0 comments on “Early childhood antibiotics use and autism spectrum disorders: a population-based cohort study.”

Early childhood antibiotics use and autism spectrum disorders: a population-based cohort study.

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Early childhood antibiotics use and autism spectrum disorders: a population-based cohort study.

Int J Epidemiol. 2018 Aug 07;:

Authors: Hamad AF, Alessi-Severini S, Mahmud SM, Brownell M, Kuo IF

Abstract
Background: Changes in microbiota composition as a result of antibiotics use in early life has been proposed as a possible contributor in the aetiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We aimed to examine the association between early life antibiotic exposure and risk of ASD.
Methods: This was a population-based cohort study which included all live births in Manitoba, Canada, between 1 April 1998 and 31 March 2016. We used administrative health data from the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository. Exposure was defined as having filled one or more antibiotic prescription during the first year of life. The main outcome was ASD diagnosis. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the risk of developing ASD in the overall population and in a sibling cohort.
Results: Of all subjects in the cohort (n = 214 834), 94 024 (43.8%) filled an antibiotic prescription during the first year of life. During follow-up, 2965 children received an ASD diagnosis. Compared with children who did not use antibiotics during the first year of life, those who received antibiotics had a reduced risk of ASD [adjusted hazardz ratio (HR) 0.91, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.84-0.99). Number of treatment courses and cumulative duration of antibiotic exposure were not associated with ASD. In the sibling-controlled analysis, early life antibiotic exposure was not associated with ASD (adjusted HR 1.03, 95% CI 0.86-1.23).
Conclusions: Our findings suggested no clinically significant association between early life antibiotics exposure and risk of autism spectrum disorders, and should provide reassurance to concerned prescribers and parents.

PMID: 30101312 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Assessing Autism Spectrum Disorder in People with Sensory Impairments Combined with Intellectual Disabilities.”

Assessing Autism Spectrum Disorder in People with Sensory Impairments Combined with Intellectual Disabilities.

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Assessing Autism Spectrum Disorder in People with Sensory Impairments Combined with Intellectual Disabilities.

J Dev Phys Disabil. 2018;30(4):471-487

Authors: de Vaan G, Vervloed MPJ, Peters-Scheffer NC, van Gent T, Knoors H, Verhoeven L

Abstract
People with sensory impairments combined with intellectual disabilities show behaviours that are similar to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The instrument Observation of Autism in people with Sensory and Intellectual Disabilities (OASID) was developed to diagnose ASD in this target group. The current study focuses on the psychometric properties of OASID. Sixty individuals with intellectual disabilities in combination with visual impairments and/or deafblindness participated in this study. The OASID assessment was administered and rated by three independent observers. By means of expert consensus cut-off scores for OASID were created. To determine the concurrent validity OASID was compared with the Pervasive Developmental Disorder for People with Mental Retardation (PDD-MRS) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale second edition (CARS-2). The intra-rater reliability, the inter-rater reliability, internal consistency and concurrent validity of OASID were good to excellent. Cut-off scores were established based on criteria from the DSM-5. OASID was able to differentiate between four severity levels of ASD.

PMID: 30100694 [PubMed]

0 comments on “Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Impact of Stressful and Traumatic Life Events and Implications for Clinical Practice.”

Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Impact of Stressful and Traumatic Life Events and Implications for Clinical Practice.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Impact of Stressful and Traumatic Life Events and Implications for Clinical Practice.

Clin Soc Work J. 2018;46(3):210-219

Authors: Fuld S

Abstract
Research findings suggest that behavioral interventions are effective in improving educational outcomes and fostering skill development in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, high rates of comorbidity between ASD and other psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety, indicate that standard behavioral approaches are not adequately addressing issues related to mental health in this population. Research emerging since the publication of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is advancing our understanding of the nature of childhood stress and trauma in people with ASD and its subsequent impact on mental health and wellbeing. Mounting evidence for stress and trauma as a risk factor for comorbidity and the worsening of core ASD symptoms may intimate a shift in the way clinical social workers and other clinical practitioners conceptualize and approach work with this population to include trauma-focused assessment strategies and clinical interventions. Future directions for research to better understand the nature of childhood stress and trauma and improve mental health in this population are also discussed.

PMID: 30100640 [PubMed]

0 comments on “Emotion-Focused Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Conceptualization Model for Trauma-Related Experiences.”

Emotion-Focused Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Conceptualization Model for Trauma-Related Experiences.

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Emotion-Focused Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Conceptualization Model for Trauma-Related Experiences.

J Contemp Psychother. 2018;48(3):133-143

Authors: Robinson A

Abstract
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) report painful experiences through emotional misunderstandings with typically developing peers. There are limited intervention methodologies for ASD on the impact of emotional injuries and how to work with resulting trauma. This paper presents a rational-empirical model of trauma-related experiences with the first presentation of a new case conceptualization model for emotion-focused therapy for ASD. It describes the transformation of problematic emotion schemes through a sequence of emotional processing steps illustrated with a case example. These steps include: overcoming differentiation of core painful feelings (such as loneliness, shame, and fear); autobiographical memory recall of distanced trauma, using a novel method of video Interpersonal Process Recall; and articulation of the unmet needs contained in core painful feelings. This is followed by the expression of an emotional response to those feelings/needs; typically, self-soothing, protective anger and compassion responses offered interpersonally by group members. These emerging adaptive emotions facilitate mentalization of self and other that strengthens intrapersonal and interpersonal agency. This rational-empirical case conceptualization acts as a hypothesis for testing in subsequent trials.

