Pubmed du 16/07/20

jeudi 16 juillet 2020

1. Agarwal R, Heron L, Naseh M, Burke SL. Mentoring Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities : Evaluation of Role-Specific Workshops for Mentors and Mentees. J Autism Dev Disord. 2020.

Transitioning to post-secondary education is often challenging for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). To address this, Florida International University, specifically FIU Embrace, piloted the Embrace Mentoring Program (EMP), which provided unique role-specific workshops to both faculty/staff mentors, and student mentees with IDD. A mixed-method design was used to analyze knowledge acquisition and participant perceptions of the workshops. Quantitative findings indicated knowledge improvement in a key area for mentors, while qualitative data demonstrated a positive response to workshop content, and highlighted areas of improvement for future workshops. Ultimately, the results from the pilot EMP demonstrated promise in supporting students with IDD towards academic and career-related goals, by providing mentorship training to both mentors and mentees.

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2. Alkire D, Warnell KR, Kirby LA, Moraczewski D, Redcay E. Explaining Variance in Social Symptoms of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord. 2020.

The social symptoms of autism spectrum disorder are likely influenced by multiple psychological processes, yet most previous studies have focused on a single social domain. In school-aged autistic children (n = 49), we compared the amount of variance in social symptoms uniquely explained by theory of mind (ToM), biological motion perception, empathy, social reward, and social anxiety. Parent-reported emotional contagion-the aspect of empathy in which one shares another’s emotion-emerged as the most important predictor, explaining 11-14% of the variance in social symptoms, with higher levels of emotional contagion predicting lower social symptom severity. Our findings highlight the role of mutual emotional experiences in social-interactive success, as well as the limitations of standard measures of ToM and social processing in general.

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3. Baker EK, Arpone M, Kraan C, Bui M, Rogers C, Field M, Bretherton L, Ling L, Ure A, Cohen J, Hunter MF, Santa María L, Faundes V, Curotto B, Morales P, Trigo C, Salas I, Alliende A, Amor DJ, Godler DE. FMR1 mRNA from full mutation alleles is associated with ABC-C(FX) scores in males with fragile X syndrome. Sci Rep. 2020 ; 10(1) : 11701.

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by a hypermethylated full mutation (FM) expansion with ≥ 200 CGG repeats, and a decrease in FMR1 mRNA and its protein. However, incomplete silencing from FM alleles has been associated with more severe autism features in FXS males. This study compared scores on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist-Community-FXS version (ABC-C(FX)) in 62 males affected with FXS (3 to 32 years) stratified based on presence or absence of mosaicism and/or FMR1 mRNA silencing. Associations between ABC-C(FX) subscales and FMR1 mRNA levels, assessed using real-time PCR relative standard curve method, were also examined. The FXS group mosaic for premutation (PM : 55-199 CGGs) and FM alleles had lower irritability (p = 0.014) and inappropriate speech (p < 0.001) scores compared to males with only FM alleles and complete loss of FMR1 mRNA. The PM/FM mosaic group also showed lower inappropriate speech scores compared to the incomplete silencing (p = 0.002) group. Increased FMR1 mRNA levels were associated with greater irritability (p < 0.001), and lower health-related quality of life scores (p = 0.004), but only in the incomplete silencing FM-only group. The findings suggest that stratification based on CGG sizing and FMR1 mRNA levels may be warranted in future research and clinical trials utilising ABC-C(FX) subscales as outcome measures.

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4. Chung S, Son JW. Visual Perception in Autism Spectrum Disorder : A Review of Neuroimaging Studies. Soa—ch’ongsonyon chongsin uihak = Journal of child & adolescent psychiatry. 2020 ; 31(3) : 105-20.

Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social impairments, patients with ASD frequently manifest atypical sensory behaviors. Recently, atypical sensory perception in ASD has received much attention, yet little is known about its cause or neurobiology. Herein, we review the findings from neuroimaging studies related to visual perception in ASD. Specifically, we examined the neural underpinnings of visual detection, motion perception, and face processing in ASD. Results from neuroimaging studies indicate that atypical visual perception in ASD may be influenced by attention or higher order cognitive mechanisms, and atypical face perception may be affected by disrupted social brain network. However, there is considerable evidence for atypical early visual processing in ASD. It is likely that visual perceptual abnormalities are independent of deficits of social functions or cognition. Importantly, atypical visual perception in ASD may enhance difficulties in dealing with complex and subtle social stimuli, or improve outstanding abilities in certain fields in individuals with Savant syndrome. Thus, future research is required to elucidate the characteristics and neurobiology of autistic visual perception to effectively apply these findings in the interventions of ASD.

