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Treatment for autism

Joanna Granich, Alena Dass, Margherita Busacca, Dennis Moore, Angelika Anderson, Svetha Venkatesh, Thi Duong, Pratibha Vellanki, Amanda Richdale, David Trembath, Darin Cairns, Wendy Marshall, Tania Rodwell, Madeleine Rayner, Andrew J O Whitehouse
BACKGROUND: Evidence for early intensive behavioural interventions (EIBI) by therapists as an effective treatment for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is growing. High-intensity and sustained delivery of quality EIBI is expensive. The TOBY (Therapy Outcomes by You) Playpad is an App-based platform delivering EIBI to facilitate learning for young children with ASD, while enabling parents to become co-therapists. Intervention targets include increasing joint attention, imitation and communication of children with ASD...
October 19, 2016: BMC Pediatrics
Stephanie M Morris, Maria T Acosta, Shruti Garg, Jonathan Green, Susan Huson, Eric Legius, Kathryn N North, Jonathan M Payne, Ellen Plasschaert, Thomas W Frazier, Lauren A Weiss, Yi Zhang, David H Gutmann, John N Constantino
Importance: Recent reports have demonstrated a higher incidence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and substantially elevated autistic trait burden in individuals with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). However, important discrepancies regarding the distribution of autistic traits, sex predominance, and association between ASD symptoms and attentional problems have emerged, and critical features of the ASD phenotype within NF1 have never been adequately explored. Establishing NF1 as a monogenic cause for ASD has important implications for affected patients and for future research focused on establishing convergent pathogenic mechanisms relevant to the potential treatment targets for ASD...
October 19, 2016: JAMA Psychiatry
Giulia Umbrello, Susanna Esposito
BACKGROUND: The microbiota colonizing the gastrointestinal tract have been associated with both gastrointestinal and extra-gastrointestinal diseases. In recent years, considerable interest has been devoted to their role in the development of neurologic diseases, as many studies have described bidirectional communication between the central nervous system and the gut, the so-called "microbiota-gut-brain axis". Considering the ability of probiotics (i.e., live non-pathogenic microorganisms) to restore the normal microbial population and produce benefits for the host, their potential effects have been investigated in the context of neurologic diseases...
October 19, 2016: Journal of Translational Medicine
R E Frye, J Slattery, L Delhey, B Furgerson, T Strickland, M Tippett, A Sailey, R Wynne, S Rose, S Melnyk, S Jill James, J M Sequeira, E V Quadros
We sought to determine whether high-dose folinic acid improves verbal communication in children with non-syndromic autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and language impairment in a double-blind placebo control setting. Forty-eight children (mean age 7 years 4  months; 82% male) with ASD and language impairment were randomized to receive 12 weeks of high-dose folinic acid (2 mg kg(-1) per day, maximum 50 mg per day; n=23) or placebo (n=25). Children were subtyped by glutathione and folate receptor-α autoantibody (FRAA) status...
October 18, 2016: Molecular Psychiatry
Erika Yeh, Lauren A Weiss
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been long known to have substantial genetic etiology. Much research has attempted to identify specific genes contributing to ASD risk with the goal of tying gene function to a molecular pathological explanation for ASD. A unifying molecular pathology would potentially increase understanding of what is going wrong during development, and could lead to diagnostic biomarkers or targeted preventative or therapeutic directions. We review past and current genetic mapping approaches and discuss major results, leading to the hypothesis that global dysregulation of gene or protein expression may be implicated in ASD rather than disturbance of brain-specific functions...
October 14, 2016: Molecular and Cellular Probes
Cyrus Vahdatpour, Adam H Dyer, Daniela Tropea
Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) is a neurotrophic polypeptide with crucial roles to play in Central Nervous System (CNS) growth, development and maturation. Following interrogation of the neurobiology underlying several neurodevelopmental disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), both recombinant IGF-1 (mecasermin) and related derivatives, such as (1-3)IGF-1, have emerged as potential therapeutic approaches. Clinical pilot studies and early reports have supported the safety/preliminary efficacy of IGF-1 and related compounds in the treatment of Rett Syndrome, with evidence mounting for its use in Phelan McDermid Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Jin Li, Han-Xia Li, Xiao-Jing Shou, Xin-Jie Xu, Tian-Jia Song, Song-Ping Han, Rong Zhang, Ji-Sheng Han
Oxytocin (OXT) and vasopressin (AVP) are considered to be related to mammalian social behavior and the regulation of stress responses. The present study investigated the effects of chronic homotypic restraint stress (CHRS) on social behaviors and anxiety, as well as its repercussions on OXT- and AVP-positive neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON) nuclei in rat. Male Sprague-Dawley rats receiving CHRS were exposed to repeated restraint stress of 30min per day for 10days. Changes in social approach behaviors were evaluated with the three-chambered social approach task...
