Pubmed du 04/08/20

mardi 4 août 2020

1. Abouzeid N, Rivard M, Mello C, Mestari Z, Boulé M, Guay C. Parent coaching intervention program based on the Early Start Denver Model for children with autism spectrum disorder : Feasibility and acceptability study. Res Dev Disabil ;2020 (Aug 4) ;105:103747.

A parent coaching intervention program was launched in a Quebec community-based organization for autism spectrum disorder. This initiative was intended to support families following the child’s diagnosis, as they awaited public early intensive behavioral intervention services. The parent-mediated intervention program, based on the Early Start Denver Model, included a 3 h parent group training, an initial assessment followed by the development of an individualized intervention plan, 8 weeks of live coaching, a final assessment to evaluate children’s progress, and a feedback meeting with families. The present study used a mixed-method design to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the program. Ten families (ten mothers and three fathers) and four coaches participated in the present study. Parents and coaches perceived and achieved high levels of implementation overall (91 %) and there was a moderate improvement of parents’ teaching skills. All participating families and coaches were satisfied or highly satisfied with the program and found it acceptable.

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2. Biller MF, Johnson CJ. Examining Useful Spoken Language in a Minimally Verbal Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder : A Descriptive Clinical Single-Case Study. Am J Speech Lang Pathol ;2020 (Aug 4) ;29(3):1361-1375.

Purpose This was a companion study to a previous one (Biller & Johnson, 2019). The purpose was to develop a detailed descriptive profile of a minimally verbal child with a unique medical history and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present report describes his social-cognitive and speech sound production abilities in relation to his potentially burgeoning spoken language. Method This in-depth, descriptive, clinical single-case study focused on a 3-year-old boy who was diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality and ASD. The size of his spoken vocabulary fell at the upper limit for classifying a child as minimally verbal. His demographic information was obtained, in addition to general information from his mother. Four social-cognitive and three speech sound production abilities were assessed, as well as his overall performance in both domains. The study included a parent interview and two child assessment sessions. Results The child exhibited low social-cognitive and speech sound production abilities for his age, with social-cognitive abilities higher than speech sound production abilities. Comparison with the previous study revealed substantial gaps in social cognition and speech sound production between this child and five other minimally verbal children with ASD. His higher abilities in these two domains co-occurred with his larger spoken vocabulary size. Conclusions Although the child’s social-cognitive abilities were low for his age, with his speech sound production abilities even lower, both domains were perhaps high enough to support spoken vocabulary at the upper limit for minimally verbal children. Indeed, there appeared to be quantitative and qualitative differences between him and other minimally verbal children in the previous study. The possibility was explored that there is a point or threshold along the developmental continua for social cognition and speech sound production that allows for expansion into useful language.

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3. Bjørklund G, Tinkov AA, Hosnedlová B, Kizek R, Ajsuvakova OP, Chirumbolo S, Skalnaya MG, Peana M, Dadar M, El-Ansary A, Qasem H, Adams JB, Aaseth J, Skalny AV. The role of glutathione redox imbalance in autism spectrum disorder : A review. Free Radic Biol Med ;2020 (Jul 31)

