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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B286 - Diet at 4 and 8 months related to haemoglobin and ferritin levels at 8 12 and 18 months - 01/09/2004

B number: 
B286
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Pauline Emmett (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Diet at 4 and 8 months related to haemoglobin and ferritin levels at 8, 12, and 18 months.
Proposal summary: 

From around six months onwards breast milk alone no longer provides enough iron to sustain adequate blood haemoglobin and ferritin levels in infants. It is important to introduce suitable weaning foods from this age and incorporate feeding practices that enhance absorption of iron from the diet (eg Vit C containing foods or drinks with meals).

This study will be nested within ALSPAC a unique, ongoing research project which enrolled 14,541 mothers during pregnancy in 1991-2 and has followed the children and parents in minute detail ever since. It is a world resource with unrivalled data - with the potential to find ways in which common diseases in childhood and adult life can be prevented or treated.

Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Keywords: 
Diet
Primary keyword: 

B194 - Avon Adolescent Development Project - 01/09/2004

B number: 
B194
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Leon Feinstein (Institute of Education, University of London, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Avon Adolescent Development Project.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Keywords: 
Education
Primary keyword: 

B193 - The consequences of exposure to maternal depressive symptoms cognition language - 01/09/2004

B number: 
B193
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Jonathan Evans (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
The consequences of exposure to maternal depressive symptoms: cognition & language.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Keywords: 
Autism, Depression, Mental Health, Motor Co-ordination, Neurology, Speech & Language, Vision, Environmental Exposure, Cognition
Primary keyword: 

B192 - Detrimental health effects of metals exposure - a risk assessment DEMETRA - 01/09/2004

B number: 
B192
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Lars Jarup (Imperial College London, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Detrimental health effects of metals exposure - a risk assessment (DEMETRA).
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Keywords: 
Environmental Exposure
Primary keyword: 

B191 - ALSPAC as a resource for asthma research - 01/09/2004

B number: 
B191
Principal applicant name: 
Prof John Henderson (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Seif Shaheen (King's College London, UK), Prof David Strachan (St George's, University of London, UK), Prof Ashley Woodcock (University of Manchester, UK), Dr Angela Simpson (University of Manchester, UK), Prof Jean Golding (University of Bristol, UK)
Title of project: 
ALSPAC as a resource for asthma research.
Proposal summary: 

The project will establish a resource of detailed asthma phenotypes from birth to 8.5 years based on available questionnaire and objective data. The resource will be linked to a wide range of information on environmental exposures before and after birth to address the following general hypotheses:

1. Different environmental exposures in early life are associated with different phenotypic outcomes of asthma.

2. Outcomes are determined by the timing and the magnitude of exposures and by their interactions with (a) other environmental risk/protective factors and (b) family history of asthma/atopy.

3. Exposures at different stages of development (prenatal, perinatal, postnatal) have differential effects on asthma outcomes.

The outcomes will generate new hypotheses about the origins of asthma in early childhood that will be used as the basis for targeted proposal to examine interactions between genetic predisposition and environment in the development and phenotypic expression of asthma in childhood.

Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Keywords: 
Allergies, Asthma, Respiratory, Atopy
Primary keyword: 

B190 - Genetics of asthma GWAS - 01/09/2004

B number: 
B190
Principal applicant name: 
Prof William Cookson (Imperial College London, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Genetics of asthma (GWAS).
Proposal summary: 

Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways of the lung. Asthmatics suffer from intermittent airflow

limitation and the symptoms of wheeze and shortness of breath.

Asthma is not one disease but many. In childhood it is commonly associated with allergy (atopy) to

common inhaled proteins (allergens). Significant numbers of children with disease have persistent symptoms

throughout life. Asthma also may present in later life, when it is less obviously associated with allergy, more

common in women and cigarette smokers, and often resistant to treatment. The combination of cigarette

smoking and asthma can produce chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is the sixth most common

cause of death worldwide. Occupational asthma is due to workplace exposure to dusts and chemicals, and is

the most prevalent occupational lung disease in the European Community. Ten % of new onset adult asthma

cases are caused by workplace exposures, and the prognosis of most forms of occupational asthma is poor

and is associated with job loss, loss of income and loss of quality of life.

Asthma has a high prevalence and a chronic relapsing course. Childhood asthma is a global health

problem that imposes a burden on family, health care and society as a whole, and results in a massive social

and economic cost to the community.

