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Evangelia-Chrysanthi Kouklari, Stella Tsermentseli, Bonnie Auyeung
BACKGROUND: The association between Executive Function (EF) and Theory of Mind (ToM) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been mainly investigated using false belief tasks, whilst less is known about the EF effect on other ToM facets. Furthermore, the role EF plays in social communication in ASD is mainly assessed using parent-report EF ratings rather than direct assessment. AIMS: The aim of this study was to shed more light on the effect of performance-based EF measures on ToM and social communication in middle childhood in ASD relative to neurotypical controls...
March 13, 2018: Research in Developmental Disabilities
Chloè Bontinck, Petra Warreyn, Sara Van der Paelt, Ellen Demurie, Herbert Roeyers
Although sibling interactions play an important role in children's early development, they are rarely studied in very young children with an older brother or sister with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study used a naturalistic, observational method to compare interactions between 18-month-old infants and their older sibling with ASD (n = 22) with a control group of 18-month-old infants and their typically developing (TD) older sibling (n = 29). In addition, role (a)symmetry and the influence of gender were evaluated...
2018: PloS One
Ping-Tao Tseng, Yu-Shian Cheng, Yen-Wen Chen, Brendon Stubbs, Paul Whiteley, Andre F Carvalho, Dian-Jeng Li, Tien-Yu Chen, Wei-Cheng Yang, Chia-Hung Tang, Che-Sheng Chu, Wei-Chieh Yang, Hsin-Yi Liang, Ching-Kuan Wu, Cheng-Fang Yen, Pao-Yen Lin
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, and nutritional deficiency may play a role in the development of ASD. A relationship between ASD and iron levels/iron deficiency (ID) has been reported; however, the results have been inconsistent. Therefore, we conducted this meta-analysis to examine the relationship between ASD and ID following the Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines. We performed a systematic search of PubMed, ScienceDirect, Embase, ProQuest, ClinicalTrials...
February 2018: Nutrition Research
Cally Kent, Reinie Cordier, Annette Joosten, Sarah Wilkes-Gillan, Anita Bundy
BACKGROUND/AIM: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently demonstrate impaired play skills and poor quality social interactions compared to typically developing peers. Complex interventions to improve play skills should be investigated with randomised control trials (RCT) where possible to support evidence-based practice for occupational therapists. Prior to a RCT, multiple feasibility studies are recommended to identify barriers to the trial. The aim of this study is to adapt a complex intervention to improve play skills in children with ASD and investigate the feasibility of conducting a RCT...
March 11, 2018: Australian Occupational Therapy Journal
Varun Warrier, Roberto Toro, Bhismadev Chakrabarti, Anders D Børglum, Jakob Grove, David A Hinds, Thomas Bourgeron, Simon Baron-Cohen
Empathy is the ability to recognize and respond to the emotional states of other individuals. It is an important psychological process that facilitates navigating social interactions and maintaining relationships, which are important for well-being. Several psychological studies have identified difficulties in both self-report and performance-based measures of empathy in a range of psychiatric conditions. To date, no study has systematically investigated the genetic architecture of empathy using genome-wide association studies (GWAS)...
March 12, 2018: Translational Psychiatry
MingXia Yu, Tao Cao, Dan Yu, Fusheng Huang
Genetic susceptibility to high mercury body burden has been suggested as an autism risk factor in children. Metallothionein III (MT3) is the brain-specific form of the metallothionein family, which plays a key role in metal metabolism. We therefore looked for genetic variations in the MT3 gene that might increase the predisposition to autism. DNA was extracted from 132 autistic children and 132 age and gender-matched unrelated controls. All the samples were analyzed for nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with minor allele frequency > 10% in the MT3 gene...
March 9, 2018: Neurotoxicity Research
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
Benjamin W Mann
While previous studies in health communication have examined online news media regarding autism, there is a lack of research that critically examines how such media representations may stigmatize autism and seeks to eliminate the condition, particularly in the context of the resurging measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine-autism controversy. To address this gap in the literature, this study analyzes 153 articles that engage the MMR vaccine-autism controversy from the top 10 online news sources in the U...
March 9, 2018: Health Communication
M Palau-Baduell, B Salvado-Salvado, M A Idiazabal-Alecha, A Fernandez-Teruel, T Ortiz
INTRODUCTION: The perisylvian areas, located around the Sylvian fissure, are constituted by frontal, temporal and parietal brain regions. These are connected forming specialized neural networks and play a primary role in the development of linguistic skills and social cognition. These areas are a possible neuronal substrate of cognitive and behavioral impairments in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). AIM: To locate and quantify epileptiform activity sources through magnetoencephalography in frontal perisylvian areas in children with idiopathic ASD...
March 1, 2018: Revista de Neurologia
Dake Song, Yaping Ge, Zhaodi Chen, Chao Shang, Ying Guo, Taiyun Zhao, Yunfeng Li, Ning Wu, Rui Song, Jin Li
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complicated psychiatric disorder, which occurs after exposure to a traumatic event. The main clinical manifestation of PTSD includes fear and stress dysregulation. In both animals and humans, dysregulation of dopamine function appears to be related to conditioned fear responses. Previous studies show that the dopamine D3 receptor (D3R) is involved in schizophrenia, autism, and substance use disorders and is related to emotional disorders. However, few studies have investigated the role of the D3R in the pathogenesis and aetiology of PTSD...