The role of glutathione in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is emerging as a major topic, due to its role in the maintenance of the intracellular redox balance. Several studies have implicated glutathione redox imbalance as a leading factor in ASD, and both ASD and many other neurodevelopmental disorders involve low levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), high levels of oxidized glutathione (GSSG), and abnormalities in the expressions of glutathione-related enzymes in the blood or brain. Glutathione metabolism, through its impact on redox environment or redox-independent mechanisms, interferes with multiple mechanisms involved in ASD pathogenesis. Glutathione-mediated regulation of glutamate receptors [e.g., N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor], as well as the role of glutamate as a substrate for glutathione synthesis, may be involved in the regulation of glutamate excitotoxicity. However, the interaction between glutathione and glutamate in the pathogenesis of brain diseases may vary from synergism to antagonism. Modulation of glutathione is also associated with regulation of redox-sensitive transcription factors nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1) and downstream signaling (proinflammatory cytokines and inducible enzymes), thus providing a significant impact on neuroinflammation. Mitochondrial dysfunction, as well as neuronal apoptosis, may also provide a significant link between glutathione metabolism and ASD. Furthermore, it has been recently highlighted that glutathione can affect and modulate DNA methylation and epigenetics. Review analysis including research studies meeting the required criteria for analysis showed statistically significant differences between the plasma GSH and GSSG levels as well as GSH:GSSG ratio in autistic patients compared with healthy individuals (P = 0.0145, P = 0.0150 and P = 0.0202, respectively). Therefore, the existing data provide a strong background on the role of the glutathione system in ASD pathogenesis. Future research is necessary to investigate the role of glutathione redox signaling in ASD, which could potentially also lead to promising therapeutics.

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4. de Castilho LS, Lages FDS, Ferreira RVD, de Oliveira ACB, Vilaça Ê L, Diniz IMA. Breathing problems and COVID-19 in patients with developmental disabilities. Spec Care Dentist ;2020 (Aug 3)

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5. Kallitsounaki A, Williams DM, Lind SE. Links Between Autistic Traits, Feelings of Gender Dysphoria, and Mentalising Ability : Replication and Extension of Previous Findings from the General Population. J Autism Dev Disord ;2020 (Aug 1)

Gender nonconformity is substantially elevated in the autistic population, but the reasons for this are currently unclear. In a recent study, Kallitsounaki and Williams (Kallitsounaki and Williams, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2020 ; authors 1 and 2 of the current paper) found significant relations between autistic traits and both gender dysphoric feelings and recalled cross-gender behaviour, and between mentalising ability and gender dysphoric feelings. The current study successfully replicated these findings (results were supplemented with Bayesian analyses), in sample of 126 adults. Furthermore, it extended the previous finding of the role of mentalising in the relation between autistic traits and gender dysphoric feelings, by showing that mentalising fully mediated this link. Results provide a potential partial explanation for the increased rate of gender nonconformity in the autistic population.

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6. Kosaka T, Kawatani M, Ohta G, Mizuno Y, Takiguchi S, Kumano A, Hayashi H, Fujine A, Tsuda A, Fujisawa TX, Tomoda A, Ohshima Y. Low threshold to Vestibular and Oral Sensory stimuli might affect quality of sleep among children with autism spectrum disorder. Brain Dev ;2020 (Jul 30)

AIMS : The current study aimed to validate the relationship between sensory characteristics and sleep dynamics among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using an actigraph, which is an objective assessment device used for sleep monitoring. METHODS : A total of 40 children (age range, 3-6 years) participated in this study (n = 20, with ASD and n = 20, age-matched children with typical development [TD]). We examined sleep dynamics using actigraph for 7 consecutive days, and the relationship between sleep parameters and sensory characteristics was analyzed using the Japanese Version of Sensory Profile (SP-J). RESULTS : Significant differences were observed in terms of activities per minute during sleep (p = 0.02), sleep efficiency (SE) (p = 0.005), and wake after sleep onset (WASO) (p = 0.02) between the two groups. In the ASD group, significant positive correlations were observed between activities per minute during sleep and low thresholds for Vestibular Sensory stimuli (p = 0.046) and Oral Sensory stimuli (p = 0.006) using the SP-J. Based on a multiple regression analysis, the activities per minute during sleep were associated with low thresholds for Oral Sensory stimuli (β = 0.51, t = 2.29, p = 0.03), but not with other factors, in the ASD group. CONCLUSIONS : The current study showed that atypical Vestibular and Oral Sensory modulation may be a risk indicator for high activities during sleep among preschool children with ASD. Thus, whether the interventions for these sensory characteristics are effective in improving sleep quality, daytime activities, behaviors, and cognitive functions in this group of children must be considered.

