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Autism, adult

Nathanael J Yates, Dijana Tesic, Kirk W Feindel, Jeremy T Smith, Michael W Clarke, Celeste Wale, Rachael C Crew, Michaela D Wharfe, Andrew J O Whitehouse, Caitlin S Wyrwoll
Early life vitamin D plays a prominent role in neurodevelopment and subsequent brain function, including schizophrenic-like outcomes and increasing evidence for an association with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we investigate how early life vitamin D deficiency during rat pregnancy and lactation alters maternal care and influences neurodevelopment and affective, cognitive and social behaviours in male adult offspring. Sprague-Dawley rats were placed on either a vitamin D control (2195 IU/kg) or deficient diet (0 IU/kg) for five weeks before timed mating, and diet exposure was maintained until weaning of offspring on postnatal day (PND) 23...
May 2018: Journal of Endocrinology
Louise Ewing, Elizabeth Pellicano, Harriet King, Laura Lennuyeux-Comnene, Emily K Farran, Annette Karmiloff-Smith, Marie L Smith
Unusual patterns of fixation behavior in individuals with autism spectrum disorder during face tasks hint at atypical processing strategies that could contribute to diminished face expertise in this group. Here, we use the Bubbles reverse correlation technique to directly examine face-processing strategies during identity judgments in children with and without autism, and typical adults. Results support a qualitative atypicality in autistic face processing. We identify clear differences not only in the specific features relied upon for face judgments, but also more generally in the extent to which they demonstrate a flexible and adaptive profile of information use...
March 20, 2018: Developmental Neuropsychology
Sarah F Pollack, Olivia R Grocott, Kimberly A Parkin, Anna M Larson, Ronald L Thibert
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurogenetic imprinting disorder caused by loss of the maternally inherited Ube3a gene and is characterized by generalized epilepsy, limited expressive speech, sleep dysfunction, and movement disorders. Myoclonic seizures are often the first seizure type to appear, and myoclonic status, associated with developmental regression, may occur in the first few years of life. Additionally, there have been rare reports of prolonged episodes of myoclonus without electrographic correlate in adults with AS...
March 16, 2018: Epilepsy & Behavior: E&B
S Barlati, G Deste, M Gregorelli, A Vita
BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are currently conceptualized as distinct disorders. However, the relationship between these two disorders has been revisited in recent years due to evidence that they share phenotypic and genotypic expressions. This study aimed to identify ASD traits in patients with schizophrenia, and to define their demographic, psychopathological, cognitive and functional correlates. METHOD: Seventy-five schizophrenia patients (20 females, mean age 42 ± 12) were evaluated with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R)...
March 20, 2018: Psychological Medicine
Dorit Kliemann, Hilary Richardson, Stefano Anzellotti, Dima Ayyash, Amanda J Haskins, John D E Gabrieli, Rebecca R Saxe
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) report difficulties extracting meaningful information from dynamic and complex social cues, like facial expressions. The nature and mechanisms of these difficulties remain unclear. Here we tested whether that difficulty can be traced to the pattern of activity in "social brain" regions, when viewing dynamic facial expressions. In two studies, adult participants (male and female) watched brief videos of a range of positive and negative facial expressions, while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (Study 1: ASD n = 16, control n = 21; Study 2: ASD n = 22, control n = 30)...
February 21, 2018: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Jin Hwan Lee, James Ya Zhang, Zheng Zachory Wei, Shan Ping Yu
The N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of neurological diseases, such as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD), whose unique clinical hallmark is a constellation of impaired social and/or cognitive behaviors. GluN3A (NR3A) is a unique inhibitory subunit in the NMDAR complex. The role of GluN3A in social behavioral activities is obscure. In this study, we sought to evaluate altered social activities in adult GluN3A knockout (KO) mice...
March 16, 2018: Experimental Neurology
Giovanni Iacono, Aline Dubos, Hamid Méziane, Marco Benevento, Ehsan Habibi, Amit Mandoli, Fabrice Riet, Mohammed Selloum, Robert Feil, Huiqing Zhou, Tjitske Kleefstra, Nael Nadif Kasri, Hans van Bokhoven, Yann Herault, Hendrik G Stunnenberg
Kleefstra syndrome, a disease with intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders and other developmental defects is caused in humans by haploinsufficiency of EHMT1. Although EHMT1 and its paralog EHMT2 were shown to be histone methyltransferases responsible for deposition of the di-methylated H3K9 (H3K9me2), the exact nature of epigenetic dysfunctions in Kleefstra syndrome remains unknown. Here, we found that the epigenome of Ehmt1+/- adult mouse brain displays a marked increase of H3K9me2/3 which correlates with impaired expression of protocadherins, master regulators of neuronal diversity...
March 15, 2018: Nucleic Acids Research
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
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