PMID: 30100621 [PubMed]

0 comments on “Heparan Sulfate Organizes Neuronal Synapses through Neurexin Partnerships.”

Heparan Sulfate Organizes Neuronal Synapses through Neurexin Partnerships.

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Heparan Sulfate Organizes Neuronal Synapses through Neurexin Partnerships.

Cell. 2018 Aug 02;:

Authors: Zhang P, Lu H, Peixoto RT, Pines MK, Ge Y, Oku S, Siddiqui TJ, Xie Y, Wu W, Archer-Hartmann S, Yoshida K, Tanaka KF, Aricescu AR, Azadi P, Gordon MD, Sabatini BL, Wong ROL, Craig AM

Abstract
Synapses are fundamental units of communication in the brain. The prototypical synapse-organizing complex neurexin-neuroligin mediates synapse development and function and is central to a shared genetic risk pathway in autism and schizophrenia. Neurexin’s role in synapse development is thought to be mediated purely by its protein domains, but we reveal a requirement for a rare glycan modification. Mice lacking heparan sulfate (HS) on neurexin-1 show reduced survival, as well as structural and functional deficits at central synapses. HS directly binds postsynaptic partners neuroligins and LRRTMs, revealing a dual binding mode involving intrinsic glycan and protein domains for canonical synapse-organizing complexes. Neurexin HS chains also bind novel ligands, potentially expanding the neurexin interactome to hundreds of HS-binding proteins. Because HS structure is heterogeneous, our findings indicate an additional dimension to neurexin diversity, provide a molecular basis for fine-tuning synaptic function, and open therapeutic directions targeting glycan-binding motifs critical for brain development.

PMID: 30100184 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “A Comparison Between Two Screening Approaches for ASD Among Toddlers in Israel.”

A Comparison Between Two Screening Approaches for ASD Among Toddlers in Israel.

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A Comparison Between Two Screening Approaches for ASD Among Toddlers in Israel.

J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Aug 11;:

Authors: Kerub O, Haas EJ, Meiri G, Davidovitch N, Menashe I

Abstract
Systematic screening of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can improve early diagnosis of ASD. We compared the efficacy of two ASD screening methods, the Global Developmental Screening (GDS), and the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-Revised, with Follow-Up (M-CHAT/F) in 1591 toddlers of ages 18-36 months from 35 government-funded clinics in south Israel. The M-CHAT/F performed better than the GDS in detecting toddlers with ASD (sensitivity: 70.0% vs. 50.0%, and specificity: 98.2% vs. 96.6% respectively). Both methods had an equivalent performance in detecting other forms of developmental delays (sensitivity = 63%; and specificity ~ 98%). In addition, remarkable inter-nurse variation was observed in the GDS referral decisions. Thus, employment of the M-CHAT/F in the Israeli health system may improve early detection of ASD among toddlers.

PMID: 30099656 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Making Sense of… the Microbiome in Psychiatry.”

Making Sense of… the Microbiome in Psychiatry.

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Making Sense of… the Microbiome in Psychiatry.

Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2018 Aug 07;:

Authors: Bastiaanssen TFS, Cowan CSM, Claesson MJ, Dinan TG, Cryan JF

Abstract
Microorganisms can be found almost anywhere, including in and on the human body. The collection of microorganisms associated with a certain location is called a microbiota with its collective genetic material referred to as the microbiome. The largest population of microorganisms on the human body resides in the gastrointestinal tract thus it is not surprising that most investigated human microbiome is the human gut microbiome. On average, the gut hosts microbes from more than 60 genera and contains more cells than the human body. The human gut microbiome has been shown to influence many aspects of host health including more recently the brain.Several modes of interaction between the gut and the brain have been discovered, including via the synthesis of metabolites and neurotransmitters, activation of the vagus nerve and activation of the immune system. A growing body of work is implicating the microbiome in a variety of psychological processes and neuropsychiatric disorders. These include mood and anxiety disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia, and even neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Moreover, it is probable that most psychotropic medications have an impact on the microbiome.Here, an overview will be provided for the bidirectional role of the microbiome in brain health, age-associated cognitive decline, neurological and psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, a primer on the common microbiological and bioinformatics techniques used to interrogate the microbiome will be provided. This review is meant to equip the reader with a primer to this exciting research area which is permeating all areas of biological psychiatry research.

PMID: 30099552 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Live Birth Bias and Observed Associations between Air Pollution and Autism.”

Live Birth Bias and Observed Associations between Air Pollution and Autism.

