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Adult autism

Guro E Løseth, Marie Eikemo, Peder Isager, Jostein Holmgren, Bruno Laeng, Vigdis Vindenes, Trine Hjørnevik, Siri Leknes
The μ-opioid system modulates responses to pain and psychosocial stress and mediates non-social and social reward. In humans, the μ-opioid agonist morphine can increase overt attention to the eye-region and visual exploration of faces with neutral expressions. However, little is known about how the human μ-opioid system influences sensitivity to and appraisal of subtle and explicit cues of social threats and reward. Here, we examined the effects of selective μ-opioid stimulation on perception of anger and happiness in faces with explicit, neutral or implicit emotion expressions...
March 1, 2018: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Caitlin M Hudac, Trent D DesChamps, Anne B Arnett, Brianna E Cairney, Ruqian Ma, Sara Jane Webb, Raphael A Bernier
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit difficulties processing and encoding sensory information in daily life. Cognitive response to environmental change in control individuals is naturally dynamic, meaning it habituates or reduces over time as one becomes accustomed to the deviance. The origin of atypical response to deviance in ASD may relate to differences in this dynamic habituation. The current study of 133 children and young adults with and without ASD examined classic electrophysiological responses (MMN and P3a), as well as temporal patterns of habituation (i...
March 15, 2018: Brain and Cognition
L Dell'Osso, M Corsi, C Gesi, C A Bertelloni, G Massimetti, D Peroni, A Bonuccelli, A Orsini, C Carmassi
Increasing literature has shown the usefulness of a dimensional approach to mental disorders, particularly when exploring subjects exposed to traumatic experiences such as a severe illness in one's child. Recent evidence suggests an increased vulnerability in subjects with autism spectrum symptoms to develop post-traumatic stress symptoms. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of adult autism subthreshold spectrum in a sample of parents of children with epilepsy and its impact on post-traumatic stress spectrum symptoms in the same study sample...
February 12, 2018: Comprehensive Psychiatry
Colin J Palmer, Rebecca P Lawson, Shravanti Shankar, Colin W G Clifford, Geraint Rees
Progress in our understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has recently been sought by characterising how systematic differences in canonical neural computations employed across the sensory cortex might contribute to clinical symptoms in diverse sensory, cognitive, and social domains. A key proposal is that ASD is characterised by reduced divisive normalisation of sensory responses. This provides a bridge between genetic and molecular evidence for an increased ratio of cortical excitation to inhibition in ASD and the functional characteristics of sensory coding that are relevant for understanding perception and behaviour...
February 21, 2018: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Tao Tan, Wei Wang, Haitao Xu, Zhilin Huang, Yu Tian Wang, Zhifang Dong
Patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display abnormalities in neuronal development, synaptic function and neural circuits. The imbalance of excitatory and inhibitory (E/I) synaptic transmission has been proposed to cause the main behavioral characteristics of ASD. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can directly or indirectly induce excitability and synaptic plasticity changes in the brain noninvasively. However, whether rTMS can ameliorate autistic-like behaviors in animal model via regulating the balance of E/I synaptic transmission is unknown...
2018: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Changqing Lu, Lihua Dong, Hui Zhou, Qianmei Li, Guojiao Huang, Shu Jun Bai, Linchuan Liao
Oligodendrocytes are the myelin-producing cells of the central nervous system (CNS). A variety of brain disorders from "classical" demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, schizophrenia, depression, Down syndrome and autism, are shown myelination defects. Oligodendrocyte myelination is regulated by a complex interplay of intrinsic, epigenetic and extrinsic factors. Gpr17 (G protein-coupled receptor 17) is a G protein-coupled receptor, and has been identified to be a regulator for oligodendrocyte development...
