Pubmed du 07/01/19

lundi 7 janvier 2019

1. Adams D, MacDonald L, Keen D. Teacher responses to anxiety-related behaviours in students on the autism spectrum. Res Dev Disabil. 2019 ; 86 : 11-9.

BACKGROUND : At least 50% of students on the autism spectrum experience clinical or subclinical levels of anxiety but there is scant research on how teachers respond to anxiety in children on the spectrum. AIMS : To compare teacher responses to anxiety-related behaviour in students who do and do not have a diagnosis on the spectrum using the Teacher Responses to Anxiety in Children (TRAC). METHODS AND PROCEDURES : Teachers (N = 64), predominantly from mainstream primary schools, completed an online survey comprised of a demographic questionnaire and two versions of the TRAC, one for students without autism and one for students with autism. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS : Teachers report differences in the way they would likely respond to anxiety-related behaviours observed in students with and without autism. Teachers reported being more likely to use anxiety-promoting responses for students with autism who are showing behaviours indicative of general and separation anxiety, but not when they are showing behaviours indicative of social anxiety. Whilst there was no significant difference in the overall likelihood of use of autonomy-promoting responses between groups, there were differences in the likelihood of using specific autonomy-promoting responses dependent upon diagnosis and type of anxiety. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS : Teachers report they are likely to respond differently to anxiety-related behaviours of students on the autism spectrum but the impact of this on the behaviour of these students is yet to be determined. Professional development is a priority to increase teacher knowledge about anxiety-related behaviours in students with autism and the ways in which teachers’ responses may promote or reduce anxiety and autonomy.

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2. Blacher J, Stavropoulos K, Bolourian Y. Anglo-Latino differences in parental concerns and service inequities for children at risk of autism spectrum disorder. Autism. 2019 : 1362361318818327.

In an evaluation of Anglo and Latina mothers and their children at risk of autism, this study compared mother-reported child behavioral concerns to staff-observed symptoms of autism. Within Latina mothers, the impact of primary language (English/Spanish), mothers’ education, and child age on ratings of developmental concerns was examined. Participants were 218 mothers (Anglo = 85 ; Latina = 133) of children referred to a no-cost autism screening clinic. Mothers reported on behavioral concerns, autism symptomology, and services received ; children were administered the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule by certified staff. Results revealed that Anglo and Latino children did not differ by autism symptoms or classification. However, Anglo mothers reported significantly more concerns than Latina mothers. Within the Latina group, analyses revealed significant interaction effects of language and child age ; Spanish-speaking mothers of preschoolers endorsed fewer concerns, while Spanish-speaking mothers of school-aged children endorsed more concerns. Despite these reports, Anglo children with a classification of autism spectrum disorder were receiving significantly more services than Latino children with autism spectrum disorder, suggesting early beginnings of a service divide as well as the need for improved parent education on child development and advocacy for Latino families.

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3. Demarquoy C, Demarquoy J. Autism and carnitine : A possible link. World journal of biological chemistry. 2019 ; 10(1) : 7-16.

Patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) present deficits in social interactions and communication, they also show limited and stereotypical patterns of behaviors and interests. The pathophysiological bases of ASD have not been defined yet. Many factors seem to be involved in the onset of this disorder. These include genetic and environmental factors, but autism is not linked to a single origin, only. Autism onset can be connected with various factors such as metabolic disorders : including carnitine deficiency. Carnitine is a derivative of two amino acid lysine and methionine. Carnitine is a cofactor for a large family of enzymes : the carnitine acyltransferases. Through their action these enzymes (and L-carnitine) are involved in energy production and metabolic homeostasis. Some people with autism (less than 20%) seem to have L-carnitine metabolism disorders and for these patients, a dietary supplementation with L-carnitine is beneficial. This review summarizes the available information on this topic.

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4. Gomes SR, Reeve SA, Brothers KJ, Reeve KF, Sidener TM. Establishing a Generalized Repertoire of Initiating Bids for Joint Attention in Children with Autism. Behav Modif. 2019 : 145445518822499.