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5. Coughlan B, Duschinsky R, O’Connor ME, Woolgar M. Identifying and managing care for children with autism spectrum disorders in general practice : A systematic review and narrative synthesis. Health & social care in the community. 2020.

Many healthcare systems are organised such that General Practitioners (GPs) often have a key role in identifying autism spectrum disorders (hereafter collectively referred to as autism) in children. In this review, we explored what GPs know about autism and the factors that influence their ability to identify and manage care for their patients with autism in practice. We conducted a systematic narrative review using eight electronic databases. These included Embase and MEDLINE via Ovid, Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO via Ebscohost, PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest Dissertations and Thesis, and Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA) via ProQuest. Our search yielded 2,743 citations. Primary research studies were included, and we did not impose any geographical, language or date restrictions. We identified 17 studies that met our inclusion criteria. Studies included in the review were conducted between 2003 and 2019. We thematically synthesised the material and identified the following themes : the prototypical image of a child with autism ; experience, sources of information, and managing care ; barriers to identification ; strategies to aid in identification ; and characteristics that facilitate expertise. Together, the findings from this review present a mixed picture of GP knowledge and experiences in identifying autism and managing care for children with the condition. At one end of the continuum, there were GPs who had not heard of autism or endorsed outmoded aetiological theories. Others, however, demonstrated a sound knowledge of the conditions but had limited confidence in their ability to identify the condition. Many GPs and researchers alike called for more training and this might be effective. However, framing the problem as one of a lack of training risks silences the array of organisational factors that impact on a GP’s ability to provide care for these patients.

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6. Dempsey EE, Moore C, Richard AE, Smith IM. Moral foundations theory in autism spectrum disorder : A qualitative investigation. Autism. 2020 : 1362361320939331.

Morality is important for how humans treat each other and non-human animals. Differences in moral thinking have been found between autistic and neurotypical individuals. This research has relied on ways of thinking about moral psychology that suggest that mature morals develop as individuals learn to take the perspectives of others. Yet, even autistic individuals, who sometimes differ in their ability to take others’ perspectives, make moral judgements that are similar to neurotypical individuals. Moral foundations theory suggests that moral psychology is not hierarchical but differs depending on culture. This theory could therefore help make sense of similarities and differences in autistic and neurotypical moral thinking. Moral foundations theory has not yet been investigated among autistic individuals. In this study, we interviewed autistic adults as a first attempt at understanding how moral foundations theory fits with autistic moral thinking. We found that all five moral foundations of moral foundations theory were represented in the interviews, yet certain foundations appeared more prominent than others. The autistic adults interviewed in our study discussed issues of care and fairness more than of loyalty, authority or purity when prompted to discuss moral transgressions. Future research should use quantitative methods to compare groups of autistic and neurotypical individuals to clarify similarities and differences in moral thinking between the groups.

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7. Esposito D, Belli A, Ferri R, Bruni O. Sleeping without Prescription : Management of Sleep Disorders in Children with Autism with Non-Pharmacological Interventions and Over-the-Counter Treatments. Brain Sci. 2020 ; 10(7).

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are lifelong neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by abnormal social interaction, communication, and behavior. Sleep disturbances represent a common comorbidity in children and adolescents with ASD, with prevalence ranging from 50 to 80%. It has been proved that sleep disruption worsens the symptoms of autism and results in challenging behaviors. Improving sleep should therefore be a primary therapeutic goal. Treatment options range from lifestyle modifications to pharmacological therapy. Several reviews have been written on pharmacological treatments, but very few on the beneficial effects of non-pharmacological interventions, over-the-counter drugs, and nutritional supplements. This study consists of a narrative review of the literature, presenting the available evidence on the following treatments : sleep education, behavioral interventions, complementary and alternative medicine (special mattresses and blankets, massage, aromatherapy, yoga, physical activity), and commonly used over-the-counter medications and supplements (antihistamines, melatonin, tryptophan, carnosine, iron, vitamins, and herbal remedies). For some treatments-such as melatonin and behavioral interventions-effectiveness in ASD is well established in the literature, while other interventions appear of benefit in clinical practice, even if specific studies in children and adolescents with ASD are lacking. Conversely, other treatments only seem to show anecdotal evidence supporting their use.

