Information for Diaper Studies

● We hope you will consider participating in a research study that will measure melatonin and other biochemicals in urine obtained from your infant's or toddler's diaper (Yale HIC protocol # 0709003037 and 0709003038).

● We are very interested in the role of melatonin in the social and intellectual development of infants. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland and is important in reinforcing daily rhythms. Melatonin also appears important for brain development and in gut function.

● We will be examining melatonin production in typically developing children, in children with autism spectrum disorders, and in children who have a family history of autism spectrum disorders.  We hope to understand how alterations in melatonin might impact development and early behavior, and to determine whether the measurement of melatonin and related biochemicals might be useful in early detection of developmental problems.

● Your being asked to consider participating does not imply anything about the development of your child. Your child's care and participation in any other studies will not be affected by whether or not you enroll in this study.

● All necessary supplies and instructions will be sent to you. An overnight and daytime diaper will be collected at home. Diapers can be collected from infants at 6 and/or 12 months of age. Toddlers will have diapers collected on one occasion at any age from 18 to 36 months of age. Bagged wet diapers and a completed one-page questionnaire (asking about sleep and gut function) will be returned in a pre-addressed/pre-paid package to the laboratory. A fifty-dollar gift-card will be provided once the package is received.

● If you are interested in possibly participating, please contact the Principal Investigator, George M. Anderson, Ph.D., Child Study Center, Yale Univ. School of Medicine, by email ( or phone (203-623-6531). Complete information will be sent to you, including a detailed description of the study, consent form, and questionnaire.

Please feel free to contact Dr. Anderson with any questions.

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