The current study evaluated whether multiple-exemplar training, auditory scripts, and script-fading procedures could establish a generalized repertoire of initiating bids for joint attention in four young children with autism. Stimuli drawn from each of three experimenter-defined categories were used during teaching to program for generalization of initiations of bids for joint attention from trained stimuli to novel stimuli. A fourth category was reserved for assessment of across-category generalization of bids for joint attention. The four categories were (a) visually enticing toys, (b) unusually placed items, (c) environmental sounds, and (d) pictures. Assignment of categories for teaching and assessment of generalization was counterbalanced across the participants. Three different auditory scripts were used during intervention for each of the training stimuli to program for response generalization. All four children learned to initiate bids for joint attention. After scripts were subsequently faded and reinforcement was thinned, bids for joint attention were maintained and also generalized to novel stimuli and settings.

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5. Key AP, Jones D, Peters S. Spoken Word Processing in Rett Syndrome : Evidence from Event-Related Potentials. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2019.

This study examined the feasibility of using auditory event-related potentials to evaluate spoken word processing during passive listening in girls with Rett syndrome (n = 11) and typical peers (n = 33), age 4-12 years. The typical group demonstrated the expected pattern of more negative amplitudes within 200-500 ms in response to words than nonwords at left temporal sites. In participants with Rett syndrome, word-nonword differentiation was observed at the right temporal sites. More negative left hemisphere amplitudes in response to words were associated (at trend level) with better receptive language skills and more adaptive behavior. The results indicate that girls with Rett syndrome differentiate known words from novel nonwords, but may do so using potentially atypical neural processes. Brain-behavior correlations support validity of the proposed neural markers of word processing, making passive listening paradigms a promising approach for assessing speech and language processing in participants with limited spoken language skills.

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6. Lombardo MV, Lai MC, Baron-Cohen S. Big data approaches to decomposing heterogeneity across the autism spectrum. Mol Psychiatry. 2019.

Autism is a diagnostic label based on behavior. While the diagnostic criteria attempt to maximize clinical consensus, it also masks a wide degree of heterogeneity between and within individuals at multiple levels of analysis. Understanding this multi-level heterogeneity is of high clinical and translational importance. Here we present organizing principles to frame research examining multi-level heterogeneity in autism. Theoretical concepts such as ’spectrum’ or ’autisms’ reflect non-mutually exclusive explanations regarding continuous/dimensional or categorical/qualitative variation between and within individuals. However, common practices of small sample size studies and case-control models are suboptimal for tackling heterogeneity. Big data are an important ingredient for furthering our understanding of heterogeneity in autism. In addition to being ’feature-rich’, big data should be both ’broad’ (i.e., large sample size) and ’deep’ (i.e., multiple levels of data collected on the same individuals). These characteristics increase the likelihood that the study results are more generalizable and facilitate evaluation of the utility of different models of heterogeneity. A model’s utility can be measured by its ability to explain clinically or mechanistically important phenomena, and also by explaining how variability manifests across different levels of analysis. The directionality for explaining variability across levels can be bottom-up or top-down, and should include the importance of development for characterizing changes within individuals. While progress can be made with ’supervised’ models built upon a priori or theoretically predicted distinctions or dimensions of importance, it will become increasingly important to complement such work with unsupervised data-driven discoveries that leverage unknown and multivariate distinctions within big data. A better understanding of how to model heterogeneity between autistic people will facilitate progress towards precision medicine for symptoms that cause suffering, and person-centered support.

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7. Lovell B, Heffernan T, Marshall AM, Wetherell MA. Objectively assessed prospective memory failures and diurnal cortisol secretion in caregivers of children with ASD. Journal of family psychology : JFP : journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43). 2019.

Caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) self-report more prospective memory (PM) failures compared with controls. Subjective and objective measures of PM, however, tend to be poorly correlated. This study therefore explored the cognitive impact of caring for a child with ASD using the Cambridge Prospective Memory Test (CAMPROMPT), a more objective, performance-based assessment of PM failures. Whether atypical cortisol secretion patterns might mediate caregivers’ compromised cognition was also explored. A sample of n = 23 caregivers of children with ASD and n = 11 parent controls completed time- and event-cued PM tasks with CAMPROMPT. Diurnal cortisol indices, the cortisol-awakening response, diurnal cortisol slope, and mean diurnal output were estimated from saliva samples on multiple days. Results indicated objectively assessed event- but not time-cued PM failures were greater in caregivers compared with controls. Variations in cortisol secretion patterns, however, did not mediate the group effect. In conclusion, caring for a child with ASD was associated with greater deficits in event-cued PM. Future studies might examine the influence of caregivers’ event-cued PM failures on quality of provided care. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

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8. McLeod JD, DiSabatino L. Structured Variation in Parental Beliefs about Autism. Journal of health and social behavior. 2019 : 22146518820581.