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8. Fuentes J, Hervás A, Howlin P. ESCAP practice guidance for autism : a summary of evidence-based recommendations for diagnosis and treatment. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020.

Across Europe, there is increased awareness of the frequency and importance of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is now recognised not only as a childhood disorder but as a heterogeneous, neurodevelopmental condition that persists throughout life. Services for individuals with autism and their families vary widely, but in most European countries, provision is limited. In 2018, European Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (ESCAP) identified the need for a Practice Guidance document that would help to improve knowledge and practice, especially for individuals in underserviced areas. The present document, prepared by the ASD Working Party and endorsed by the ESCAP Board on October 3, 2019, summarises current information on autism and focuses on ways of detecting, diagnosing, and treating this condition.

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9. Leadbitter K, Macdonald W, Taylor C, Buckle KL. Parent perceptions of participation in a parent-mediated communication-focussed intervention with their young child with autism spectrum disorder. Autism. 2020 : 1362361320936394.

Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy is an intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorder that focuses on parent-child communication. In Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy, the therapist and parent watch videos of the parent and child playing together. The therapist coaches the parent to carefully observe the child’s communication and to interact with their child in a more sensitive and responsive way. Parents are encouraged to use the strategies with their child at home. Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy has been shown to lead to long-term improvements in parent-child communication and family quality of life. This study aimed to explore parents’ perceptions of their participation in Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy. Interviews were carried out by an independent researcher with 18 parents. Parents discussed the learning processes they went through when working with Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy therapists and carrying out home practice. Some parents described initial doubts about the approach and hesitations about being videoed and analysing video material. In time, most parents came to really value the therapy and their relationship with the therapist. They reported positive changes in their interaction and relationship with their child and improvements to their child’s communication and interaction. Some also highlighted poignant realisations and emotional challenges associated with taking part in this post-diagnosis therapy. Practical difficulties were also emphasised, including the time commitment, accessibility of therapy venues and difficulties in occupying the child during therapist-parent discussion. Implications for the clinical practice of parent-mediated interventions are discussed.

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10. Lim ET, Uddin M, De Rubeis S, Chan Y, Kamumbu AS, Zhang X, D’Gama AM, Kim SN, Hill RS, Goldberg AP, Poultney C, Minshew NJ, Kushima I, Aleksic B, Ozaki N, Parellada M, Arango C, Penzol MJ, Carracedo A, Kolevzon A, Hultman CM, Weiss LA, Fromer M, Chiocchetti AG, Freitag CM, Church GM, Scherer SW, Buxbaum JD, Walsh CA. Publisher Correction : Rates, distribution and implications of postzygotic mosaic mutations in autism spectrum disorder. Nat Neurosci. 2020.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

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11. Narzisi A, Bondioli M, Pardossi F, Billeci L, Buzzi MC, Buzzi M, Pinzino M, Senette C, Semucci V, Tonacci A, Uscidda F, Vagelli B, Giuca MR, Pelagatti S. "Mom Let’s Go to the Dentist !" Preliminary Feasibility of a Tailored Dental Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Italian Public Health Service. Brain Sci. 2020 ; 10(7).

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show worse oral health than their peers. Their access to health services is, at present, inadequate : few high-quality interventions have been designed and implemented to improve their care procedures so far. The purpose of this study is to describe an experience of dental care supported by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), for children with ASD in a public health service. In our study, 59 children (mean age 9.9 years ; SD = 5.43) participated in the MyDentist project. It integrates classic dental care techniques with new practices for desensitization and fear control, delivered through an enhanced customized ICT-based intervention aiming at familiarizing the child with ASD with the medical setting and procedures. Two questionnaires were filled out by parents to describe the acceptability of the MyDentist experience for their children. Significant results were shown from T0 (before initiating MyDentist) to T1 (after 6 months of the MyDentist experience) regarding improved oral hygiene and cooperation during dental treatments. Families positively assessed the use of ICT support. In conclusion, the project demonstrated acceptability by parents, suggesting that public health dental care and prevention can be successfully implemented without resorting to costly pharmacological interventions (with potential side effects), taking better care of children’s health.

