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Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

J Trickett, M Heald, C Oliver, C Richards
BACKGROUND: Sleep disturbance is common in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, with high rates identified in children with Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS), Angelman syndrome (AS), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Phenotypic sleep profiles for these groups may implicate different pathways to sleep disturbance. At present, cross-group comparisons that might elucidate putative phenotypic sleep characteristics are limited by measurement differences between studies...
March 1, 2018: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Alyssa M Merbler, Breanne J Byiers, John J Garcia, Timothy J Feyma, Frank J Symons
BACKGROUND: Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder primarily caused by mutations in the MECP2 gene. Sleep problems are reported by the majority of caregivers of individuals with RTT. METHODS: The present study aimed to replicate and extend previous work about the feasibility of measuring sleep with an actigraph device in a sample of girls with clinically diagnosed RTT (N = 13, mean age = 9 years, 5 months). Participants wore an actigraph device day and night for seven consecutive days...
February 27, 2018: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Bridgette L Tonnsen, John E Richards, Jane E Roberts
BACKGROUND: Although aberrant visual attention has been identified in infants at high familial risk for autism, the developmental emergence of atypical attention remains unclear. Integrating biological measures of attention into prospective high-risk infant studies may inform more nuanced developmental trajectories, clarifying the onset and course of atypical attention and potentially advancing early screening or treatment protocols. Heart rate-defined sustained attention (HRDSA) is a well-validated biological measure of attentional engagement that, in non-clinical infant populations, provides incremental information about attentional engagement beyond looking behaviors alone...
February 13, 2018: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Monica Weldon, Murat Kilinc, J Lloyd Holder, Gavin Rumbaugh
BACKGROUND: Pathologic mutations in SYNGAP1 cause a genetically defined form of intellectual disability (ID) with comorbid epilepsy and autistic features. While only recently discovered, pathogenicity of this gene is a relatively frequent genetic cause of classically undefined developmental delay that progresses to ID with commonly occurring comorbidities. MAIN BODY: A meeting of 150 people was held that included affected individuals and their caregivers, clinicians that treat this and related brain disorders, neuroscientists that study SYNGAP1 biology or the function of related genes, and representatives from government agencies that fund science and approve new medical treatments...
February 5, 2018: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Alexandra Hendry, Emily J H Jones, Rachael Bedford, Teodora Gliga, Tony Charman, Mark H Johnson
BACKGROUND: Difficulties with executive functioning (EF) are common in individuals with a range of developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Interventions that target underlying mechanisms of EF early in development could be broadly beneficial, but require infant markers of such mechanisms in order to be feasible. Prospective studies of infants at high familial risk (HR) for ASD have revealed a surprising tendency for HR toddlers to show longer epochs of attention to faces than low-risk (LR) controls...
January 29, 2018: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Inga Sophia Knoth, Tarek Lajnef, Simon Rigoulot, Karine Lacourse, Phetsamone Vannasing, Jacques L Michaud, Sébastien Jacquemont, Philippe Major, Karim Jerbi, Sarah Lippé
BACKGROUND: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a neurodevelopmental genetic disorder causing cognitive and behavioural deficits. Repetition suppression (RS), a learning phenomenon in which stimulus repetitions result in diminished brain activity, has been found to be impaired in FXS. Alterations in RS have been associated with behavioural problems in FXS; however, relations between RS and intellectual functioning have not yet been elucidated. METHODS: EEG was recorded in 14 FXS participants and 25 neurotypical controls during an auditory habituation paradigm using repeatedly presented pseudowords...
January 29, 2018: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mary Godfrey, Nancy Raitano Lee
Down syndrome (DS) is associated with a variety of cognitive impairments, notably memory impairments. Due to the high prevalence rates of early-onset dementia associated with DS, it is imperative to understand the comprehensive development of memory impairments beginning in childhood and into adulthood, as this may help researchers identify precursors of dementia at earlier stages of development and pinpoint targets for memory intervention. The current paper provides a systematic, developmentally focused review of the nature of memory difficulties in DS across the lifespan...