A recent cost-of-illness study requested by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European

Commission has estimated the total burden of asthma in children under the age of 15 in the 25 EU member

states to be EUR3.0 billion each year. The total burden of asthma to the European Community is at least double

when taking adult and occupational asthma into account. A significant reduction of the quality of life of

asthmatic children is well recognised.

Current asthma therapies are effective in cases of mild asthma, but severe asthma remains very

difficult to treat, and 80% of the cost arises from the 20% of individuals with severe disease 1.

The aim of the GABRIEL project is to discover the environmental and genomic causes of asthma.

The understanding of these factors and their interactions at the molecular level will open new avenues into

the development of preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to combat the asthma epidemic in

Europe and worldwide. This proposal lays out an extended systematic structure of research that will define

the molecular mechanisms of gene-environment interactions and

Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2004
Keywords: 
Allergies, Asthma, Genetics, Respiratory, Atopy
Primary keyword: 

B188 - Developing biomarkers of exposure to chemicals and biomarkers of effect using mother-child birth cohorts and biobanks - 01/08/2004

B number: 
B188
Principal applicant name: 
(Not used 0, Not used 0)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Developing biomarkers of exposure to chemicals and biomarkers of effect using mother-child birth cohorts and biobanks.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Sunday, 1 August, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Sunday, 1 August, 2004
Keywords: 
Biological Samples
Primary keyword: 

B187 - Academy of Finland - EU Centre of Excellence - 01/08/2004

B number: 
B187
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin (Imperial College London, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Academy of Finland - EU Centre of Excellence.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Sunday, 1 August, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Sunday, 1 August, 2004
Keywords: 
Miscellaneous
Primary keyword: 

B295 - Developmental antecedents of borderline personality disorders - 01/07/2004

B number: 
B295
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Jonathan Hill (Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Prof Andrew Pickles (University of Manchester, UK)
Title of project: 
Developmental antecedents of borderline personality disorders.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2004
Keywords: 
Development, Personality, Depression
Primary keyword: 

B184 - A UK-Singapore cross cohort comparison of the risk factors for myopia - 01/07/2004

B number: 
B184
Principal applicant name: 
Miss Cathy E M Williams (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
A UK-Singapore cross cohort comparison of the risk factors for myopia.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2004
Keywords: 
Autism, Motor Co-ordination, Neurology, Vision
Primary keyword: 

B183 - Impact of a family history of diabetes on early weight gain body composition and fitness - 01/07/2004

B number: 
B183
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Julian Hamilton-Shield (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Impact of a family history of diabetes on early weight gain, body composition and fitness.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2004
Keywords: 
Diabetes, Puberty
Primary keyword: 

B178 - Risk taking behaviour in adolescence - its origins and consequences - 01/07/2004

B number: 
B178
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Alan Emond (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Risk taking behaviour in adolescence - its origins and consequences.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2004
Keywords: 
Personality, PLIKS, Self-harm, Sleep, Risk Behaviour
Primary keyword: 

B176 - The natural history of asthma and wheezing illnesses from birth to adolescence determinants of remission of asthma symptoms - 01/07/2004

B number: 
B176
Principal applicant name: 
Prof John Henderson (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
The natural history of asthma and wheezing illnesses from birth to adolescence, determinants of remission of asthma symptoms.
Proposal summary: 

The proposed project is based on the follow up of a well-characterised population of children in the

Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) to investigate factors associated with the onset and

remission of asthma symptoms during adolescence. ALSPAC is a longitudinal birth cohort of 13,971 infants

followed from birth. Detailed analyses of asthma phenotypes have been made on data from early childhood to age

8 1/2 years, including objective measurements of lung function and allergic status. The proposed study will extend

these observations through the critical period of adolescence to study exposures associated with onset or remission

of asthma symptoms and their relationships with further objective outcome measures proposed in this project.

Aims & Objectives: The aims are to describe the natural history of asthma from birth to adolescence and to examine

the factors that influence the remission of asthma symptoms. The primary hypotheses to be tested in this project are

that changes in body fat composition, diet, habitual activity and the uptake of active smoking are independently

associated with the remission, persistence or onset of asthma symptoms during adolescence (from 8 1/2 to 15+ years)

and that effects differ between males and females in this population. We will investigate the possible mechanisms

of these effects by measuring objective outcomes, including lung function, bronchodilator reversibility and a marker

of airway inflammation, exhaled nitric oxide. Finally, we will investigate whether exposures during adolescence

interact with prior exposures and asthma history in determining the resolution of asthma symptoms in adolescence.