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12. Oh D, Cheon KA. Alteration of Gut Microbiota in Autism Spectrum Disorder : An Overview. Soa—ch’ongsonyon chongsin uihak = Journal of child & adolescent psychiatry. 2020 ; 31(3) : 131-45.

The microbiota-gut-brain axis, which refers to the bidirectional communication pathway between gut bacteria and the central nervous system, has a profound effect on important brain processes, from the synthesis of neurotransmitters to the modulation of complex behaviors such as sociability and anxiety. Previous studies have revealed that the gut microbiota is potentially related to not only gastrointestinal disturbances, but also social impairment and repetitive behavior-core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Although studies have been conducted to characterize the microbial composition in patients with ASD, the results are heterogeneous. Nevertheless, it is clear that there is a difference in the composition of the gut microbiota between ASD and typically developed individuals, and animal studies have repeatedly suggested that the gut microbiota plays an important role in ASD pathophysiology. This possibility is supported by abnormalities in metabolites produced by the gut microbiota and the association between altered immune responses and the gut microbiota observed in ASD patients. Based on these findings, various attempts have been made to use the microbiota in ASD treatment. The results reported to date suggest that microbiota-based therapies may be effective for ASD, but largescale, well-designed studies are needed to confirm this.

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13. Quick VBS, Wang B, State MW. Leveraging large genomic datasets to illuminate the pathobiology of autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2020.

"Big data" approaches in the form of large-scale human genomic studies have led to striking advances in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) genetics. Similar to many other psychiatric syndromes, advances in genotyping technology, allowing for inexpensive genome-wide assays, has confirmed the contribution of polygenic inheritance involving common alleles of small effect, a handful of which have now been definitively identified. However, the past decade of gene discovery in ASD has been most notable for the application, in large family-based cohorts, of high-density microarray studies of submicroscopic chromosomal structure as well as high-throughput DNA sequencing-leading to the identification of an increasingly long list of risk regions and genes disrupted by rare, de novo germline mutations of large effect. This genomic architecture offers particular advantages for the illumination of biological mechanisms but also presents distinctive challenges. While the tremendous locus heterogeneity and functional pleiotropy associated with the more than 100 identified ASD-risk genes and regions is daunting, a growing armamentarium of comprehensive, large, foundational -omics databases, across species and capturing developmental trajectories, are increasingly contributing to a deeper understanding of ASD pathology.

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14. Şengenç E, Kıykım E, Saltik S. Vitamin D levels in children and adolescents with autism. The Journal of international medical research. 2020 ; 48(7) : 300060520934638.

OBJECTIVE : This study aimed to investigate the relationship between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and vitamin D levels in children and adolescents. METHODS : We measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels in 1529 patients with ASD aged 3 to 18 years, without any additional chronic diseases. Levels of 25-OHD were compared according to sex, age (<11 or ≥11 years), and birth season. Additionally, laboratory parameters (calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, and 25-OHD) of 100 selected patients with ASD were compared with those of the healthy control group. RESULTS : Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency was found in approximately 95% of all patients. Levels of 25-OHD in adolescent patients with ASD aged 11 to 18 years were significantly lower than those in patients aged younger than 11 years. In the 100 selected patients with ASD, mean serum 25-OHD levels were significantly lower and alkaline phosphatase levels were higher compared with those in healthy children. CONCLUSION : Our study suggests a relationship between vitamin D and ASD in children. Monitoring vitamin D levels is crucial in autistic children, especially adolescents, to take protective measures and treat this condition early.