September 30, 2016: Neuropeptides
Melissa DeFilippis, Karen Dineen Wagner
Autism spectrum disorder is a diagnosis that includes significant social communication deficits/delays along with restricted patterns of interests and behaviors. The prevalence of this diagnosis has increased over the past few decades, and it is unclear whether this is solely attributable to the increased awareness of milder forms of the disorder among medical providers. The current treatment options for the core symptoms of autism are limited to psychosocial therapies, such as applied behavior analysis. Medications have been most effective in treating the associated behavioral symptoms of autism, though studies have examined potential benefits in some of the core symptoms of autism with certain medications, especially the repetitive behaviors often seen with this diagnosis...
August 15, 2016: Psychopharmacology Bulletin
Tao Xiong, Hongju Chen, Rong Luo, Dezhi Mu
BACKGROUND: The rising prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased the need for evidence-based treatments to lessen the impact of symptoms. Presently, no therapies are available to effectively treat individuals with all of the symptoms of this disorder. It has been suggested that hyperbaric oxygen therapy may alleviate the biochemical dysfunction and clinical symptoms of ASD. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether treatment with hyperbaric oxygen:1. improves core symptoms of ASD, including social communication problems and stereotypical and repetitive behaviors;2...
October 13, 2016: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Giulia Purpura, Francesca Fulceri, Vittoria Puglisi, Patrizia Masoni, Annarita Contaldo
BACKGROUND: Some research suggests that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience diverse motor difficulties that appear closely related to the severity of symptomatology, including repetitive behaviors. Therefore, motor assessment in ASD has crucial relevance in order to plan a specific intervention. The aim of this study is to assess and describe the motor functioning in school-aged children with ASD and to evaluate the relationship between their motor profile and clinical features...
October 12, 2016: Minerva Pediatrica
Meghan Miller, Ana-Maria Iosif, Gregory S Young, Monique Moore Hill, Sally Ozonoff
Converging evidence suggests shared genetic underpinnings of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies of infants at risk for ASD have proliferated over the past decade; the few studies that have followed these infants beyond age 3 report a range of difficulties facing a subset of these infants as they reach school age, including elevated levels of attention problems and externalizing behavior. Given this, we aimed to identify early predictors of school-age ADHD outcomes in a sample of infant siblings at risk for ASD...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
J Painter, L Trevithick, R P Hastings, B Ingham, A Roy
BACKGROUND: In meeting the needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) who access health services, a brief, holistic assessment of need is useful. This study outlines the development and testing of the Learning Disabilities Needs Assessment Tool (LDNAT), a tool intended for this purpose. METHOD: An existing mental health (MH) tool was extended by a multidisciplinary group of ID practitioners. Additional scales were drafted to capture needs across six ID treatment domains that the group identified...
October 11, 2016: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research: JIDR
A-M D'Cruz, M W Mosconi, M E Ragozzino, E H Cook, J A Sweeney
Restricted and repetitive behaviors, and a pronounced preference for behavioral and environmental consistency, are distinctive characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Alterations in frontostriatal circuitry that supports flexible behavior might underlie this behavioral impairment. In an functional magnetic resonance imaging study of 17 individuals with ASD, and 23 age-, gender- and IQ-matched typically developing control participants, reversal learning tasks were used to assess behavioral flexibility as participants switched from one learned response choice to a different response choice when task contingencies changed...
