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Amanda V Bakian, Deborah A Bilder, E Kent Korgenski, Joshua L Bonkowsky
Premature birth is associated with increased risk of autism spectrum disorder. Antenatal maternal magnesium administration is known to reduce subsequent risk of cerebral palsy including among premature infants, suggesting a potentially broader neuroprotective role for magnesium. Our objective was to determine whether magnesium could be protective against autism spectrum disorders in premature infants. A cohort of 4855 preterm children was identified, magnesium levels from 24 to 48 hours of life recorded, and subsequent autism spectrum disorder status determined...
2018: Child Neurology Open
John S House, Michelle Mendez, Rachel L Maguire, Sarah Gonzalez-Nahm, Zhiqing Huang, Julie Daniels, Susan K Murphy, Bernard F Fuemmeler, Fred A Wright, Cathrine Hoyo
Background: Maternal diet during pregnancy has been shown to influence the child neuro-developmental outcomes. Studies examining effects of dietary patterns on offspring behavior are sparse. Objective: Determine if maternal adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with child behavioral outcomes assessed early in life, and to evaluate the role of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) regulating genomically imprinted genes in these associations. Methods: Among 325 mother/infant pairs, we used regression models to evaluate the association between tertiles of maternal periconceptional Mediterranean diet adherence (MDA) scores derived from a Food Frequency Questionnaire, and social and emotional scores derived from the Infant Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA) questionnaire in the second year of life...
2018: Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Nathan J Wilson, Hoe C Lee, Sharmila Vaz, Priscilla Vindin, Reinie Cordier
Gaining a driver's licence represents increased independence and can lead to improved quality of life for individuals and their families. Learning to drive a motor vehicle and maintaining safe on-road skills are often more difficult for people on the autism spectrum. Many countries currently have no autism-specific licencing requirements for learner drivers, and there is a general lack of ASD-specific support and training packages for individuals, their families, and driving instructors. This review synthesises the peer-reviewed literature about the driving characteristics of drivers on the spectrum and driver training available for the cohort...
2018: Behavioural Neurology
K Cooper, M E Loades, A J Russell
Background: Psychological interventions informed by cognitive behavioural theory have proven efficacy in treating mild-moderate anxiety and depression. They have been successfully adapted for autistic children and adults who experience disproportionately high rates of co-occurring emotional problems. There has been little research into the perspectives and experience of psychological therapists adapting cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as part of routine clinical practice. We surveyed therapist skills, experience and confidence in working psychologically with autistic people, in order to highlight gaps and needs, as well as strengths in terms of therapist skills when working with this group...
January 1, 2018: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Ya-Cing Syu, Ling-Yi Lin
Purpose: Sensory overresponsiveness is highly prevalent in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically persist into adulthood. However, the role of sensory processing difficulties in influencing emotional well-being among adults with ASD remains unclear. Additionally, the associations between sensory overresponsiveness, anxiety, and loneliness are yet to be examined among adults with ASD. Therefore, to address these critical gaps in the literature, we aimed to investigate the relationships among sensory avoiding, anxiety, and loneliness in a sample of adults with ASD...
2018: Occupational Therapy International
Jaime Osuna-Luque, Ángel Rodríguez-Ramos, María Del Mar Gámez-Del-Estal, Manuel Ruiz-Rubio
The neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin participate in specific behavioral neuromuscular mechanisms in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans . Dopamine is involved in the gentle touch response and serotonin in the pharyngeal pumping rate. In its genome, the worm presents genes encoding dopamine and serotonin receptors orthologous to those of human genes. Risperidone and aripiprazole are a class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics commonly used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autism...
2018: Journal of Experimental Neuroscience
Dana A Hayward, Can Fenerci, Jelena Ristic
Although individuals with an autism spectrum disorder display impaired function across several social and behavioral domains, they possess intact, and often superior visual processing abilities for local relative to global aspects of their visual environment. To address whether differences in visual processing similarly vary within typical individuals as a function of their level of social competence, using the Navon hierarchical figures task, here we examined the relationship between global-local visual processing style and the number of autism-like traits in a large sample of 434 typically developed persons...