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15. Shmarina GV, Ershova ES, Simashkova NV, Nikitina SG, Chudakova JM, Veiko NN, Porokhovnik LN, Basova AY, Shaposhnikova AF, Pukhalskaya DA, Pisarev VM, Korovina NJ, Gorbachevskaya NL, Dolgikh OA, Bogush M, Kutsev SI, Kostyuk SV. Oxidized cell-free DNA as a stress-signaling factor activating the chronic inflammatory process in patients with autism spectrum disorders. J Neuroinflammation. 2020 ; 17(1) : 212.

BACKGROUND : Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are known to be associated with an inflammatory process related to immune system dysfunction. This study’s aim was to investigate the role of cell-free DNA in chronic inflammatory process in ASD patients. METHODS : The study included 133 ASD patients and 27 healthy controls. Sixty-two ASD patients were demonstrated to have mild-to-moderate disease severity (group I) and 71 individuals to have severe ASD (group II). Plasma cell-free (cf) DNA characteristics, plasma cytokine concentrations, expression of the genes for NFкB1 transcription factor and pro-inflammatory cytokines TNFα, IL-1β and IL-8 in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) of ASD patients, and unaffected controls were investigated. Additionally, in vitro experiments with oxidized DNA supplementation to PBL cultures derived from ASD patients and healthy controls were performed. RESULTS : The data indicates that ASD patients have demonstrated increased cfDNA concentration in their circulation. cfDNA of patients with severe ASD has been characterized by a high abundance of oxidative modification. Furthermore, ASD patients of both groups have shown elevated plasma cytokine (IL-1β, IL-8, IL-17A) levels and heightened expression of genes for NFкB1 nuclear factor and pro-inflammatory cytokines TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-8 in PBL. In vitro experiments have shown that NF-κB/cytokine mRNA expression profiles of ASD patient PBL treated with oxidized DNA fragments were significantly different from those of healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS : It may be proposed that oxidized cfDNA plays a role of stress-signaling factor activating the chronic inflammatory process in patients with ASD.

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16. Song JW, Yoon NR, Jang SM, Lee GY, Kim BN. Neuroimaging-Based Deep Learning in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Soa—ch’ongsonyon chongsin uihak = Journal of child & adolescent psychiatry. 2020 ; 31(3) : 97-104.

Deep learning (DL) is a kind of machine learning technique that uses artificial intelligence to identify the characteristics of given data and efficiently analyze large amounts of information to perform tasks such as classification and prediction. In the field of neuroimaging of neurodevelopmental disorders, various biomarkers for diagnosis, classification, prognosis prediction, and treatment response prediction have been examined ; however, they have not been efficiently combined to produce meaningful results. DL can be applied to overcome these limitations and produce clinically helpful results. Here, we review studies that combine neurodevelopmental disorder neuroimaging and DL techniques to explore the strengths, limitations, and future directions of this research area.

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17. Sun Y, Pan H, Shen S, Xia Z, Yu Z, Li C, Sun P, Xin C. Alisma Shugan Decoction (ASD) Ameliorates Hepatotoxicity and Associated Liver Dysfunction by Inhibiting Oxidative Stress and p65/Nrf2/JunD Signaling Dysregulation In Vivo. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research. 2020 ; 26 : e921738.

BACKGROUND Liver fibrosis, defined as the aberrant accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins such as collagen in the liver, is a common feature of chronic liver disease, and often culminates in portal hypertension, liver cirrhosis, and hepatic failure. Though therapeutically manageable, fibrosis is not always successfully treated by conventional antifibrotic agents. While the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Alisma Shugan Decoction (ASD) has several health benefits, including anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, and limitation of cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, it remains unclear if it has any hepato-protective potential. MATERIAL AND METHODS The present study examined the therapeutic effect of ASD in thioacetamide (TAA)-induced liver injury and fibrosis rat models. RESULTS We demonstrated that 50 mg/kg ASD significantly reversed TAA-induced elevation of alanine or aspartate transaminase levels, elicited no dyscrasia, and conferred a 40% (p<0.01) or 20% (p<0.05) survival advantage, compared to rats treated with TAA or TAA+ASD, respectively. Treatment with ASD reversed TAA-induced liver injury and fibrogenesis via repression of alpha-SMA protein and reduction of the collagen area and fibrosis score. Concurrently, ASD markedly suppressed the mRNA expression of fibrogenic procollagen, ICAM-1, MMP2, MMP9, and MMP13, and production of TIMP-1, ICAM-1, CXCL7, or CD62L cytokine in rat liver injury models. Interestingly, ASD-elicited reduction of liver injury and fibrogenesis was mediated by dysregulated p65/NrF-2/JunD signaling, with a resultant 3.18-fold (p<0.05) increase in GSH/GSSH ratio, and a 3.61-fold (p<0.01) or 1.51-fold (p<0.01) reduction in the 4-hydroxynonenal and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, respectively, indicating reduced oxidative stress in the ASD-treated rats, and suggesting an hepato-protective role for ASD. CONCLUSIONS In conclusion, the present study provides supplementary evidence of the therapeutic benefit of ASD as an efficient treatment option in cases of liver injury and fibrosis. Further large-cohort validation of these findings is warranted.