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Live Birth Bias and Observed Associations between Air Pollution and Autism.

Am J Epidemiol. 2018 Aug 07;:

Authors: Raz R, Kioumourtzoglou MA, Weisskopf MG

Abstract
A recent analysis found that exposure to air pollution in specific pregnancy weeks is negatively associated with risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when mutually adjusted for postnatal air pollution exposure. In this commentary, we describe two possible selection bias processes that may lead to such results, both related to live birth bias, i.e. the inevitable restriction of the analyzed sample to live births. The first mechanism is described using a directed acyclic graph and relates to the chance of live birth being a common consequence of both exposure to air pollution and another risk factor of ASD. The second mechanism involves preferential depletion of fetuses susceptible to ASD in the higher air pollution exposure group. We further discuss the assumptions underlying these processes and their causal structures, their plausibility, and other studies where similar phenomenon may have occurred.

PMID: 30099488 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Comparing fully automated state-of-the-art cerebellum parcellation from magnetic resonance images.”

Comparing fully automated state-of-the-art cerebellum parcellation from magnetic resonance images.

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Comparing fully automated state-of-the-art cerebellum parcellation from magnetic resonance images.

Neuroimage. 2018 Aug 09;:

Authors: Carass A, Cuzzocreo JL, Han S, Hernandez-Castillo CR, Rasser PE, Ganz M, Beliveau V, Dolz J, Ben Ayed I, Desrosiers C, Thyreau B, Romero JE, Coupé P, Manjón JV, Fonov VS, Collins DL, Ying SH, Onyike CU, Crocetti D, Landman BA, Mostofsky SH, Thompson PM, Prince JL

Abstract
The human cerebellum plays an essential role in motor control, is involved in cognitive function (i.e., attention, working memory, and language), and helps to regulate emotional responses. Quantitative in-vivo assessment of the cerebellum is important in the study of several neurological diseases including cerebellar ataxia, autism, and schizophrenia. Different structural subdivisions of the cerebellum have been shown to correlate with differing pathologies. To further understand these pathologies, it is helpful to automatically parcellate the cerebellum at the highest fidelity possible. In this paper, we coordinated with colleagues around the world to evaluate automated cerebellum parcellation algorithms on two clinical cohorts showing that the cerebellum can be parcellated to a high accuracy by newer methods. We characterize these various methods at four hierarchical levels: coarse (i.e., whole cerebellum and gross structures), lobe, subdivisions of the vermis, and the lobules. Due to the number of labels, the hierarchy of labels, the number of algorithms, and the two cohorts, we have restricted our analyses to the Dice measure of overlap. Under these conditions, machine learning based methods provide a collection of strategies that are efficient and deliver parcellations of a high standard across both cohorts, surpassing previous work in the area. In conjunction with the rank-sum computation, we identified an overall winning method.

PMID: 30099076 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Profiling of orthosteric and allosteric group-III metabotropic glutamate receptor ligands on various G protein-coupled receptors with Tag-lite® assays.”

Profiling of orthosteric and allosteric group-III metabotropic glutamate receptor ligands on various G protein-coupled receptors with Tag-lite® assays.

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Profiling of orthosteric and allosteric group-III metabotropic glutamate receptor ligands on various G protein-coupled receptors with Tag-lite® assays.

Neuropharmacology. 2018 Aug 09;:

Authors: Belhocine A, Veglianese P, Hounsou C, Dupuis E, Acher F, Durroux T, Goudet C, Pin JP

Abstract
Group-III metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors are important synaptic regulators and are potential druggable targets for Parkinson disease, autism and pain. Potential drugs include orthosteric agonists in the glutamate binding extracellular domain and positive allosteric modulators interacting with seven-pass transmembrane domains. Orthosteric agonists are rarely completely specific for an individual group-III mGlu subtype. Furthermore they often fail to pass the blood-brain barrier and they constitutively activate their target receptor. These properties limit the potential therapeutic use of orthosteric agonists. Allosteric modulators are more specific and maintain the biological activity of the targeted receptor. However, they bind in a hydrophobic pocket and this limits their bio-availability and increases possible off-target action. It is therefore important to characterize the action of potential drug targets with a multifaceted and deeply informative assay. Here we aimed at multifaceted deep profiling of the effect of seven different agonists, and seven positive allosteric modulators on 34 different G protein-coupled receptors by a Tag-lite® assay. Our results did not reveal off-target activity of mGlu orthosteric agonists. However, five allosteric modulators had either positive or negative effects on non-cognate G protein-coupled receptors. In conclusion, we demonstrate the power of the Tag-lite® assay for potential drug ligand profiling on G protein-coupled receptors and its potential to identify positive allosteric compounds.

PMID: 30099051 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Therapeutic Applications of Invasive Neuromodulation in Children and Adolescents.”

Therapeutic Applications of Invasive Neuromodulation in Children and Adolescents.

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Therapeutic Applications of Invasive Neuromodulation in Children and Adolescents.