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7. Lerthattasilp T, Tanprasertkul C, Chunsuwan I. Development of clinical prediction rule for diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder in children. Ment Illn ;2020 ;12(1):7-16.

PURPOSE : This study aims to develop a clinical prediction rule for the diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in children. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : This population-based study was carried out in children aged 2 to 5 years who were suspected of having ASD. Data regarding demographics, risk factors, histories taken from caregivers and clinical observation of ASD symptoms were recorded before specialists assessed patients using standardized diagnostic tools. The predictors were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression analysis and developed into a predictive model. FINDINGS : An ASD diagnosis was rendered in 74.8 per cent of 139 participants. The clinical prediction rule consisted of five predictors, namely, delayed speech for their age, history of rarely making eye contact or looking at faces, history of not showing off toys or favorite things, not following clinician’s eye direction and low frequency of social interaction with the clinician or the caregiver. At four or more predictors, sensitivity was 100 per cent for predicting a diagnosis of ASD, with a positive likelihood ratio of 16.62. ORIGINALITY/VALUE : This practical clinical prediction rule would help general practitioners to initially diagnose ASD in routine clinical practice.

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8. Mazza M, Pino MC, Vagnetti R, Filocamo A, Attanasio M, Calvarese A, Valenti M. Intensive intervention for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder : comparison of three rehabilitation treatments. Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract ;2020 (Aug 3):1-9.

INTRODUCTION : Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental conditions, characterised by difficulties in social communication and restricted, repetitive behaviours and interests. There are several rehabilitative interventions for individuals with ASD but the evidence of their effectiveness is low or moderate overall. The transition phase of ASD individuals from adolescence to adulthood represents an important challenge. Adults with ASD struggle to access employment or independent living. METHODS : In our study, we evaluated the effect of three different high-intensity interventions, namely Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-Handicapped Children (TEACCH) and Behavioural Educational Intervention (BEI), in 93 ASD (levels 2 and 3) adolescents (age range 12-18 years). RESULTS : Our results showed that all adolescents with ASD reported an improvement of core symptoms, regardless of the type of treatment. CONCLUSIONS : A high intensity intervention ameliorates the core symptoms of ASD, enriching evidence of effectiveness regarding adolescents with ASD. KEY POINTS Individuals with ASD need lifespan support and they struggle to access employment, independent living and community inclusion. There are several rehabilitative interventions for individuals with ASD but the evidence of their effectiveness in adolescents is insufficient. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the possible enhancement produced by three intensive interventions (ABA, TEACCH, BEI) of symptom severity and adaptive functions. Results show that independently of the treatment, individuals with ASD decrease in ASD severity. Individuals who were treated with the BEI and TEACCH programmes reported improvements in the adaptive domains.

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9. Meyyazhagan A, Balasubramanian B, Easwaran M, Alagamuthu KK, Shanmugam S, Kuchi Bhotla H, Pappusamy M, Arumugam VA, Thangaraj A, Kaul T, Keshavarao S, Cacabelos R. Biomarker study of the biological parameter and neurotransmitter levels in autistics. Mol Cell Biochem ;2020 (Aug 1)

Autism is a prevalent developmental disorder that combines repetitive behaviours, social deficits and language abnormalities. The present study aims to assess the autistic subjects using DSM IV-TR criteria followed with the analysis of neurotransmitters, biochemical parameters, oxidative stress and its ions in two groups of autistic subjects (group I < 12 years ; group II ≥ 12 years). Antioxidants show a variation of 10% increase in controls compared to autistic age < 12 years. The concentration of pyruvate kinase and hexokinase is elevated in controls approximately 60% and 45%, respectively, with the significance of 95 and 99%. Autistic subjects showed marked variation in levels of neurotransmitters, oxidative stress and its related ions. Cumulative assessment of parameters related to biochemical markers and neurotransmitters paves the way for autism-based research, although these observations draw interest in an integrated approach for autism.