March 14, 2018: Scientific Reports
Alan S Lewis, Gerrit Ian van Schalkwyk, Mayra Ortiz Lopez, Fred R Volkmar, Marina R Picciotto, Denis G Sukhodolsky
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), particularly the α7 nAChR, are implicated in the pathophysiology of both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and aggressive behavior. We explored the feasibility, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of targeting nAChRs using transdermal nicotine to reduce aggressive symptoms in adults with ASD. Eight subjects were randomized in a double-blind crossover trial of 7 mg transdermal nicotine or placebo, each for 1 week. All participants tolerated nicotine treatment well...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Leif Karlsson, Anna Nordenström, Tatja Hirvikoski, Svetlana Lajic
Dexamethasone (DEX) is used to prevent prenatal virilization in female fetuses with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Since treatment has to be started before the genotype of the fetus is known, 7 out of 8 fetuses will be exposed to DEX without benefit. Previously, we have observed negative effects on cognition and behavior in DEX treated children. Here we evaluated neuropsychological functions, psychopathology and autistic traits in non-CAH DEX-treated adults exposed during the first trimester of fetal life (duration 6...
March 1, 2018: Psychoneuroendocrinology
Avniel Singh Ghuman, Rebecca N van den Honert, Theodore J Huppert, Gregory L Wallace, Alex Martin
BACKGROUND: Prevailing theories suggest that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) results from impaired brain communication, causing aberrant synchrony among neuronal populations. However, it remains debated whether synchrony abnormalities are among local or long-range circuits, are circuit specific or are generalized, reflect hypersynchrony or reflect hyposynchrony, and are frequency band-specific or are distributed across the frequency spectrum. METHODS: To help clarify these unresolved questions, we recorded spontaneous magnetoencephalography data and used a data-driven, whole-brain analysis of frequency-specific interregional synchrony in higher-functioning adolescents and adults, with 17 ASD and 18 control subjects matched on age, IQ, and sex, and equal for motion...
April 2017: Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
Emilia Thorup, Pär Nyström, Gustaf Gredebäck, Sven Bölte, Terje Falck-Ytter
In typical development, infants often alternate their gaze between their interaction partners and interesting stimuli, increasing the probability of joint attention toward surrounding objects and creating opportunities for communication and learning. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have been found to engage less in behaviors that can initiate joint attention compared to typically developing children, but the role of such atypicalities in the development of ASD during infancy is not fully understood...
March 12, 2018: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Fenny S Zwart, Constance Th W M Vissers, Joseph H R Maes
It is assumed that learning on the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task is related to learning involved in social skill development affected in autism, but this assumption has hardly been investigated. We have therefore examined associations between SRT task learning and social impairment measured by the Social Responsiveness Scale in 72 autistic and non-autistic adults. Results revealed a positive correlation between deterministic sequence learning, putatively involving explicit learning, and social impairment in autistic adults but not in non-autistic adults...
March 9, 2018: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Jeremy Hogeveen, Marie K Krug, Matthew V Elliott, Marjorie Solomon
BACKGROUND: Internalizing symptoms like anxiety and depression are common and impairing in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we test the hypothesis that aberrant functional connectivity among three brain networks (salience network [SN], default mode network [DMN], and frontoparietal network [FPN]) plays a role in the pathophysiology of internalizing in ASD. METHODS: We examined the association between resting-state functional connectivity and internalizing in 102 adolescents and young adults with ASD (n = 49) or typical development (n = 53)...
January 31, 2018: Biological Psychiatry
Ian Tyndall, Liam Ragless, Denis O'Hora
The present study examined whether increasing visual perceptual load differentially affected both Socially Meaningful and Non-socially Meaningful auditory stimulus awareness in neurotypical (NT, n = 59) adults and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, n = 57) adults. On a target trial, an unexpected critical auditory stimulus (CAS), either a Non-socially Meaningful ('beep' sound) or Socially Meaningful ('hi') stimulus, was played concurrently with the presentation of the visual task. Under conditions of low visual perceptual load both NT and ASD samples reliably noticed the CAS at similar rates (77-81%), whether the CAS was Socially Meaningful or Non-socially Meaningful...
