About Down's Syndrome : EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP)

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Project Description

EU-AIMS is the largest single project focused on autism in the world, and the largest project on any mental health disorder in Europe.


We aim to identify risk factors that contribute to differences in brain development, difficulties in social behaviour and other core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Despite a lot of progress in autism research we still need more effective treatments and interventions for ASD. A major challenge in developing new treatments lies in the fact that the spectrum is very broad: some people with ASD are highly intelligent, others have a learning disability, some have medical conditions, while others do not. It is therefore likely that a particular treatment may only be effective for some people with ASD or may only work at certain ages. Therefore, we aim to study a very large group of people with and without ASD from 12 years to 30 years with a wide range of abilities.


The overall goal is to develop treatments that help alleviate core symptoms of autism in different patient groups. Cognitive descriptors will be correlated to neuropsychological measures to establish possible biomarkers that help us to understand ASD.

Research Team

Prof Declan Murphy (KCL) and Prof William Spooren (Roche) are the project coordinators. At KCL, the leading team is formed by Dr Eva Loth, Dr Antonia San José Cáceres, Ms Hannah Hayward, Ms Daisy Crawley and Ms Jessica Faulkner.

Other organisations involved

This study is carried out as part of the EU-AIMS project (www.eu-aims.eu). EU-AIMS has brought together leading scientists from 14 universities with a wide range of expertise, and partnered them with the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA); as well as Autism Speaks, a world leading autism charity.

The study is conducted in parallel at King’s College London, the University of Cambridge, Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen, University Medical Centre Utrecht, the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and the Central Institute of Mental Health in Germany.

If you have any questions about this research project and/or would like to take part, please contact: For any queries, please contact Dr Antonia San José Cáceres at antonia.sanjose@kcl.ac.uk or on 020 7848 0844.’


  • EU-AIMS LEAP Leaflet Invitation to volunteer
  • EU-AIMS LEAP Information Booklet

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