March 3, 2018: Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Sanne Tops, Ute Habel, Sina Radke
Oxytocin and the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) play an important role in a large variety of social behaviors. The oxytocinergic system interacts with environmental cues and is highly dependent on interindividual factors. Deficits in this system have been linked to mental disorders associated with social impairments, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This review focuses on the modulation of social behavior by alterations in two domains of the oxytocinergic system. We discuss genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms and alterations in these mechanisms that were found to have clinical implications for ASD...
March 2, 2018: Hormones and Behavior
Veronica Romero, Paula Fitzpatrick, Stephanie Roulier, Amie Duncan, Michael J Richardson, R C Schmidt
Even high functioning children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) exhibit impairments that affect their ability to carry out and maintain effective social interactions in multiple contexts. One aspect of subtle nonverbal communication that might play a role in this impairment is the whole-body motor coordination that naturally arises between people during conversation. The current study aimed to measure the time-dependent, coordinated whole-body movements between children with ASD and a clinician during a conversational exchange using tools of nonlinear dynamics...
2018: PloS One
Danny Mollerup Sørensen, Tine Holemans, Sarah van Veen, Shaun Martin, Tugce Arslan, Ida Winther Haagendahl, Henrik Waldal Holen, Norin Nabil Hamouda, Jan Eggermont, Michael Palmgren, Peter Vangheluwe
Several human P5-type transport ATPases are implicated in neurological disorders, but little is known about their physiological function and properties. Here, we investigated the relationship between the five mammalian P5 isoforms ATP13A1-5 in a comparative study. We demonstrated that ATP13A1-4 isoforms undergo autophosphorylation, which is a hallmark P-type ATPase property that is required for substrate transport. A phylogenetic analysis of P5 sequences revealed that ATP13A1 represents clade P5A, which is highly conserved between fungi and animals with one member in each investigated species...
2018: PloS One
McLeod Frampton Gwynette, Shawn S Sidhu, Tolga Atilla Ceranoglu
Electronic and social media play a prominent role in the lives of children and teenagers. Evidence suggests youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use media differently than typically developing peers, and some of these differences place them at greater risk for negative health outcomes related to unhealthy and improper use of media. Such outcomes include physiologic, cognitive, social, emotional, and legal/safety problems. However, several technology-aided interventions have emerged to help youth with ASD across multiple domains...
April 2018: Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America
Anders Nordahl-Hansen, Logan Hart, Roald A Øien
There is a long history of research on parents and caregivers of individuals within autism. Parents and other primary caregivers typically play the most important part in the lives of persons with ASD although the need for support as the child becomes of age varies widely. This special issue includes 30 articles on central areas related to parenting and caregiving for people with ASD. Some of the key themes include intervention and training, mental health issues related to parent and family stress, measurement and assessment, and parent-child transactional processes...
March 3, 2018: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Afaf El-Ansary, John J Cannell, Geir Bjørklund, Ramesa Shafi Bhat, Abeer M Al Dbass, Hanan A Alfawaz, Salvatore Chirumbolo, Laila Al-Ayadhi
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects about 1% of the world's population. Vitamin D is thought to be essential for normal brain development and modulation of the immune system. Worldwide about 1 billion people are affected by vitamin D deficiency. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) are biomarkers related to inflammation and oxidative stress. In the present study, these biomarkers were together with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D3 ) analyzed in 28 (mean age seven years) Saudi male patients with ASD...
March 1, 2018: Metabolic Brain Disease
Jing Li, Liqi Zhu, Zhe Chen
This study examined judgment about punishment and whether punishment promoted cooperation in the prisoner's dilemma game (PDG) in children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and typically developing (TD) children. In total, 66 6- to 12-year-olds participated in this study. Children were first asked about judgments regarding rewards and punishment in stories, and then they were asked to play the PDG with a partner in conditions with and without punishment. Results showed that children with HFA believed that hitting others should deserve punishment to a greater extent than TD children did...
February 26, 2018: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Namhee Kim, Misun Yun, Young Joon Oh, Hak-Jong Choi
It is increasingly evident that bidirectional interactions exist among the gastrointestinal tract, the enteric nervous system, and the central nervous system. Recent preclinical and clinical trials have shown that gut microbiota plays an important role in these gut-brain interactions. Furthermore, alterations in gut microbiota composition may be associated with pathogenesis of various neurological disorders, including stress, autism, depression, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, the concepts of the microbiota-gut-brain axis is emerging...
March 2018: Journal of Microbiology / the Microbiological Society of Korea
Michael J Morrier, Sonja M T Ziegler
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulties interacting with same-aged peers during unstructured play (e.g., on the playground). Thirty-five toddler and preschool children with and without ASD participated in a structured 15-min outdoor play curriculum. The intervention, the Buddy Game, used familiar songs, movement, and games to promote peer social interaction. A 2 × 3 ANOVA assessed changes in overall targeted social behaviors during baseline, the Buddy Game, and generalization to free-pay...
February 27, 2018: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
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