January 29, 2018: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Stacey Bissell, Lucy Wilde, Caroline Richards, Jo Moss, Chris Oliver
BACKGROUND: Potocki-Lupski syndrome (PTLS) and Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) are related genomic disorders, as duplication 17p11.2 (associated with PTLS) is the reciprocal recombination product of the SMS microdeletion. While SMS has a relatively well-delineated behavioural phenotype, the behavioural profile in PTLS is less well defined, despite purported associations with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the suggestion that some behaviours may be diametric to those seen in SMS. METHODS: Caregivers of individuals with PTLS (N = 34; M age = 12...
January 10, 2018: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Cristan Farmer, Lauren Swineford, Susan E Swedo, Audrey Thurm
BACKGROUND: Adaptive behavior, or the ability to function independently in ones' environment, is a key phenotypic construct in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Few studies of the development of adaptive behavior during preschool to school-age are available, though existing data demonstrate that the degree of ability and impairment associated with ASD, and how it manifests over time, is heterogeneous. Growth mixture models are a statistical technique that can help parse this heterogeneity in trajectories...
January 5, 2018: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Heng Dai, Chad R Jackson, Gwynne L Davis, Randy D Blakely, Douglas G McMahon
BACKGROUND: Dopamine (DA) is a critical neuromodulator in the retina. Disruption of retinal DA synthesis and signaling significantly attenuates light-adapted, electroretinogram (ERG) responses, as well as contrast sensitivity and acuity. As these measures can be detected noninvasively, they may provide opportunities to detect disease processes linked to perturbed DA signaling. Recently, we identified a rare, functional DA transporter (DAT, SLC6A3) coding substitution, Ala559Val, in subjects with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), demonstrating that DAT Val559 imparts anomalous DA efflux (ADE) with attendant physiological, pharmacological, and behavioral phenotypes...
December 28, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Caroline Richards, Laurie Powis, Jo Moss, Christopher Stinton, Lisa Nelson, Christopher Oliver
BACKGROUND: The limited behavioural phenotype literature on Phelan-McDermid syndrome (PMS) indicates atypically high levels of activity, impulsivity and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) behaviours. Divergent profiles of ASD in PMS are also reported, with some studies demonstrating similarities to idiopathic ASD and others indicating an uneven profile of social and communication impairments and repetitive behaviours. An evaluation of the behavioural phenotype of PMS and the prevalence and phenomenology of ASD is warranted, particularly given the causal involvement of the SHANK3 gene in the aetiology of PMS...
November 10, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Edward G Freedman, Sophie Molholm, Michael J Gray, Daniel Belyusar, John J Foxe
BACKGROUND: Estimates of the prevalence of developmental dyslexia in the general population range from 5% to as many as 10%. Symptoms include reading, writing, and language deficits, but the severity and mix of symptoms can vary widely across individuals. In at least some people with dyslexia, the structure and function of the cerebellum may be disordered. Saccadic adaptation requires proper function of the cerebellum and brainstem circuitry and might provide a simple, noninvasive assay for early identification and sub-phenotyping in populations of children who may have dyslexia...
November 9, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
D Badoud, M Schneider, S Menghetti, B Glaser, M Debbané, S Eliez
BACKGROUND: Although significant impairments in the affective and cognitive facets of social cognition have been highlighted in patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) in previous studies, these domains have never been investigated simultaneously within the same group of participants. Furthermore, despite theoretical evidence, associations between these two processes and schizotypal symptoms or social difficulties in this population have been scarcely examined. METHODS: Twenty-nine participants with 22q11DS and 27 typically developing controls (N = 5 siblings; N = 22 unrelated controls) aged between 11 and 21 years participated in the study...