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2018 Sep;41(3):479-483

Authors: Doruk Camsari D, Kirkovski M, Croarkin PE

Abstract
Although the application of noninvasive brain stimulation methods to children and adolescents has been frequently studied in depression, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other neuropsychiatric disorders, invasive methods such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) and vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) have received less attention. DBS and VNS have demonstrated utility in young patients especially for dystonia and epilepsy. VNS has FDA clearance for intractable epilepsy in patients aged 4 years and older. Further measured work with invasive neuromodulation for children and adolescents with debilitating neuropsychiatric disorders could provide new treatment options and expand current knowledge base of neurocircuitry across development.

PMID: 30098659 [PubMed – in process]

0 comments on “Therapeutic Applications of Noninvasive Neuromodulation in Children and Adolescents.”

Therapeutic Applications of Noninvasive Neuromodulation in Children and Adolescents.

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Therapeutic Applications of Noninvasive Neuromodulation in Children and Adolescents.

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2018 Sep;41(3):465-477

Authors: Doruk Camsari D, Kirkovski M, Croarkin PE

Abstract
Recent advances and growing evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of noninvasive neuromodulatory techniques in adults have facilitated the study of neuromodulation applications in children and adolescents. Noninvasive brain stimulation methods such as transcranial direct current stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation have been considered in children with depression, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other neuropsychiatric disorders. However, current clinical applications of neuromodulation techniques in children and adolescents are nascent. There is a great need for developmentally informed, large, double-blinded, randomized, controlled clinical trials to demonstrate efficacy and safety of noninvasive brain stimulation in children and adolescents.

PMID: 30098658 [PubMed – in process]

0 comments on “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the Wake of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Anxiety and the Internet.”

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the Wake of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Anxiety and the Internet.

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the Wake of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Anxiety and the Internet.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2017 Apr 06;19(2):

Authors: Inoue K, Inoue K, Kato S

PMID: 28387483 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

0 comments on “Oxytocin improves animal behaviors and ameliorates oxidative stress and inflammation in autistic mice.”

Oxytocin improves animal behaviors and ameliorates oxidative stress and inflammation in autistic mice.

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Oxytocin improves animal behaviors and ameliorates oxidative stress and inflammation in autistic mice.

Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Aug 07;107:262-269

Authors: Wang Y, Zhao S, Liu X, Zheng Y, Li L, Meng S

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder which significantly impacts the quality of people’s life. Oxytocin is a hormone impacting the social cognition and interpersonal trust. In this study, we aimed to explore the role of oxytocin in autism.
METHODS: Autistic mice models were established by valproate. Animal behaviors were assessed by open field test, tail suspension test, marble burying test and three-chamber social interaction test. Oxidative stress was evaluated by the levels or activities of malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase, glutathion peroxidase, reduced glutathione and reactive oxygen species. Inflammation was assessed by the levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β and interleukin-6. The number of activated microglia was detected by immunofluorescence with an Iba-1 antibody.
RESULTS: Our results showed that oxytocin improved the behaviors of autistic mice, with less anxiety, depression and repetitive behavior, and ameliorated social interaction. Further study showed that the elevated oxidative stress and inflammation in autistic mice were alleviated after treatment of oxytocin.
CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that oxytocin treatment ameliorates autism in a mouse model, maybe through its modulation on oxidative stress and inflammation. It is indicated that oxytocin may beneficial to autism.

PMID: 30098544 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Prediction of postnatal developmental disabilities using the antenatal fetal neurodevelopmental test: KANET assessment.”

Prediction of postnatal developmental disabilities using the antenatal fetal neurodevelopmental test: KANET assessment.

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Prediction of postnatal developmental disabilities using the antenatal fetal neurodevelopmental test: KANET assessment.

J Perinat Med. 2018 Aug 11;:

Authors: Hata T, Kanenishi K, Mori N, AboEllail MAM, Hanaoka U, Koyano K, Kato I, Kusaka T

Abstract
Objective To assess the usefulness of the antenatal fetal neurodevelopmental test for the prediction of postnatal developmental disabilities. Methods Fetal behavior was assessed with Kurjak’s antenatal neurodevelopmental test (KANET) using four-dimensional ultrasound between 28 and 38 weeks of gestation. A score range of 0-5 was characterized as abnormal, from 6 to 9 was considered borderline, and 10-16 was normal. After birth, follow-up was conducted for at least 2 years in all fetuses. Results There were 337 normal (95.47%) and 16 borderline (4.53%) cases among the 353 cases studied, whereas there was no abnormal case. Five cases with postnatal developmental disabilities (one case of Werdig-Hoffmann disease diagnosed just after delivery, one case of autism spectrum disorder diagnosed at 24 months, one case of Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy diagnosed at 9 months and two cases of developmental disorders diagnosed at age 3 and 18 months) were noted among the 337 normal cases (1.48%), whereas three cases with developmental disabilities (one case of motor development delay diagnosed at 6 months, one case of Duchenne muscular dystrophy diagnosed at 18 months and one case of autism spectrum disorder diagnosed at age 30 months) were found among the 16 borderline cases (18.75%). There was a significant difference in the prevalence of postnatal developmental disabilities between the normal and borderline KANET groups (P<0.001). Conclusion Our results suggest that the KANET assessment may be a useful diagnostic modality for the prediction of postnatal developmental disabilities.