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10. Pretzsch CM, Floris DL. Balancing excitation and inhibition in the autistic brain. Elife ;2020 (Aug 4) ;9

A metric called the Hurst exponent could be a useful biomarker for studies exploring brain differences between men and women with autism spectrum disorder.

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11. Sandercock RK, Lamarche EM, Klinger MR, Klinger LG. Assessing the convergence of self-report and informant measures for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Autism ;2020 (Aug 2):1362361320942981.

Self-report measures are frequently used for research and clinical assessments of adults with autism spectrum disorder. However, there has been little research examining agreement between self-report and informant-report in this population. Valid self-report measures are essential for conducting research with and providing high quality clinical services for adults with autism spectrum disorder. This study collected measures from 40 pairs of adults with autism spectrum disorder and their caregivers on measures of symptom severity, daily living skills, quality of life, and unmet service needs. Caregiver and self-report responses were highly associated with one another on all measures, though there were significant gaps between scores on the measures of daily living skills and quality of life. It is also important to understand how each informant’s responses relate to outcomes in the areas of employment and independent living. Using self-report and caregiver-report together better predicted outcomes for the adult with autism spectrum disorder than scores from either individual reporter alone. These findings show that there is unique and valuable information provided by both adults with autism spectrum disorder and their caregivers ; a multi-informant approach is important for obtaining the most comprehensive picture of current functioning, identifying unmet service needs, and creating treatment plans. This research also highlights the importance of including and prioritizing self-report perspectives in shaping service planning.

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12. Solmaz V, Tekatas A, Erdoğan MA, Erbaş O. Exenatide, a GLP-1 analog, has healing effects on LPS-induced autism model : Inflammation, oxidative stress, gliosis, cerebral GABA, and serotonin interactions. Int J Dev Neurosci ;2020 (Aug 3)

Previous studies have established anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective effects of Exenatide in the central nervous system. Since these mechanisms are thought to have important roles in the pathophysiology of autism, we hypothesized that Exenatide may have healing effects in autism. We tested this hypothesis by examining the effects of Exenatide in an experimental autism model created by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure in the womb, with behavioral tests, histopathological examinations, and biochemical measurements. The autism model was created by administration of LPS (i.p) to pregnant rats on the 10th day of their pregnancy at a dose of 100 µg/kg. On postnatal 21st day, a total of four groups were formed from offspring with regard to sex distribution and treatment. After a 45-day treatment, behavioral analysis tests were performed on rats. Subsequently, the rats were sacrificed and biochemical analysis [superoxide dismutase, tumor necrotizing factor alpha, nerve growth factor, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and glutamic acid decarboxylase-67] and histopathological analysis were performed. On the 10th day of the intrauterine period, LPS exposure was found to disrupt behavioral findings, increase inflammation and hippocampal gliosis, and decrease 5-HIAA, GAD-67, and NGF, especially in male rats. However, among the rats exposed to LPS in the intrauterine period, recipients of Exenatide demonstrated significant amelioration of findings. Exenatide therapy shows positive effects on behavioral disorders in an LPS-induced autism model. This agent probably exerts its effects by suppressing inflammation and oxidative stress and reducing hippocampal gliosis. In addition, Exenatide has also been shown to positively affect cerebral serotonergic and GABAergic effects.

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13. Tomaszewski B, Kraemer B, Steinbrenner JR, Smith DaWalt L, Hall LJ, Hume K, Odom S. Student, Educator, and Parent Perspectives of Self-Determination in High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Res ;2020 (Aug 2)