March 6, 2018: Consciousness and Cognition
Rachel C Leung, Elizabeth W Pang, Evdokia Anagnostou, Margot J Taylor
Social cognition is impaired in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ability to perceive and interpret affect is integral to successful social functioning and has an extended developmental course. However, the neural mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in ASD are unclear. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), the present study explored neural activation during implicit emotional face processing in young adults with and without ASD. Twenty-six young adults with ASD and 26 healthy controls were recruited...
2018: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Y J Daniel Yang, Tandra Allen, Sebiha M Abdullahi, Kevin A Pelphrey, Fred R Volkmar, Sandra B Chapman
Measuring treatment efficacy in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) relies primarily on behaviors, with limited evidence as to the neural mechanisms underlying these behavioral gains. This pilot study addresses this void by investigating neural and behavioral changes in a Phase I trial in young adults with high-functioning ASD who received an evidence-based behavioral intervention, Virtual Reality-Social Cognition Training over 5 weeks for a total of 10 hr. The participants were tested pre- and post-training with a validated biological/social versus scrambled/nonsocial motion neuroimaging task, previously shown to activate regions within the social brain networks...
March 8, 2018: Autism Research: Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research
Emmanuel D Jadhav, Danielle L Winkler, Billie S Anderson
Introduction: The resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases occurs more often among intentionally unvaccinated individuals, placing at direct risk young adults not caught up on vaccinations. The objectives of this study were to characterize the sociodemographic characteristics of young adults with and without vaccination waivers and identify their perceived benefits, barriers, and influencers of vaccination. Methods: Young adults ( n  = 964) from a Midwestern rural university responded to a survey (fall 2015-spring 2016) designed to identify their perception toward vaccination...
2018: Frontiers in Public Health
Julie Sadino, Zoe Donaldson
Over a lifetime, humans build relationships with family, friends, and partners that are critically important for our mental and physical health. Unlike commonly used laboratory mice and rats, Microtine rodents provide a unique model to study the neurobiology underlying pair bonding and the selective attachments that form between adults. Comparisons between monogamous prairie voles and the closely related, but non-monogamous meadow and montane voles, have revealed that brain-region-specific neuropeptide receptor patterning modulates social behavior between and within species...
March 7, 2018: ACS Chemical Neuroscience
Amy L Harbison, Tiffany G Woynaroski, Jon Tapp, Joshua W Wade, Anne S Warlaumont, Paul J Yoder
Children's vocal development occurs in the context of reciprocal exchanges with a communication partner who models "speechlike" productions. We propose a new measure of child vocal reciprocity, which we define as the degree to which an adult vocal response increases the probability of an immediately following child vocal response. Vocal reciprocity is likely to be associated with the speechlikeness of vocal communication in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Two studies were conducted to test the utility of the new measure...
March 6, 2018: Autism Research: Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research
Mark R Dixon, Scott H Wiggins, Jordan Belisle
The current investigation sought to extend prior research evaluating the use of the PEAK Relational Training System as a comprehensive treatment model in improving language skills demonstrated by individuals with autism. Baseline PEAK-Direct Training and Verbal Behavior Milestone Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) assessments were conducted across 3 adult male participants, and scores on the PEAK-Direct Training assessment were used to select targets for intervention. Language instruction guided by the PEAK-Direct Training module was implemented for 45 to 69 days across participants...
March 6, 2018: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Marco Turi, David Charles Burr, Paola Binda
The pupil is primarily regulated by prevailing light levels but is also modulated by perceptual and attentional factors. We measured pupil-size in typical adult humans viewing a bistable-rotating cylinder, constructed so the luminance of the front surface changes with perceived direction of rotation. In some participants, pupil diameter oscillated in phase with the ambiguous perception, more dilated when the black surface was in front. Importantly, the magnitude of oscillation predicts autistic traits of participants, assessed by the Autism-Spectrum Quotient AQ...
March 6, 2018: ELife
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