We used data from the 2011 Survey of Pathways to Diagnosis and Services (N = 1,420) to evaluate a conceptual model linking social background (race-ethnicity, socioeconomic status [SES]) to parental distress through children’s clinical profiles and parental beliefs about the nature and causes of their child’s autism. Children’s clinical profiles varied by social background ; white children and children of more highly educated and affluent parents were less likely to experience comorbid conditions and were more likely to be diagnosed with Asperger’s. Parental beliefs also varied such that parents of racial-ethnic minority children and parents of lower SES perceived their child’s condition as more uncertain and were less likely to attribute it to genetic causes. Parents of Hispanic children and with lower incomes were more likely to be upset by the child’s condition. Although parental beliefs had independent associations with distress, children’s clinical profiles contributed more to explaining variation in distress.

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9. Russell NCC, Luke SG, Lundwall RA, South M. Not So Fast : Autistic traits and Anxious Apprehension in Real-World Visual Search Scenarios. J Autism Dev Disord. 2019.

Autistic individuals have shown superior performance in simple, albeit difficult, visual search tasks. We compared eye movements and behavioral markers across two visual search tasks based on real-world scenes in young adults. Context-aided search increased speed and accuracy for all groups. Autistic adults (n = 29) were on average consistently slower and less accurate than a non-anxious neurotypical comparison group (n = 48), but similar to neurotypical adults with elevated anxious apprehension (n = 26). Dimensional analyses suggest that autism traits, not anxious apprehension, are most associated with search efficiency of naturalistic stimuli suggesting that autistic individuals can effectively integrate contextual information to aid visual search, but that advantages in less visually complex tasks, reported in previous studies, may not transfer to situations involving real-world scenes.

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10. Schafer ST, Paquola ACM, Stern S, Gosselin D, Ku M, Pena M, Kuret TJM, Liyanage M, Mansour AA, Jaeger BN, Marchetto MC, Glass CK, Mertens J, Gage FH. Pathological priming causes developmental gene network heterochronicity in autistic subject-derived neurons. Nat Neurosci. 2019.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is thought to emerge during early cortical development. However, the exact developmental stages and associated molecular networks that prime disease propensity are elusive. To profile early neurodevelopmental alterations in ASD with macrocephaly, we monitored subject-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) throughout the recapitulation of cortical development. Our analysis revealed ASD-associated changes in the maturational sequence of early neuron development, involving temporal dysregulation of specific gene networks and morphological growth acceleration. The observed changes tracked back to a pathologically primed stage in neural stem cells (NSCs), reflected by altered chromatin accessibility. Concerted over-representation of network factors in control NSCs was sufficient to trigger ASD-like features, and circumventing the NSC stage by direct conversion of ASD iPSCs into induced neurons abolished ASD-associated phenotypes. Our findings identify heterochronic dynamics of a gene network that, while established earlier in development, contributes to subsequent neurodevelopmental aberrations in ASD.

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11. Wang B, Cao F, Boyland JT. Addressing Autism Spectrum Disorders in China. New directions for child and adolescent development. 2019.

English language readers rarely get glimpses of the state of autism research in China. Given the seriousness of autism, the population of China, and the potential for theoretically interesting cross-cultural insights, we provide a broad survey of research carried out in China on childhood autism. Four themes are considered : etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and education. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) appears to be a product of epigenetic interactions between genetic and environmental factors ; recent Chinese research on etiology reflects this. Current diagnostic procedures in China involve clinical screening and examinations, while research proceeds on brain-imaging techniques for diagnosis. Research on treatment has introduced a comprehensive and moderately effective approach that includes education and training, psychotherapy, and pharmacotherapy. In the realm of education, however, many problems remain, requiring joint efforts of the government and of other societal actors. Finally, there are opportunities for indigenous Chinese concepts and innovations to contribute to the study of ASD.

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