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Autism AND abuse

Lisa Dinkler, Sebastian Lundström, Ruchika Gajwani, Paul Lichtenstein, Christopher Gillberg, Helen Minnis
BACKGROUND: Childhood maltreatment (CM) is strongly associated with psychiatric disorders in childhood and adulthood. Previous findings suggest that the association between CM and psychiatric disorders is partly causal and partly due to familial confounding, but few studies have investigated the mechanisms behind the association between CM and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). Our objective was to determine whether maltreated children have an elevated number of NDDs and whether CM is a risk factor for an increased NDD 'load' and increased NDD symptoms when controlling for familial effects...
January 17, 2017: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines
Glenda E Gillies, Kanwar Virdee, Ilse Pienaar, Felwah Al-Zaid, Jeffrey W Dalley
Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) released from the fetal/maternal glands during late gestation are required for normal development of mammalian organs and tissues. Accordingly, synthetic glucocorticoids have proven to be invaluable in perinatal medicine where they are widely used to accelerate fetal lung maturation when there is risk of pre-term birth and to promote infant survival. However, clinical and pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that inappropriate exposure of the developing brain to elevated levels of GCs, either as a result of clinical over-use or after stress-induced activation of the fetal/maternal adrenal cortex, is linked with significant effects on brain structure, neurological function and behaviour in later life...
December 30, 2016: Brain Sciences
Barbara A Sorg, Sabina Berretta, Jordan M Blacktop, James W Fawcett, Hiroshi Kitagawa, Jessica C F Kwok, Marta Miquel
Perineuronal nets (PNNs) are unique extracellular matrix structures that wrap around certain neurons in the CNS during development and control plasticity in the adult CNS. They appear to contribute to a wide range of diseases/disorders of the brain, are involved in recovery from spinal cord injury, and are altered during aging, learning and memory, and after exposure to drugs of abuse. Here the focus is on how a major component of PNNs, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, control plasticity, and on the role of PNNs in memory in normal aging, in a tauopathy model of Alzheimer's disease, and in drug addiction...
November 9, 2016: Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
V V Giridharan, R A Thandavarayan, G R Fries, C Walss-Bass, T Barichello, N J Justice, M K Reddy, J Quevedo
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder occurring in about 2-9% of individuals after their exposure to life-threatening events, such as severe accidents, sexual abuse, combat or a natural catastrophe. Because PTSD patients are exposed to trauma, it is likely that epigenetic modifications have an important role in disease development and prognosis. For the past two decades, abnormal expression of the epigenetic regulators microRNAs (miRs) and miR-mediated gene regulation have been given importance in a variety of human diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and viral infection...
November 15, 2016: Translational Psychiatry
Espen Ajo Arnevik, Sissel Berge Helverschou
OBJECTIVE: Patients with co-occurring autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and substance use disorder (SUD) require special attention from clinical services. Screening for this co-occurrence is not generally an integral part of routine clinical assessments, and failure to identify and understand this group of patients may contribute to a worsening of their symptoms and/or an increase in drug abuse. Thus, there is a need to review the evidence base on patients with co-occurring ASD and SUD in order to enhance clinical practice and future research...
2016: Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment
Sarah Bargiela, Robyn Steward, William Mandy
We used Framework Analysis to investigate the female autism phenotype and its impact upon the under-recognition of autism spectrum conditions (ASC) in girls and women. Fourteen women with ASC (aged 22-30 years) diagnosed in late adolescence or adulthood gave in-depth accounts of: 'pretending to be normal'; of how their gender led various professionals to miss their ASC; and of conflicts between ASC and a traditional feminine identity. Experiences of sexual abuse were widespread in this sample, partially reflecting specific vulnerabilities from being a female with undiagnosed ASC...
October 2016: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Hermann A M Mucke
Among the psychedelic drugs that enjoyed a period of popularity in psychiatric research during the 1950s and 1960s, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is the most prominent one. Psychiatrists of that time had seen LSD not only as a tool for psychotherapy but also as a potential therapeutic for anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, autism, and even schizophrenia. When it became a quasi-religious epitome of the Hippie counterculture in the mid 1960s, and cases of what we now call hallucinogen persisting perception disorder and acute psychotic "flashbacks" mounted, authorities moved to make LSD illegal...