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18. Yang X, Li H, Ge J, Chao H, Li G, Zhou Z, Liu J. The level of GNE and its relationship with behavioral phenotypes in children with autism spectrum disorder. Medicine. 2020 ; 99(28) : e21013.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a serious nervous system disease, and the cause is not known. Sialic acid (SA) is an indispensable nutrient for early brain development. In previous study, it was found that the SA level of ASD group was lower than that of control group. However, the reason for this has not well explained. A case-control study was conducted to understand the association between the SA synthase enzyme regulatory gene and ASD. The study sample included 65 ASD children and 64 healthy children. The levels of the GNE gene were measured, which encodes UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase/ManNAc kinase (GNE), a key enzyme in SA biosynthesis. The symptom severity, intelligence development level, and behavioral performance of ASD children were estimated. There was a significant difference in the levels of GNE between the ASD and control groups (t = 2.028, P = .045). Moreover, the levels of GNE were negatively related to stereotypical behaviors according to the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) assessment (r = -0.386, P = .039). However, there is no the correlation between the levels of GNE and autistic severity. As evaluated through the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), the levels of GNE were negatively associated with autistic mannerisms scores, social cognition scores and SRS total scores in the children with ASD (r = -0.314, P = .020). These results indicate that the GNE gene may be associated with autism spectrum disorder, and it is also related to autistic behavioral performance, such as stereotypical behaviors, autistic mannerisms, and social cognition ability. Our data suggest that future studies to explore the causal relationship between GNE and the etiology of ASD may be needed.

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19. Zampella CJ, Bennetto L, Herrington JD. Computer Vision Analysis of Reduced Interpersonal Affect Coordination in Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Res. 2020.

Atypical social-emotional reciprocity is a core feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but can be difficult to operationalize. One measurable manifestation of reciprocity may be interpersonal coordination, the tendency to align the form and timing of one’s behaviors (including facial affect) with others. Interpersonal affect coordination facilitates sharing and understanding of emotional cues, and there is evidence that it is reduced in ASD. However, most research has not measured this process in true social contexts, due in part to a lack of tools for measuring dynamic facial expressions over the course of an interaction. Automated facial analysis via computer vision provides an efficient, granular, objective method for measuring naturally occurring facial affect and coordination. Youth with ASD and matched typically developing youth participated in cooperative conversations with their mothers and unfamiliar adults. Time-synchronized videos were analyzed with an open-source computer vision toolkit for automated facial analysis, for the presence and intensity of facial movements associated with positive affect. Both youth and adult conversation partners exhibited less positive affect during conversations when the youth partner had ASD. Youth with ASD also engaged in less affect coordination over the course of conversations. When considered dimensionally across youth with and without ASD, affect coordination significantly predicted scores on rating scales of autism-related social atypicality, adaptive social skills, and empathy. Findings suggest that affect coordination is an important interpersonal process with implications for broader social-emotional functioning. This preliminary study introduces a promising novel method for quantifying moment-to-moment facial expression and emotional reciprocity during natural interactions. LAY SUMMARY : This study introduces a novel, automated method for measuring social-emotional reciprocity during natural conversations, which may improve assessment of this core autism diagnostic behavior. We used computerized methods to measure facial affect and the degree of affect coordination between conversation partners. Youth with autism displayed reduced affect coordination, and reduced affect coordination predicted lower scores on measures of broader social-emotional skills.

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