Self-determination refers to an individual being a causal agent in their daily activities, including the ability to express their own needs, interests, and wants, make choices, and set goals. Self-determination is critical during adolescence and has been linked to positive educational outcomes in individuals with disabilities. Few studies have characterized the measurement of self-determination in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The purpose of the current study was to (a) examine the agreement across the American Institutes for Research Self-Determination Scale (Wolman et al., AIR Self-determination scale and user guide. Palo Alto, CA : American Institute for Research, 1994) student, educator, and parent forms for high school students with ASD, and (b) examine student and family predictors of self-determination. Participants included adolescents with ASD (N = 547, mean chronological age = 16.1 years, SD = 1.4 years), their parents, and educators. Student reports did not correspond to parent or educator reports, and parent and educator reports were in moderate agreement. Adaptive behavior was a significant predictor of self-determination across reporters, highlighting the significance of adaptive behavior skills during high school. In addition to promoting adaptive behavior, supporting family empowerment, and reducing family burden may help to increase self-determination in high school students with ASD. LAY SUMMARY : Self-determination refers to the abilities and opportunities for students to make choices, plans, and set goals. The current study examined self-determination from multiple perspectives in a large, diverse sample of high school students with ASD. Students, parents, and their teachers each completed a questionnaire on self-determination and had little to some agreement across reporters. Providing support to families and help for students to increase independent skills may promote self-determination.

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14. Trakoshis S, Martínez-Cañada P, Rocchi F, Canella C, You W, Chakrabarti B, Ruigrok AN, Bullmore ET, Suckling J, Markicevic M, Zerbi V, Bailey AJ, Baron-Cohen S, Bolton PF, Bullmore ET, Carrington S, Catani M, Chakrabarti B, Craig MC, Daly EM, Deoni SC, Ecker C, Happé F, Henty J, Jezzard P, Johnston P, Jones DK, Lai MC, Lombardo MV, Madden A, Mullins D, Murphy CM, Murphy DG, Pasco G, Ruigrok AN, Sadek SA, Spain D, Stewart R, Suckling J, Wheelwright SJ, Williams SC, Baron-Cohen S, Gozzi A, Lai MC, Panzeri S, Lombardo MV. Intrinsic excitation-inhibition imbalance affects medial prefrontal cortex differently in autistic men versus women. Elife ;2020 (Aug 4) ;9

Excitation-inhibition (E:I) imbalance is theorized as an important pathophysiological mechanism in autism. Autism affects males more frequently than females and sex-related mechanisms (e.g., X-linked genes, androgen hormones) can influence E:I balance. This suggests that E:I imbalance may affect autism differently in males versus females. With a combination of in-silico modeling and in-vivo chemogenetic manipulations in mice, we first show that a time-series metric estimated from fMRI BOLD signal, the Hurst exponent (H), can be an index for underlying change in the synaptic E:I ratio. In autism we find that H is reduced, indicating increased excitation, in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) of autistic males but not females. Increasingly intact MPFC H is also associated with heightened ability to behaviorally camouflage social-communicative difficulties, but only in autistic females. This work suggests that H in BOLD can index synaptic E:I ratio and that E:I imbalance affects autistic males and females differently.
Autism is a condition that is usually diagnosed early in life that affects how a person communicates and socializes, and is often characterized by repetitive behaviors. One key theory of autism is that it reflects an imbalance in levels of excitation and inhibition in the brain. Excitatory signals are those that make other brain cells more likely to become active ; inhibitory signals have the opposite effect. In non-autistic individuals, inhibitory activity outweighs excitatory activity. In people with autism, by contrast, an increase in excitatory activity is believed to produce an imbalance in excitation and inhibition. Most of the evidence to support this excitation-inhibition imbalance theory has come from studies of rare mutations that cause autism. Many of these mutations occur on the sex chromosomes or are influenced by androgen hormones (hormones that usually play a role on typically male traits). However, most people with autism do not possess these particular mutations. It was thus unclear whether the theory could apply to everyone with autism or, for example, whether it may better apply to specific groups of individuals based on their sex or gender. This is especially important given that about four times as many men and boys compared to women and girls are diagnosed with autism. Trakoshis, Martínez-Cañada et al. have now found a way to ask whether any imbalance in excitation and inhibition in the brain occurs differently in men and women. Using computer modeling, they identified a signal in brain scans that corresponds to an imbalance of excitation and inhibition. After showing that the technique works to identify real increases in excitation in the brain scans of mice, Trakoshis, Martínez-Cañada et al. looked for this signal, or biomarker, in brain scans of people with and without autism. All the people in the study identified with the gender that matched the sex they were assigned at birth. The results revealed differences between the men and women with autism. Men with autism showed an imbalance in excitation and inhibition in specific ‘social brain’ regions including the medial prefrontal cortex, but women with autism did not. Notably, many of these brain regions are strongly affected by androgen hormones. Previous studies have found that women with autism are sometimes better at hiding or ‘camouflaging’ their difficulties when socializing or communicating than men with autism. Trakoshis, Martínez-Cañada et al. showed that the better a woman was at camouflaging her autism, the more her brain activity in this region resembled that of non-autistic women. Excitation-inhibition imbalance may thus affect specific brain regions involved in socializing and communication more in men who have autism than in women with the condition. Balanced excitation and inhibition in these brain areas may enable some women with autism to camouflage their difficulties socializing or communicating. Being able to detect imbalances in activity using standard brain imaging could be useful for clinical trials. Future studies could use this biomarker to monitor responses to drug treatments that aim to adjust the balance between excitation and inhibition.