Methods: Exposure data will be collected as part of the ALSPAC Core Programme. Data on body composition will

be available from whole body DXA scans repeated at 11, 13+, and 15+ years, reports of physical activity are

available from annual questionnaires and objective measurements of activity have been made using accelerometers.

Dietary intake is calculated from food frequency questionnaires and tobacco smoke exposure will be estimated from

parental and child questionnaires. We will also measure urinary cotinine at 15+ years to validate these reports as

part of this project. Outcomes will include extending the analysis of asthma symptoms from 8 1/2 years to 15+ years

using data from annual self-report questionnaires. From these we will establish asthma trajectories for each child

from birth to adolescence. We will measure lung function by spirometry at 15+ years and measure bronchodilator

reversibility. We will also assess airway inflammation by measuring exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) at 15+ years.

These measurements will be used to characterise subjects with asthma remission depending on the presence or

absence of airflow obstruction and airway inflammation.

Outcomes: the project will provide novel information on factors associated with asthma remission during the

critical period of adolescence in a large contemporary cohort of children. Knowledge of these factors and their

associations with persistent abnormalities of pulmonary function and/or airway inflammation may help to identify

targets for interventions aimed at encouraging asthma remission. In addition, the data generated by this project will

provide important new data for the study of genetic susceptibilities and gene-environment interactions in the natural

history of asthma during childhood.

Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 1 July, 2004
Keywords: 
Allergies, Asthma, Respiratory, Atopy
Primary keyword: 

B172 - Impact of minor head injury on cognitive emotional behavioural and real life outcomes in childhood - 01/06/2004

B number: 
B172
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Peta Sharples (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Impact of minor head injury on cognitive, emotional, behavioural and "real life" outcomes in childhood.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 June, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 1 June, 2004
Keywords: 
Autism, Injury, Motor Co-ordination, Neurology, Vision
Primary keyword: 

B171 - Investigating the link between sleep duration appetite and obesity - 01/06/2004

B number: 
B171
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Shahrad Taheri (University of Birmingham, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Investigating the link between sleep duration, appetite and obesity.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 June, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 1 June, 2004
Keywords: 
Obesity, Personality, PLIKS, Puberty, Self-harm, Sleep
Primary keyword: 

B170 - Point prevalence of nasal carriage of methicillin resistant and methicillin susceptible aureus - 01/06/2004

B number: 
B170
Principal applicant name: 
J Cove (Not used 0, Not used 0)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Point prevalence of nasal carriage of methicillin resistant and methicillin susceptible aureus.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 June, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 1 June, 2004
Keywords: 
Injury, Infection
Primary keyword: 

B169 - The processing of chromatic signals fundamental studies and clinical applications - 01/06/2004

B number: 
B169
Principal applicant name: 
J Barber (Not used 0, Not used 0)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
The processing of chromatic signals: fundamental studies and clinical applications.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 June, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Tuesday, 1 June, 2004
Keywords: 
Autism, Motor Co-ordination, Neurology, Vision
Primary keyword: 

B181 - Medically Unexplained Symptoms MUPS - 01/05/2004

B number: 
B181
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Nicola Wiles (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUPS).
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 1 May, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 1 May, 2004
Keywords: 
Personality, PLIKS, Self-harm, Sleep, Miscellaneous
Primary keyword: 

B168 - Smoking initiation - 01/05/2004

B number: 
B168
Principal applicant name: 
Prof Marcus Munafo (University of Bristol, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Smoking initiation.
Proposal summary: 

(No outline received).

Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 1 May, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 1 May, 2004
Keywords: 
Smoking
Primary keyword: 

B167 - Fat or big bones Bio-electrical impedance in childhood as a measure of lean and fat mass - 01/05/2004

B number: 
B167
Principal applicant name: 
Dr Charlotte M Wright (University of Glasgow, UK)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Fat or big bones? Bio-electrical impedance in childhood as a measure of lean and fat mass.
Proposal summary: 

Obesity in childhood is increasing, and if unchecked, will lead to a new epidemic of heart disease in the future. We need to know when obesity begins and why, but measuring weight cannot distinguish healthy, muscular children from those that who are obese. Bioelectric impedance uses the body's electrical resistance to estimate body fatness, but at present, it is not widely used in childhood, as we know little about what is normal at different ages. We will use measurements from two large studies to define the normal range for lean and fat tissue and find out how these relate to infant feeding, growth and physical fitness.

Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 1 May, 2004
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 1 May, 2004
Keywords: 
Endocrine, Growth, Obesity, Weight
Primary keyword: 

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