July 8, 2016: Assay and Drug Development Technologies
Jung-Min Kim, Tae-Hoon Eom
Several radiographic mimics of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) have been reported. The pseudosubarachnoid sign may be seen in patients with marked hypoxic-ischemic injury. Our case was a 12-year-old boy with a known history of autism spectrum disorder. He was submersed in water for 20 minutes, after diving into a river, and brought to our emergency department where resuscitation was performed. He achieved a return of spontaneous circulation 45 minutes after the accident but was in a coma. Brain computed tomography showed severe brain edema and loss of sulci with increased attenuation of the basal cisterns that was compatible with SAH, but was later revealed as the pseudosubarachnoid sign...
May 12, 2016: Pediatric Emergency Care
S Stringer, C C Minică, K J H Verweij, H Mbarek, M Bernard, J Derringer, K R van Eijk, J D Isen, A Loukola, D F Maciejewski, E Mihailov, P J van der Most, C Sánchez-Mora, L Roos, R Sherva, R Walters, J J Ware, A Abdellaoui, T B Bigdeli, S J T Branje, S A Brown, M Bruinenberg, M Casas, T Esko, I Garcia-Martinez, S D Gordon, J M Harris, C A Hartman, A K Henders, A C Heath, I B Hickie, M Hickman, C J Hopfer, J J Hottenga, A C Huizink, D E Irons, R S Kahn, T Korhonen, H R Kranzler, K Krauter, P A C van Lier, G H Lubke, P A F Madden, R Mägi, M K McGue, S E Medland, W H J Meeus, M B Miller, G W Montgomery, M G Nivard, I M Nolte, A J Oldehinkel, Z Pausova, B Qaiser, L Quaye, J A Ramos-Quiroga, V Richarte, R J Rose, J Shin, M C Stallings, A I Stiby, T L Wall, M J Wright, H M Koot, T Paus, J K Hewitt, M Ribasés, J Kaprio, M P Boks, H Snieder, T Spector, M R Munafò, A Metspalu, J Gelernter, D I Boomsma, W G Iacono, N G Martin, N A Gillespie, E M Derks, J M Vink
Cannabis is the most widely produced and consumed illicit psychoactive substance worldwide. Occasional cannabis use can progress to frequent use, abuse and dependence with all known adverse physical, psychological and social consequences. Individual differences in cannabis initiation are heritable (40-48%). The International Cannabis Consortium was established with the aim to identify genetic risk variants of cannabis use. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association data of 13 cohorts (N=32 330) and four replication samples (N=5627)...
March 29, 2016: Translational Psychiatry
Keith Fluegge
OBJECTIVE: In their meta-analysis, Adeyemo et al. reported a strong association between mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and ADHD. However, less is understood about why such an association exists. METHOD: This commentary focuses on the underlying etiologies of both conditions to reveal potential toxic synergisms that could explain this association. RESULTS: Alcohol and substance abuse are recognized comorbidities in both conditions. The author of this commentary has recently been the first to propose that chronic exposure to nitrous oxide (N2O), an increasing environmental air pollutant and greenhouse gas, may contribute to the cognitive impairment seen in conditions such as ADHD and autism...
March 8, 2016: Journal of Attention Disorders
F E Mohamed, E A Zaky, A Youssef, R Elhossiny, S Zahra, R Khalaf, W Youssef, A Wafiq, R Ibrahim, R Abd-Elhakim, A Obada, W S Eldin
BACKGROUND: Although there is a recommendation that toddlers be screened for Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during their 18- and 24-month well-care child visits, diagnosis often occurs well after the child turns 4 years old. Such delayed diagnosis hinders the implementation of early intervention thus worsens the long-term prognosis of ASD. OBJECTIVE: The current community-based study in its stage I aimed at early screening of Egyptian toddlers for ASD using an Arabic validated version of Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)...
April 2016: European Psychiatry: the Journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists
Ashley E Nordsletten, Henrik Larsson, James J Crowley, Catarina Almqvist, Paul Lichtenstein, David Mataix-Cols
IMPORTANCE: Psychiatric disorders are heritable, polygenic traits, which often share risk alleles and for which nonrandom mating has been suggested. However, despite the potential etiological implications, the scale of nonrandom mating within and across major psychiatric conditions remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: To quantify the nature and extent of nonrandom mating within and across a broad range of psychiatric conditions at the population level. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Population-based cohort using Swedish population registers...