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15. Tubul-Lavy G, Jokel A, Leon-Attia O, Gabis LV. Content Words in Child-Directed Speech of Mothers Toward Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Am J Speech Lang Pathol ;2020 (Aug 4) ;29(3):1434-1447.

Purpose Our study aimed to analyze the characteristics of content word usage in mother’s child-directed speech ( CDS) toward children with autism spectrum disorder compared to mother’s CDS toward typically developing children. Method We analyzed the lexical characteristics of CDS of mothers of children with autism (16 dyads) and compared them from a language developmental perspective to mothers of 20 typical children at the same level of expressive language development. Results Results suggest that mothers of children with autism use equal amounts of content words at the same language level, but the content consists of significantly more concrete nouns and active verbs and rarely the use of abstract nouns, stative verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Conclusion This study suggests that professionals and parents of children with autism should be aware of the importance of varying their language use of content words.

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16. Türkoğlu S, Uçar HN, Çetin FH, Güler HA, Tezcan ME. The relationship between chronotype, sleep, and autism symptom severity in children with ASD in COVID-19 home confinement period. Chronobiol Int ;2020 (Aug 4):1-7.

This study aimed to investigate the relationship between chronotype preference/sleep problems and symptom severity of children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) during the confinement and social isolation of the COVID-19 outbreak. This study included 46 drug-naive children aged 4-17 y diagnosed with ASD. The Autism Behavior Checklist (AuBC), Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), and Children’s chronotype questionnaire (CCQ) were filled out before and at the end of the COVID-19 mandated home confinement by the children’s parents. Children with ASD during the home confinement reported higher chronotype scores, i.e., eveningness chronotype, sleep problems, and autism symptom scores compared to the normal non-hone confinement state. The chronotype score and sleep problems of children with ASD during the home confinement period varied according to the AuBC score. The sleep problems of the children with ASD during the home confinement period mediated the relationship between chronotype score and severity of autism symptoms. It is essential to validate the role of the mediator effect of sleep problems and chronotype in larger samples of children with ASD with restricted to home confinement during the pandemic period. If sleep problems can be controlled with parental education, pharmacotherapy, and psychotherapeutic interventions, the impact on children with ASD of home confinement can be reduced.

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17. Usui N, Iwata K, Miyachi T, Takagai S, Wakusawa K, Nara T, Tsuchiya KJ, Matsumoto K, Kurita D, Kameno Y, Wakuda T, Takebayashi K, Iwata Y, Fujioka T, Hirai T, Toyoshima M, Ohnishi T, Toyota T, Maekawa M, Yoshikawa T, Maekawa M, Nakamura K, Tsujii M, Sugiyama T, Mori N, Matsuzaki H. VLDL-specific increases of fatty acids in autism spectrum disorder correlate with social interaction. EBioMedicine ;2020 (Jul 30) ;58:102917.

