Discover SPARK

Webinar: Sleep and Physical Activity Patterns in Autism

Date Revised: October 24, 2023

In this recorded webinar, Dr. Bućan provides the overall motivation for studying sleep in autism and introduces an ongoing study of sleep and activity traits in families recruited by her center and SPARK Research Match.  To date, this project includes data from devices worn by over 600 people with autism and their family members, as well as questionnaire-derived quantitative traits on a wide range of conditions linked to autism.

Approximately two thirds of children with ASD have insomnia, and sleep problems are linked to the severity of ASD symptoms such as problems with communication, social withdrawal, and repetitive behaviors. Given the high frequency and adverse effects of sleep problems in ASD, it is crucial to pay attention to sleep disturbances when assessing and treating ASD.

 Who is Maja Bućan?

Maja Bućan, Ph.D., is a Professor of Genetics in Departments of Genetics and Psychiatry, and the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Research Training and Director of the Biomedical Postdoctoral Program at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She also serves as co-director of the Autism Spectrum Program of Excellence (ASPE) at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her research focuses on the genetic basis of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.  Dr. Bućan’s laboratory is also leading the genomic and phenotypic analysis of sleep and activity patterns in ASPE families and, more recently, in the SPARK collection.