study team have been granted access to video data from the ALSPAC Children in Focus study. This sub-cohort consists of over 1000 children, most of whom were videoed with one or both parents using the Thorpe Interactive Measure, in which parents are asked to look at a book with their infants.

Almost all of these children had a psychiatric assessment (the DAWBA) at age 91 months. The cases are:

* 18 with ADHD,

* 32 with oppositional-defiant or conduct disorder,

* Six with pervasive development disorder (PDD)

* 26 with one or more anxiety disorders

* Five with a depressive disorder

There will be two controls per case, picked to be frequency matched on age (corrected for gestation) and gender.

This adds up to 261 videos to be analysed. As far as we know this is a unique dataset potentially allowing assessment of early behavioural predictors of child neuropsychiatric and psychiatric conditions. Our team have already developed techniques for detailed behavioural analysis of video material and have the necessary software and hardware.

Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 7 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 7 January, 2006
Keywords: 
ADHD, Antisocial Behaviour, Communication, Speech & Language, Social Science
Primary keyword: 

B337 - Dyslexia and Substance Misuse - 07/01/2006

B number: 
B337
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Marianne van den Bree (University of Cardiff, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Dyslexia and Substance Misuse.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 5 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 7 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Substance Use, Dyslexia
Primary keyword: 

B307 - Home Office - 06/01/2006

B number: 
B307
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Erica Bowen (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Home Office.
Proposal summary: 

The parental criminality data were sent in two questionnaires - one to eachparent, when the child was 12 years of age. So far no other collaboratorshave provided funding for this data to be collected, prepared and filesbuilt for use.

Date proposal received: 
Friday, 6 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 6 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Miscellaneous
Primary keyword: 

B305 - Physical Activity and Childhood Obesity CONTINUATION of B0028 - 05/01/2006

B number: 
B305
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Chris Riddoch (University of Bath, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Physical Activity and Childhood Obesity (CONTINUATION of B0028).
Proposal summary: 

We propose in this competing continuation to extend our current project examining the association between physical activity and obesity within ALSPAC by repeating the objective physical activity measures at age 15. These extended measurements will allow us to further explore the associations between physical activity, obesity and CVD risk factors prospectively in this large contemporary population-based study of children.The 15-year clinic has started (October 2006) and we are managing to collect collecting data during this interim period using our existing resources from the original grant (staff, equipment, etc). If we are unsuccessful with the renewal application we will cease measurements when the current grant ends (May 2007).

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 5 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 5 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Endocrine, Growth, Obesity, Physical Activity, Weight
Primary keyword: 

B304 - Investigation of Relationship Between Habitual Levels of Physical Activity - 05/01/2006

B number: 
B304
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Jon Tobias (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Investigation of Relationship Between Habitual Levels of Physical Activity.
Proposal summary: 

Exercise interventions are known to stimulate bone mass acquisition in childhood. However, it is unclear whether low levels of physical activity to which children in the UK are generally exposed also affect bone development. Whether physical activity affects biomechanical strength of the skeleton, thereby reducing the risk of fractures in later life, is also uncertain. We recently found a positive relationship between habitual levels of physical activity as assessed by accelerometer recording, and total body bone mineral content as measured by DXA, in 4457 11-year-old children from the unique Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort. Equivalent associations were observed for height-adjusted bone area, suggesting that physical activity may affect cortical geometry and hence biomechanical strength of the skeleton. To test this hypothesis, we will examine prospectively the relationship between physical activity at age 11, 13 and 15, and cortical geometry parameters derived from pQCT measurements of the tibia at age 15. We will also examine interactions between physical activity, cortical geometry, fat mass and lean mass, based on our recent observation that the relationship between physical activity and total body DXA parameters is modified by body composition.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 5 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 5 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Physical Activity, Physical Fitness
Primary keyword: 

B303 - Maternal over-nutrition and offspring fat mass and vascular function - 05/01/2006

B number: 
B303
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Debbie A Lawlor (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Maternal over-nutrition and offspring fat mass and vascular function.
Proposal summary: 

The fetal over-nutrition hypothesis suggests that mothers who are overweight, gain weight rapidly during pregnancy, have high energy diets and those with on averagehigher glucose, insulin and lipid levels (even in the absence of diagnosed gestational diabetes or lipid abnormalities) programme their offspring to become overweight/obese and have vascular and metabolic problems later in life.If this hypothesis is correct then it would have major public health consequences since overweight/obese mothers would programme their offspring to be overweight/obese and have poor vascular and metabolic function; for their female offspring this would mean that they similarly went into their pregnancies overweight and with relatively high glucose and lipid levels, and would thus do the same with their offspring.Consequently, it is feared that if this hypothesis is true then interventions to reduce the obesity epidemic will fail to have any population impact for many generations.Despite this concern there is little high quality research that has attempted to test this hypothesis. Work in animal models demonstrate proof of principle,but may not be generalisable to humans. The small number of studies undertaken in humans have failed to use robust methods for demonstrating a specific intrauterine effect, as opposed to shared familial (environmental or genetic) effects, and have failed to adequately control for potential confounding factors.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 5 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 5 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Endocrine, Growth, Obesity, Weight, Birth Outcomes
Primary keyword: 

B301 - Data for Local Public Health Practitioners - 04/01/2006

B number: 
B301
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Ruth Kipping (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Data for Local Public Health Practitioners.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 4 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 4 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Endocrine, Growth, Obesity, Weight, Cross Cohort Study
Primary keyword: 

B300 - Growth Related effects in ALSPAC on Cardiac Endpoints GRACE - 04/01/2006

B number: 
B300
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Alun Hughes (Imperial College London, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Nishi Chaturvedi (Imperial College London, UK)
Title of project: 
Growth Related effects in ALSPAC on Cardiac Endpoints (GRACE).
Proposal summary: 

Obesity in children is on the increase, and is associated with heart enlargement. This could be due to increases in the load on the heart, although abnormal nervous control of the heart or altered arterial function could also contribute. Low birthweight children, who exhibit accelerated growth through childhood, may be particularly affected. We will use non-invasive techniques to examine heart and arterial structure and function in 2500 fifteen year olds who have been part of a detailed study of growth since birth. This will help us understand why obesity results in heart disease, and why adolescents who have grown rapidly in childhood are at particular risk.

Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 4 January, 2006
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 4 January, 2006
Keywords: 
Endocrine, Growth, Obesity, Weight, Cardiovascular
Primary keyword: 

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