September 21, 2018: Consciousness and Cognition
Florine Dellapiazza
Atypical sensory processing has been described in autism spectrum disorder. The goal of this systematic review is to investigate the links between sensory processing, adaptive behaviours, and attention skills in children with autism spectrum disorder. The PRISMA guidelines were followed and a search was conducted using electronic databases: Medline, PsychInfo and Eric. Among the 11 studies about sensory processing that were selected, 7 investigated the association with adaptive behaviours and 5 with attention...
September 13, 2018: Psychiatry Research
Patricia Fernández-Sotos, Elena Navarro, Iosune Torio, Mónica Dompablo, Antonio Fernández-Caballero, Roberto Rodriguez-Jimenez
Social cognition is an important research field in psychiatry due to its relevance in the functioning and quality of life of patients. The objective of this work is to conduct a systematic mapping review of pharmacological strategies for improving social cognition deficits. Publications from 2006 to 2016 were reviewed in Scopus, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Embase. From the initial 1059 publications obtained, a final number of 110 were selected. The results show an increasing interest in pharmacological approaches in different medical fields (especially psychiatry, pharmacology, and endocrinology, with schizophrenia and autism as the most studied disorders), as can be observed in the progressive increase in the number of publications, the high degree of scientific evidence, and the high impact factor of publications...
September 11, 2018: Psychiatry Research
Haylie L Miller, Priscila M Caçola, Gabriela M Sherrod, Rita M Patterson, Nicoleta L Bugnariu
BACKGROUND: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) are developmental disorders with distinct definitions and symptoms. However, both conditions share difficulties with motor skills, including impairments in postural control. While studies have explored postural sway variables in children with DCD and ASD as compared to typical development (TD), few have used kinematic data to assess the magnitude of differences between these two neurodevelopmental conditions...
September 14, 2018: Gait & Posture
Vasiliki Kentrou, Danielle Mj de Veld, Kawita Jk Mataw, Sander Begeer
Phenotypic elements of autism spectrum disorder can be masked by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms, potentially leading to a misdiagnosis or delaying an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. This study explored differences in the age of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis between participants with previously diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder versus autism spectrum disorder-only respondents. Children and adolescents, but not adults, initially diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder received an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis an average of 1...
September 24, 2018: Autism: the International Journal of Research and Practice
Patrick Jachyra, Evdokia Anagnostou, Tara Joy Knibbe, Catharine Petta, Susan Cosgrove, Lorry Chen, Lucia Capano, Lorena Moltisanti, Amy C McPherson
Children with autism spectrum disorders appear to be at a higher risk of having obesity than their typically developing peers. Although it has been recommended that healthcare providers speak to children with autism spectrum disorders about the potential health risks of unhealthy weight, no previous research has explored how healthcare providers communicate with them about this topic. The purpose of this study was to explore children's perspectives and experiences of discussing weight-related topics in healthcare consultations...
September 24, 2018: Autism: the International Journal of Research and Practice
Samantha E Schulz, Ryan A Stevenson
The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between sensory hypersensitivity and restricted interests and repetitive behaviours associated with autism spectrum disorder and their typically-developing peers. Furthermore, the aims included the examination of the relationship across sensory modalities and various types of restricted interests and repetitive behaviours. Data were collected from the parents of 114 children: 49 of whom were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and 65 typically-developing children...
September 24, 2018: Autism: the International Journal of Research and Practice
Julian Tillmann, John Swettenham
To test a central assumption of the increased perceptual capacity account in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the effects of perceptual load and target-stimulus degradation on auditory detection sensitivity were contrasted. Fourteen adolescents with ASD and 16 neurotypical controls performed a visual letter search task under three conditions: low perceptual load, high perceptual load and low perceptual load with a degraded target while simultaneously detecting an auditory tone in noise. For both participants with ASD and neurotypical controls, increasing perceptual load and target degradation increased task difficulty as indexed by reaction times and accuracy...