BACKGROUND : Abnormalities of lipid metabolism contributing to the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) pathogenesis have been suggested, but the mechanisms are not fully understood. We aimed to characterize the lipid metabolism in ASD and to explore a biomarker for clinical evaluation. METHODS : An age-matched case-control study was designed. Lipidomics was conducted using the plasma samples from 30 children with ASD compared to 30 typical developmental control (TD) children. Large-scale lipoprotein analyses were also conducted using the serum samples from 152 children with ASD compared to 122 TD children. Data comparing ASD to TD subjects were evaluated using univariate (Mann-Whitney test) and multivariate analyses (conditional logistic regression analysis) for main analyses using cofounders (diagnosis, sex, age, height, weight, and BMI), Spearman rank correlation coefficient, and discriminant analyses. FINDINGS : Forty-eight significant metabolites involved in lipid biosynthesis and metabolism, oxidative stress, and synaptic function were identified in the plasma of ASD children by lipidomics. Among these, increased fatty acids (FAs), such as omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6), showed correlations with clinical social interaction score and ASD diagnosis. Specific reductions of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and apoprotein B (APOB) in serum of ASD children also were found by large-scale lipoprotein analysis. VLDL-specific reduction in ASD was correlated with APOB, indicating VLDL-specific dyslipidaemia associated with APOB in ASD children. INTERPRETATION : Our results demonstrated that the increases in FAs correlated positively with social interaction are due to VLDL-specific degradation, providing novel insights into the lipid metabolism underlying ASD pathophysiology. FUNDING : This study was supported mainly by MEXT, Japan.

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18. Veenstra L, Barlow P, Kossioni A, Popescu SM, Mercut V, Tuculina MJ, Scrieciu M, Stanusi A, Marchini L. Translation and Validation of the Ageism Scale for Dental Students in Romanian (ASDS-Rom). Eur J Dent Educ ;2020 (Aug 4)

AIMS : The aim of this paper was to validate the Romanian version of an ageism scale for dental students. MATERIALS AND METHODS : The initial 27-item ageism scale was translated into Romanian and administered to 210 dental students in Craiova. The data was analysed using Principal Components Analysis (PCA) with an orthogonal, Varimax rotation. The answers were then compared across several demographic variables using a combination of independent samples t-tests and one-way between subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA). RESULTS : Adequate factorability was confirmed with a Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) of 0.676 and a Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity yielding p < 0.001. PCA revealed a 10-item scale distributed into three components that accounted for 58% of the overall variance. The first component contained 4 items related to the cost-benefit of providing care to older patients (α=0.80). The second contained 3 items that revolved around the perceptions about older people and their value in the society (α =0.59). The third contained 3 items related to gerodontology training (α =0.46). Discriminant validity showed differences in the first component based on whether a student had an older family member. CONCLUSIONS : The 10-item, three components scale demonstrated acceptable validity and reliability.

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19. Wallace GL, Richard E, Wolff A, Nadeau M, Zucker N. Increased emotional eating behaviors in children with autism : Sex differences and links with dietary variety. Autism ;2020 (Aug 1):1362361320942087.

Although "picky" eating is well documented in autism spectrum disorder, emotional eating has rarely been investigated. This study examined emotional over- and under-eating based on parent ratings of these behaviors in 4- to 17-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder (n = 190) as compared to same-age typically developing children (n = 119). Children with autism spectrum disorder were rated as exhibiting both more emotional over-eating and more emotional under-eating behaviors than their typically developing peers. Furthermore, while sex differences in these emotional eating behaviors were not observed in the typically developing children, girls with autism spectrum disorder were rated as experiencing more emotional over-eating behaviors than boys with autism spectrum disorder. Finally, among all children with autism spectrum disorder, emotional over-eating was linked with increased consumption of sweet foods and decreased consumption of vegetables. These findings have implications for better understanding eating habits in children with autism spectrum disorder and suggest that emotional eating behaviors might have both immediate and downstream health impacts.