PMID: 30098288 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Continuous Distribution of Autistic Traits in an Indian Sample.”

Continuous Distribution of Autistic Traits in an Indian Sample.

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Continuous Distribution of Autistic Traits in an Indian Sample.

Indian J Pediatr. 2018 Aug 10;:

Authors: Rao VS, Mysore AV

PMID: 30097842 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Social Function and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adults with Neurofibromatosis Type 1: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”

Social Function and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adults with Neurofibromatosis Type 1: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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Social Function and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adults with Neurofibromatosis Type 1: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Neuropsychol Rev. 2018 Aug 11;:

Authors: Chisholm AK, Anderson VA, Pride NA, Malarbi S, North KN, Payne JM

Abstract
In light of the proliferation of recent research into social function in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a systematic review and meta-analysis is required to synthesise data and place findings within the context of a theoretical framework. This paper reviews findings from research into social function and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children and adults with NF1 and integrates these findings with the Socio-Cognitive Integration Abilities Model (SOCIAL). It also critically appraises links between social outcomes, internal and external factors moderating social functioning, cognitive domains implicated in social functioning, and underlying neural pathology in NF1. A systematic literature search conducted in MedLine (Ovid), PsycINFO (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), and PubMed electronic databases yielded 35 papers that met inclusion criteria for the systematic review. Out of these papers, 22 papers provided sufficient data for meta-analysis. Findings from this review and meta-analysis provide evidence that children and adults with NF1 exhibit significantly higher prevalence and severity of social dysfunction and ASD symptomatology. To date, very few studies have examined social cognition in NF1 but results indicate the presence of both perceptual and higher-level impairments in this population. The results of this review also provide support for age, gender, and comorbid ADHD as moderating factors for social outcomes in NF1. Suggestions for future research are offered to further our understanding of the social phenotype in NF1 and to facilitate the development of targeted interventions.

PMID: 30097761 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Applying Eye Tracking to Identify Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children.”

Applying Eye Tracking to Identify Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children.

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Applying Eye Tracking to Identify Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children.

J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Aug 10;:

Authors: Wan G, Kong X, Sun B, Yu S, Tu Y, Park J, Lang C, Koh M, Wei Z, Feng Z, Lin Y, Kong J

Abstract
Eye tracking (ET) holds potential for the early detection of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To overcome the difficulties of working with young children, developing a short and informative paradigm is crucial for ET. We investigated the fixation times of 37 ASD and 37 typically developing (TD) children ages 4-6 watching a 10-second video of a female speaking. ASD children showed significant reductions in fixation time at six areas of interest. Furthermore, discriminant analysis revealed fixation times at the mouth and body could significantly discriminate ASD from TD with a classification accuracy of 85.1%, sensitivity of 86.5%, and specificity of 83.8%. Our study suggests that a short video clip may provide enough information to distinguish ASD from TD children.

PMID: 30097760 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Vagal Tone as a Putative Mechanism for Pragmatic Competence: An Investigation of Carriers of the FMR1 Premutation.”

Vagal Tone as a Putative Mechanism for Pragmatic Competence: An Investigation of Carriers of the FMR1 Premutation.

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Vagal Tone as a Putative Mechanism for Pragmatic Competence: An Investigation of Carriers of the FMR1 Premutation.

J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Aug 10;:

Authors: Klusek J, Fairchild AJ, Roberts JE

Abstract
Pragmatic language skills exist across a continuum in typical and clinical populations, and are impaired in many neurodevelopmental disorders, most notably autism. The mechanisms underlying pragmatic impairment are poorly understood, although theory suggests dampened vagal tone plays a role. This study investigated the FMR1 premutation as a genetic model that may lend insight into the relationship between vagal function and pragmatic ability. Participants included 38 women with the FMR1 premutation and 23 controls. Vagal tone accounted for significant variance in pragmatics across both groups and statistically mediated the effect of FMR1 premutation status on pragmatic ability. Results support vagal tone as a biophysiological correlate of pragmatic ability, which informs potential mechanistic underpinnings and could have implications for targeted treatment.

PMID: 30097759 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Resting-state alpha power is selectively associated with autistic traits reflecting behavioral rigidity.”

Resting-state alpha power is selectively associated with autistic traits reflecting behavioral rigidity.

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Resting-state alpha power is selectively associated with autistic traits reflecting behavioral rigidity.

Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 10;8(1):11982

Authors: Carter Leno V, Tomlinson SB, Chang SA, Naples AJ, McPartland JC

Abstract
Previous research suggests that variation in at-rest neural activity correlates with specific domains of the ASD phenotype; however, few studies have linked patterns of brain activity with autistic trait expression in typically developing populations. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between resting-state electroencephalography (EEG) and three domains of the broader autism phenotype (social interest, rigidity, and pragmatic language) in typically developing individuals. High-density scalp EEG was recorded in thirty-seven typically developing adult participants (13 male, aged 18-52 years). The Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire (BAP-Q) was used to measure autistic trait expression. Absolute alpha power (8-13 Hz) was extracted from eyes-closed epochs using spectral decomposition techniques. Analyses revealed a specific positive association between scores on the BAP-Q Rigidity subscale and alpha power in the parietal scalp region. No significant associations were found between alpha power and the BAP-Q Aloofness or Pragmatic Language subscales. Furthermore, the association between EEG power and behavioral rigidity was specific to the alpha frequency band. This study demonstrates that specific traits within the broader autism phenotype are associated with dissociable patterns of at-rest neural activity.

PMID: 30097597 [PubMed – in process]

0 comments on “Intravenous immunoglobulin for the treatment of autoimmune encephalopathy in children with autism.”

Intravenous immunoglobulin for the treatment of autoimmune encephalopathy in children with autism.

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Intravenous immunoglobulin for the treatment of autoimmune encephalopathy in children with autism.

Transl Psychiatry. 2018 Aug 10;8(1):148

Authors: Connery K, Tippett M, Delhey LM, Rose S, Slattery JC, Kahler SG, Hahn J, Kruger U, Cunningham MW, Shimasaki C, Frye RE

Abstract
The identification of brain-targeted autoantibodies in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) raises the possibility of autoimmune encephalopathy (AIE). Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is effective for AIE and for some children with ASD. Here, we present the largest case series of children with ASD treated with IVIG. Through an ASD clinic, we screened 82 children for AIE, 80 of them with ASD. IVIG was recommended for 49 (60%) with 31 (38%) receiving the treatment under our care team. The majority of parents (90%) reported some improvement with 71% reporting improvements in two or more symptoms. In a subset of patients, Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and/or Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) were completed before and during IVIG treatment. Statistically significant improvement occurred in the SRS and ABC. The antidopamine D2L receptor antibody, the anti-tubulin antibody and the ratio of the antidopamine D2L to D1 receptor antibodies were related to changes in the ABC. The Cunningham Panel predicted SRS, ABC, parent-based treatment responses with good accuracy. Adverse effects were common (62%) but mostly limited to the infusion period. Only two (6%) patients discontinued IVIG because of adverse effects. Overall, our open-label case series provides support for the possibility that some children with ASD may benefit from IVIG. Given that adverse effects are not uncommon, IVIG treatment needs to be considered cautiously. We identified immune biomarkers in select IVIG responders but larger cohorts are needed to study immune biomarkers in more detail. Our small open-label exploratory trial provides evidence supporting a neuroimmune subgroup in patients with ASD.

PMID: 30097568 [PubMed – in process]

0 comments on “Introduction.”

Introduction.

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Introduction.

Prog Brain Res. 2018;238:xix-xxii

Authors: Forrester GS, Hopkins WD, Hudry K, Lindell A

PMID: 30097205 [PubMed – in process]

0 comments on “A comparative perspective on lateral biases and social behavior.”

A comparative perspective on lateral biases and social behavior.

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A comparative perspective on lateral biases and social behavior.

Prog Brain Res. 2018;238:377-403

Authors: Forrester GS, Todd BK

Abstract
Cerebral lateralization and associated motor behaviors were historically thought to be characteristics unique to humans. Today, it is clear that these features are present and visible in other animal species. These shared attributes of brain and behavior suggest inheritance from a distant common ancestor. Population-level motor biases are likely to reflect an early evolutionary division of primary survival functions of the brain’s left and right hemispheres. In modern humans, these features may provide a foundational platform for the development of higher cognitive functions, inextricably cementing the ties between the evolution and development of cognition. This chapter focuses on the links between a vertebrate-wide right hemisphere dominance for perceiving and producing social signals, left side motor biases (inclusive of visual field preferences), and the evolution and development of cognition in modern humans.

PMID: 30097201 [PubMed – in process]

0 comments on “Atypical structural and functional motor networks in autism.”

Atypical structural and functional motor networks in autism.

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Atypical structural and functional motor networks in autism.

Prog Brain Res. 2018;238:207-248

Authors: Floris DL, Howells H

Abstract
Structural and functional differences between the two cerebral hemispheres constitute one of the most fundamental aspects of brain organization. It is well established that functions related to language and motor behaviors are more strongly represented in the left hemisphere. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show impairments particularly in social communication, language, and a variety of motor-related symptoms, alongside intact or enhanced right hemisphere functions. This pattern of deficits and strengths has given rise to theories, suggesting that the neuropathology of ASD involves atypical hemispheric specialization. Here, we review the literature on atypical hemispheric specialization in the motor domain, which is an understudied field, but one that bears great potential for finding meaningful subgroups within the heterogeneous autism spectrum. It appears that atypical motor lateralization constitutes a candidate neural phenotype of ASD, in being a stable measure across structure, function, and behavior.

PMID: 30097193 [PubMed – in process]

0 comments on “Katanin-like protein Katnal2 is required for ciliogenesis and brain development in Xenopus embryos.”