September 22, 2018: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Andreas Lundin, Kyriaki Kosidou, Christina Dalman
BACKGROUND: The autism-spectrum quotient scale was developed to study autism as a spectrum. Few studies have examined the psychometric properties of the 10 item AQ (AQ-10). We examine the AQ-10 measurement ability and convergent validity in a population health survey (n = 44,722). METHODS: The item severity and item discrimination was assessed using item response theory. Convergent validity was assessed by regressing on ADHD, psychological distress (PD) and having an education in the sciences...
September 22, 2018: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Philip R Jansen, Ryan L Muetzel, Tinca J C Polderman, Vincent W Jaddoe, Frank C Verhulst, Aad van der Lugt, Henning Tiemeier, Danielle Posthuma, Tonya White
BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies have identified numerous genetic variants that predispose to neuropsychiatric traits. Identification of mechanisms in the brain that underlie these associations is essential for understanding manifestations of genetic predisposition within the general population. Here, we investigated the association between polygenic scores (PGSs) for seven neuropsychiatric traits and white matter microstructure of the brain on diffusion tensor imaging in the pediatric population...
August 3, 2018: Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
Camille N Pujol, Lucie P Pellissier, Céline Clément, Jérôme A J Becker, Julie Le Merrer
The mu opioid receptor (MOR) plays a critical role in modulating social behavior in humans and animals. Accordingly, MOR null mice display severe alterations in their social repertoire as well as multiple other behavioral deficits, recapitulating core and secondary symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Such behavioral profile suggests that MOR dysfunction, and beyond this, altered reward processes may contribute to ASD etiopathology. Interestingly, the only treatments that proved efficacy in relieving core symptoms of ASD, early behavioral intervention programs, rely principally on positive reinforcement to ameliorate behavior...
September 21, 2018: Translational Psychiatry
Hourinaz Behesti, Taylor R Fore, Peter Wu, Zachi Horn, Mary Leppert, Court Hull, Mary E Hatten
Surface protein dynamics dictate synaptic connectivity and function in neuronal circuits. ASTN2 , a gene disrupted by copy number variations (CNVs) in neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum, was previously shown to regulate the surface expression of ASTN1 in glial-guided neuronal migration. Here, we demonstrate that ASTN2 binds to and regulates the surface expression of multiple synaptic proteins in postmigratory neurons by endocytosis, resulting in modulation of synaptic activity. In cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs), by immunogold electron microscopy, ASTN2 localizes primarily to endocytic and autophagocytic vesicles in the cell soma and in subsets of dendritic spines...
September 21, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Jingqi Yan, Morgan W Porch, Brenda Court-Vazquez, Michael V L Bennett, R Suzanne Zukin
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent form of heritable intellectual disability and autism. Fragile X ( Fmr1 -KO) mice exhibit aberrant dendritic spine structure, synaptic plasticity, and cognition. Autophagy is a catabolic process of programmed degradation and recycling of proteins and cellular components via the lysosomal pathway. However, a role for autophagy in the pathophysiology of FXS is, as yet, unclear. Here we show that autophagic flux, a functional readout of autophagy, and biochemical markers of autophagy are down-regulated in hippocampal neurons of fragile X mice...
September 21, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Jonathan Green, Catherine Aldred, Tony Charman, Ann Le Couteur, Richard A Emsley, Victoria Grahame, Patricia Howlin, Neil Humphrey, Kathy Leadbitter, Helen McConachie, Jeremy R Parr, Andrew Pickles, Vicky Slonims, Carol Taylor
BACKGROUND: Prior evidence shows that behaviours closely related to the intervention delivered for autism are amenable to change, but it is more difficult to generalise treatment effects beyond the intervention context. We test an early autism intervention designed to promote generalisation of therapy-acquired skills into home and school contexts to improve adaptive function and reduce symptoms. A detailed mechanism study will address the process of such generalisation. Objective 1 will be to test if the PACT-G intervention improves autism symptom outcome in the home and school context of the intervention as well as in the primary outcome research setting...
September 21, 2018: Trials
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