April 2016: JAMA Psychiatry
Cæcilie Ottosen, Liselotte Petersen, Janne Tidselbak Larsen, Søren Dalsgaard
OBJECTIVE: To examine gender differences in the association between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use disorder (SUD), and to explore the impact of comorbid psychiatric conditions. METHOD: This was a cohort study of all children born in Denmark in 1990 to 2003 (n = 729,560). By record linkage across nationwide registers, we merged data on birth characteristics, socioeconomic status, familial psychiatric history, and diagnoses of ADHD (N = 19,645), comorbidities, and SUD...
March 2016: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
J Dewinter, R Vermeiren, I Vanwesenbeeck, Ch Van Nieuwenhuizen
Systematic research on sexual development in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remains scant, notwithstanding the often-suggested relation between ASD, atypical, and even sexually offensive behaviours. This study compared follow-up data related to lifetime sexual experience (LTSE) in a homogeneous group of adolescent boys with ASD (n = 30), aged 16-20, with a matched group of boys in the general population (n = 60). Most boys in the ASD and control groups reported masturbation and having experienced an orgasm...
September 2016: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Mark T Palermo, Stefan Bogaerts
Predictability of dangerousness in association with mental disorders remains elusive, outside of a few relatively well-established risk factors for the prognostication of violence, such as male sex, the presence of a psychotic disorder, and comorbid substance abuse. In clinical practice, inquiry into the presence of aggressive or violent ideation, in the form of ideas of homicide or suicide, is part of a standard mental status examination. Nonetheless, fantasy life, when it concerns harm toward others, may not be as reliable an indicator of imminent danger as it may be in the case of self-harm...
October 28, 2015: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
O Rivero, M M Selten, S Sich, S Popp, L Bacmeister, E Amendola, M Negwer, D Schubert, F Proft, D Kiser, A G Schmitt, C Gross, S M Kolk, T Strekalova, D van den Hove, T J Resink, N Nadif Kasri, K P Lesch
Cadherin-13 (CDH13), a unique glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored member of the cadherin family of cell adhesion molecules, has been identified as a risk gene for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and various comorbid neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions, including depression, substance abuse, autism spectrum disorder and violent behavior, while the mechanism whereby CDH13 dysfunction influences pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders remains elusive. Here we explored the potential role of CDH13 in the inhibitory modulation of brain activity by investigating synaptic function of GABAergic interneurons...
2015: Translational Psychiatry
Ángel Romero-Martínez, Luís Moya-Albiol, Anna A E Vinkhuyzen, Tinca J C Polderman
Autistic traits are characterized by social and communication problems, restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities. The relation between autistic traits and personality characteristics is largely unknown. This study focused on the relation between five specific autistic traits measured with the abridged version of the Autism Spectrum Quotient ("social problems," "preference for routine," "attentional switching difficulties," "imagination impairments," "fascination for numbers and patterns") and Experience Seeking (ES) in a general population sample of adults, and subsequently investigated the genetic and environmental etiology between these traits...
December 2016: American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Joseph K Gona, Charles R Newton, Kenneth Rimba, Rachel Mapenzi, Michael Kihara, Fons J R Van de Vijver, Amina Abubakar
OBJECTIVE: To explore parents' and professionals' perceived causes and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) on the Kenyan Coast. METHODS: In-depth interviews and focus group discussions using guiding questions were utilized in data collection. One hundred and three participants, who included parents of children with ASD, special needs teachers, clinicians, and social workers from diverse cultural background, participated in this study. The interviews and focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim and then translated to English...
2015: PloS One
Ingrid R Olson, Rebecca J Von Der Heide, Kylie H Alm, Govinda Vyas
The uncinate fasciculus (UF) is a long-range white matter tract that connects limbic regions in the temporal lobe to the frontal lobe. The UF is one of the latest developing tracts, and continues maturing into the third decade of life. As such, individual differences in the maturational profile of the UF may serve to explain differences in behavior. Indeed, atypical macrostructure and microstructure of the UF have been reported in numerous studies of individuals with developmental and psychiatric disorders such as social deprivation and maltreatment, autism spectrum disorders, conduct disorder, risk taking, and substance abuse...
August 2015: Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Miyako Kimura, Yoshihiko Yamazaki
BACKGROUND: Although sense of coherence (SOC) moderates parental stress, the relationship between SOC, parental mental health and physical punishment of children with intellectual disabilities remains uncertain. The present authors describe parental physical punishment towards children with intellectual disabilities and investigate its related demographic characteristics, SOC and parental mental health. MATERIALS AND METHODS: With the cooperation of Tokyo's 10 special needs schools, the present authors obtained 648 questionnaire responses from parents of children with intellectual disabilities...
September 2016: Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities: JARID
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