Katanin-like protein Katnal2 is required for ciliogenesis and brain development in Xenopus embryos.

Katanin-like protein Katnal2 is required for ciliogenesis and brain development in Xenopus embryos.

Dev Biol. 2018 Aug 07;:

Authors: Willsey HR, Walentek P, Exner CRT, Xu Y, Lane AB, Harland RM, Heald R, Santama N

Abstract
Microtubule remodeling is critical for cellular and developmental processes underlying morphogenetic changes and for the formation of many subcellular structures. Katanins are conserved microtubule severing enzymes that are essential for spindle assembly, ciliogenesis, cell division, and cellular motility. We have recently shown that a related protein, Katanin-like 2 (KATNAL2), is similarly required for cytokinesis, cell cycle progression, and ciliogenesis in cultured mouse cells. However, its developmental expression pattern, localization, and in vivo role during organogenesis have yet to be characterized. Here, we used Xenopus embryos to reveal that Katnal2 (1) is expressed broadly in ciliated and neurogenic tissues throughout embryonic development; (2) is localized to basal bodies, ciliary axonemes, centrioles, and mitotic spindles; and (3) is required for ciliogenesis and brain development. Since human KATNAL2 is a risk gene for autism spectrum disorders, our functional data suggest that Xenopus may be a relevant system for understanding the relationship of mutations in this gene to autism and the underlying molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis.

PMID: 30096282 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Making the future together: Shaping autism research through meaningful participation.”

Making the future together: Shaping autism research through meaningful participation.

Making the future together: Shaping autism research through meaningful participation.

Autism. 2018 Aug 10;:1362361318786721

Authors: Fletcher-Watson S, Adams J, Brook K, Charman T, Crane L, Cusack J, Leekam S, Milton D, Parr JR, Pellicano E

Abstract
Participatory research methods connect researchers with relevant communities to achieve shared goals. These methods can deliver results that are relevant to people’s lives and thus likely to have a positive impact. In the context of a large and growing body of autism research, with continued poor implementation, and some evidence of community dissatisfaction, there is a powerful case for participatory autism research. In order to develop a framework for such collaborative working, a UK seminar series was organised and co-produced by autistic and non-autistic people with academic, practitioner and lived expertise. This article reports on the outcomes from the series, identifying five topics relevant to building a community of practice in participatory research: Respect, Authenticity, Assumptions, Infrastructure and Empathy. Each topic is connected to a specific example from within and beyond research, to inspire new practices in the field. We call for the development of participatory research skills among the autism research community and the facilitation of greater autistic leadership of, and partnership in, research. Such work, if delivered to a high standard, is likely to lead to better translation into practice and improved outcomes for autistic people and those who support them.

PMID: 30095277 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Response to “Managing autism spectrum disorder in developing countries by utilizing existing resources: A perspective from Bangladesh”.”

Response to “Managing autism spectrum disorder in developing countries by utilizing existing resources: A perspective from Bangladesh”.

Response to “Managing autism spectrum disorder in developing countries by utilizing existing resources: A perspective from Bangladesh”.

Autism. 2018 Aug 10;:1362361318791294

Authors: Khan NZ, McConachie H

PMID: 30095275 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Executive function predicts the visuospatial working memory in autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.”

Executive function predicts the visuospatial working memory in autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Executive function predicts the visuospatial working memory in autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Autism Res. 2018 Aug 10;:

Authors: Wang Z, Jing J, Igarashi K, Fan L, Yang S, Li Y, Jin Y

Abstract
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) always show working memory deficits. However, research findings on the factors that affected the working memory in ASD and ADHD were inconsistent. Thus, we developed the present study to investigate the association of executive function (EF) with the visuospatial working memory (VSWM) in ASD and ADHD. Three groups of participants were examined: 21 children with ASD, 28 children with ADHD and 28 typically developing (TD) children as the controls. All participants completed two tests: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and the Corsi Block Tapping Test for measuring EF and VSWM, respectively. The WCST included four domains: categories achieved (CA), perseverative errors (PE), failures to maintain set (FMS), and total errors (TE). The findings indicated that (1) the ASD group showed poorer performance in VSWM than the ADHD and TD groups; (2) for the ASD group, VSWM was positively correlated with CA, and was negatively correlated with PE and TE; (3) for the ADHD group, FMS showed a negative relationship with VSWM; and (4) TE predicted the performance of VSWM in ASD group, while FMS predicted VSWM in ADHD group. The study results suggested that VSWM was impaired in ASD but not in ADHD. Also, the EF domains were differently correlated with the VSWM performance in ASD and ADHD. Our study suggests that we should consider different intervention targets of working memory and EF contributions in improving the cognitive capacity of ASD and ADHD. Autism Res 2018., © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
LAY SUMMARY: The present study compared the visuospatial working memory (VSWM) in three groups of children: autism (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and typically developed children (TD). The ASD group showed poorer VSWM than the ADHD and TD groups. The total error of executive function predicted the performance of VSWM in ASD, while failures to maintain set predicted VSWM in ADHD . These findings suggested that we should consider the different working memory and executive function training targets to increase cognitive capacity of ASD and ADHD.