September 25, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Hayley Crawford, Joanna Moss, Chris Oliver, Deborah Riby
BACKGROUND: Existing literature draws links between social attention and socio-behavioural profiles in neurodevelopmental disorders. Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is associated with a known socio-behavioural phenotype of social anxiety and social communication difficulties alongside high social motivation. However, studies investigating social attention in males with FXS are scarce. Using eye tracking, this study investigates social attention and its relationship with both anxiety and autism symptomatology in males with FXS...
September 25, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
April R Levin, Kandice J Varcin, Heather M O'Leary, Helen Tager-Flusberg, Charles A Nelson
BACKGROUND: Alterations in brain development during infancy may precede the behavioral manifestation of developmental disorders. Infants at increased risk for autism are also at increased risk for other developmental disorders, including, quite commonly, language disorders. Here we assess the extent to which electroencephalographic (EEG) differences in infants at high versus low familial risk for autism are present by 3 months of age, and elucidate the functional significance of EEG power at 3 months in predicting later development...
September 13, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Lisa Nelson, Hayley Crawford, Donna Reid, Joanna Moss, Chris Oliver
BACKGROUND: Extreme shyness and social anxiety is reported to be characteristic of adolescents and adults with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS); however, the nature of these characteristics is not well documented. In this study, we develop and apply an experimental assessment of social anxiety in a group of adolescents and adults with CdLS to determine the nature of the social difficulties and whether they are related to impairments in executive functioning. METHODS: A familiar and unfamiliar examiner separately engaged in socially demanding tasks comprising three experimental conditions with a group of individuals with CdLS (n = 25; % male = 44; mean age = 22...
September 11, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Sabine E Mous, Allan Jiang, Arpana Agrawal, John N Constantino
BACKGROUND: Recent research has demonstrated that subclinical autistic traits of parents amplify the effects of deleterious mutations in the causation of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their offspring. Here, we examined the extent to which two neurodevelopmental traits that are non-specific to ASD-inattention/hyperactivity and motor coordination-might contribute to ASD recurrence in siblings of ASD probands. METHODS: Data from a quantitative trait study of 114 ASD probands and their brothers, 26% of whom also had ASD, were analyzed...
September 5, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Jessica Klusek, Joseph Schmidt, Amanda J Fairchild, Anna Porter, Jane E Roberts
BACKGROUND: The FMR1 premutation affects 1:291 women and is associated with a range of cognitive, affective, and physical health complications, including deficits in pragmatic language (i.e., social language). This study investigated attention to eye gaze as a fundamental social-cognitive skill that may be impaired in the FMR1 premutation and could underlie pragmatic deficits. Given the high prevalence of the FMR1 premutation, efforts to define its phenotype and mechanistic underpinnings have significant public health implications...
August 24, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Donna Reid, Jo Moss, Lisa Nelson, Laura Groves, Chris Oliver
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine executive functioning in adolescents and adults with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) to identify a syndrome and age-related profile of cognitive impairment. METHODS: Participants were 24 individuals with CdLS aged 13-42 years (M = 22; SD = 8.98), and a comparable contrast group of 21 individuals with Down syndrome (DS) aged 15-33 years (M = 24; SD = 5.82). Measures were selected to test verbal and visual fluency, inhibition, perseverance/flexibility, and working memory and comprised both questionnaire and performance tests...
August 15, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Andrew Ligsay, Anke Van Dijck, Danh V Nguyen, Reymundo Lozano, Yanjun Chen, Erika S Bickel, David Hessl, Andrea Schneider, Kathleen Angkustsiri, Flora Tassone, Berten Ceulemans, R Frank Kooy, Randi J Hagerman
BACKGROUND: Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system deficits are integral to the pathophysiologic development of fragile X syndrome (FXS). Ganaxolone, a GABAA receptor positive allosteric modulator, is hypothesized to improve symptoms such as anxiety, hyperactivity, and attention deficits in children with FXS. METHODS: This study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of ganaxolone in children with FXS, aged 6-17 years. RESULTS: Sixty-one participants were assessed for eligibility, and 59 were randomized to the study...
August 2, 2017: Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
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