October 11, 2016: Translational Psychiatry
Lan Chi Vo, Christopher Snyder, Courtney McCracken, Christopher J McDougle, James T McCracken, Michael G Aman, Elaine Tierney, L Eugene Arnold, Daniel Levi, Michael Kelleman, Deirdre Carroll, John Morrissey, Benedetto Vitiello, Lawrence Scahill
OBJECTIVES: Risperidone is approved for the treatment of serious behavioral problems in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study examined the effects of risperidone on cardiac conduction in children with ASD. METHODS: Data were collected from an 8-week, five-site trial conducted by the Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology Autism Network. Children (age 5-17 years) were randomly assigned to risperidone (n = 49) or placebo (n = 52) under double-blind conditions...
October 11, 2016: Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Antoine Tanet, Annik Hubert-Barthelemy, Graciela C Crespin, Nicolas Bodeau, David Cohen, Catherine Saint-Georges
INTRODUCTION: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who also exhibit severe-to-moderate ranges of intellectual disability (ID) still face many challenges (i.e., less evidence-based trials, less inclusion in school with peers). METHODS: We implemented a novel model called the "Developmental and Sequenced One-to-One Educational Intervention" (DS1-EI) in 5- to 9-year-old children with co-occurring ASD and ID. The treatment protocol was adapted for school implementation by designing it using an educational agenda...
2016: Frontiers in Pediatrics
Senthilkumar Sivanesan, Aaron Tan, Rebecca Jeyaraj, James Lam, Monica Gole, Antonio Hardan, Keyoumars Ashkan, Jayakumar Rajadas
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of complex neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by abnormal patterns of attention, and impaired social and communication skills. ASDs are also associated with a number of functional challenges and potentially harmful deficits, including restricted and repetitive behaviors, anxiety, irritability, seizures, and self-harm. Although the exact causes of ASDs are currently unknown, it is suggested that genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors play critical roles...
October 7, 2016: World Neurosurgery
Jill Locke, Rinad S Beidas, Steven Marcus, Aubyn Stahmer, Gregory A Aarons, Aaron R Lyon, Carolyn Cannuscio, Frances Barg, Shannon Dorsey, David S Mandell
BACKGROUND: The significant lifelong impairments associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), combined with the growing number of children diagnosed with ASD, have created urgency in improving school-based quality of care. Although many interventions have shown efficacy in university-based research, few have been effectively implemented and sustained in schools, the primary setting in which children with ASD receive services. Individual- and organizational-level factors have been shown to predict the implementation of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) for the prevention and treatment of other mental disorders in schools, and may be potential targets for implementation strategies in the successful use of autism EBIs in schools...
October 10, 2016: Implementation Science: IS
K Conallen, P Reed
BACKGROUND: Two procedures were developed to teach individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders labels (tacts) for various private events (emotions): Study 1 attempted to distinguish them from pure tacts and mands (requests); and Study 2 attempted to train initiating a conversation with grammatically correct subject-verb-comment construction. METHODS: A multiple treatment reversal design was used in both studies, followed by a probe to see if the tacts were used across novel settings...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research: JIDR
Eyal Aronoff, Robert Hillyer, Michael Leon
We have previously shown in two randomized clinical trials that environmental enrichment is capable of ameliorating symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and in the present study, we determined whether this therapy could be effective under real-world circumstances. 1,002 children were given daily Sensory Enrichment Therapy, by their parents, using personalized therapy instructions given over the Internet. Parents were asked to assess the symptoms of their child every 2 weeks for up to 7 months. An intention-to-treat analysis showed significant overall gains for a wide range of symptoms in these children, including learning, memory, anxiety, attention span, motor skills, eating, sleeping, sensory processing, self-awareness, communication, social skills, and mood/autism behaviors...
2016: Neural Plasticity
Shari L Hutchison, Jaswinder K Ghuman, Harinder S Ghuman, Irina Karpov, James M Schuster
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders and is associated with higher incidence of comorbid oppositional or conduct, mood, anxiety, pervasive developmental, and substance-use disorders. Comorbid mental health conditions may alter the presence of symptoms and treatment of ADHD. Atomoxetine (ATX), a nonstimulant medication for the treatment of ADHD, may be prescribed for individuals with ADHD and comorbid conditions despite some risk for certain undesirable side effects and lower effectiveness for the treatment of ADHD than stimulants...
October 2016: Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology
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