PMID: 30095242 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “Family history of immune conditions and autism spectrum and developmental disorders: Findings from the study to explore early development.”

Family history of immune conditions and autism spectrum and developmental disorders: Findings from the study to explore early development.

Family history of immune conditions and autism spectrum and developmental disorders: Findings from the study to explore early development.

Autism Res. 2018 Aug 10;:

Authors: Croen LA, Qian Y, Ashwood P, Daniels JL, Fallin D, Schendel D, Schieve LA, Singer AB, Zerbo O

Abstract
Numerous studies have reported immune system disturbances in individuals with autism and their family members; however, there is considerable variability in findings with respect to the specific immune conditions involved, their timing, and the family members affected and little understanding of variation by autism subphenotype. Using data from the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED), a multi-site case-control study of children born 2003-2006 in the United States, we examined the role of family history of autoimmune diseases, asthma, and allergies in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as well as other developmental disorders (DD). We investigated maternal immune conditions during the pregnancy period, as well as lifetime history of these conditions in several family members (mother, father, siblings, and study child). Logistic regression analyses included 663 children with ASD, 984 children with DD, and 915 controls ascertained from the general population (POP). Maternal history of eczema/psoriasis and asthma was associated with a 20%-40% increased odds of both ASD and DD. Risk estimates varied by specific ASD subphenotypes in association with these exposures. In addition, children with ASD were more likely to have a history of psoriasis/eczema or allergies than POP controls. No association was observed for paternal history or family history of these immune conditions for either ASD or DD. These data support a link between maternal and child immune conditions and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, and further suggest that associations may differ by ASD phenotype of the child. Autism Res 2018., © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
LAY SUMMARY: Using data from a large multi-site study in the US-the Study to Explore Early Development-we found that women with a history of eczema/psoriasis and asthma are more likely to have children with ASD or DD. In addition, children with ASD are more likely to have a history of psoriasis/eczema or allergies than typically developing children. These data support a link between maternal and child immune conditions and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes.

PMID: 30095240 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

0 comments on “A Randomized Controlled Trial evaluating the Hebrew Adaptation of the PEERS® Intervention: Behavioral and Questionnaire-Based Outcomes.”

A Randomized Controlled Trial evaluating the Hebrew Adaptation of the PEERS® Intervention: Behavioral and Questionnaire-Based Outcomes.

A Randomized Controlled Trial evaluating the Hebrew Adaptation of the PEERS® Intervention: Behavioral and Questionnaire-Based Outcomes.

Autism Res. 2018 Aug 10;:

Authors: Rabin SJ, Israel-Yaacov S, Laugeson EA, Mor-Snir I, Golan O

Abstract
Social interaction deficits form a core characteristic of ASD that is commonly targeted through social-skill groups. The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS® ) is a well-established parent-assisted intervention for adolescents, which addresses key areas of social functioning. PEERS® has been mainly studied in North-America and its evaluations were mostly questionnaire based. The aim of the current study was to test the effectiveness of the adapted and translated Hebrew version of the PEERS® intervention in a randomized controlled trial, using behavioral measures of peer interaction, in addition to self, parent, and teacher reports. Forty-one participants with ASD and no intellectual impairment, aged 12-17 years, were randomly assigned to an immediate intervention or a delayed-intervention group. All participants were assessed before and after the immediate intervention, and again at follow up, after the delayed intervention took place. Results revealed intervention-related behavioral improvements on adolescents’ engagement, question-asking, and physical arousal. Parental reports indicated improved social skills, and reduced ASD symptoms. Adolescents reported on more social encounters, greater empathy, and scored higher on social-skill knowledge. Most of these effects maintained at a 16-week follow-up. Teacher reports’ yielded effects only on pre-post intervention analysis. Adolescents’ improvement on behavioral engagement predicted parent-reported social skills improvement. Our findings support the effectiveness of the adapted Hebrew version of PEERS® for adolescents with ASD, through significant behavioral and questionnaire-based outcomes, which maintained at follow-up. Autism Res 2018. © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
LAY SUMMARY: Social-skills groups, which facilitate key social deficits characteristic of ASD, are a popular intervention for adolescents with ASD. Indeed, many treatment protocols have been published, and some have also been research validated. However, there have been inconsistent findings regarding the effectiveness of different protocols, in addition to limited findings of improvement beyond questionnaire reports. This study evaluated the Hebrew adaptation of the PEERS® intervention, a 16-weeks long program, which involves the parents as their adolescents’ social coaches. Following the intervention, adolescents improved their social-skills, participated more in social encounters, reported greater empathy, and demonstrated higher social-skill knowledge. A live play-role assessment with an unfamiliar peer indicated that adolescents showed greater involvement, asked more questions and were more physically relaxed during the conversation. Improvements maintained 16 weeks after the intervention was completed.

PMID: 30095232 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]