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20. Wu M, Di Y, Diao Z, Yao L, Qian Z, Wei C, Zheng Q, Liu Y, Han J, Liu Z, Fan J, Tian Y, Ren W. Abnormal reinforcement learning in a mice model of autism induced by prenatal exposure to valproic acid. Behav Brain Res ;2020 (Aug 1) ;395:112836.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display dysfunction in learning from environmental stimulus that have positive or negative emotional values, posing obstacles to their everyday life. Unfortunately, mechanisms of the dysfunction are still unclear. Although early intervention for ASD victims based on reinforcement learning are commonly used, the mechanisms and characteristics of the improvement are also unknown. By using a mice model of ASD produced by prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA), the present work discovered a delayed response-reinforcer forming, and an impaired habit forming in a negative reinforcement learning paradigm in VPA exposure male offspring. But the extinction of the learned skills was found to become faster than normal male animals. Since escape action of nosepoking and the motility remain unchanged in the VPA male offspring, the impaired learning and the accelerated extinction are caused by deficits in higher brain functions underlying association between the animals’ behavioral responses and the outcomes of such responses. The results further suggest that the rodent ASD model produced by prenatal exposure to VPA reproduces the deficits in reasoning or building the contingency between one’s own behaviors and the consequent outcomes of the behavior seen in ASD patients.

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21. Yu Y, Wang X, Yang J, Qiu J. The role of the MTG in negative emotional processing in young adults with autistic-like traits : A fMRI task study. J Affect Disord ;2020 (Jul 14) ;276:890-897.

BACKGROUND : Few previous studies explored negative emotion processing in autistic-like traits people using task-based fMRI. In this study, we applied task fMRI to determine the relationship between negative emotion processing and social skill within autistic-like traits people. aimed to find which brain areas specificity play a key role in emotional processing. METHODS : 106 of Chinese individuals measured with AQ. Then applied emotion regulation task to explore the difference in brain activation and functional connectivity in individuals with autistic traits. RESULTS : The results showed increased activation in the right middle temporal gyrus (MTG). The mediation analysis showed the right MTG mediates the relationship between autistic-like traits and negative emotion. Generalized psychophysiological interaction (gPPI) analysis also suggested that the right MTG shows significant functional connectivity with the left parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) and left precuneus cortex. LIMITATIONS : Our sample are university students, there may have a bias in the sample compared to sub-average and have no differences between the gender, we will broaden the sample size and take the gender into account. We use two conditions as our focused theme, we want to use a more specific task to explore negative emotion in autistic-like traits people. CONCLUSIONS : The results showed that the right MTG was an important brain region in individuals with autistic-like traits, and our study provides a wider discussion about autism brain activation and functional connectivity patterns and the use the MTG as a hallmark in individuals with autistic-like traits.

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22. Zavaleta-Ramírez P, Rosetti MF, Albores-Gallo L, Vargas-Soberanis MA, López ON, Medina-Mora ME. Pathways to a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Psychiatr Serv ;2020 (Aug 4):appips201900518.

OBJECTIVE : This study aimed to analyze the pathways to obtaining a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the Mexican health system. METHODS : Parents of children with ASD (N=186) were approached at specialized health centers and interviewed about the sequence of professionals they contacted that led to a diagnosis. The authors established the pathway to diagnosis, time of first parental concerns, time of first consultation, age of the child at diagnosis, and other measures. A Sankey plot was used to illustrate the complexity of the pathway to diagnosis. Diagnostic delays among children with autism were compared with delays among subsamples of children with Asperger’s syndrome. Regression analysis was used to evaluate the effect of socioeconomic and clinical variables on diagnostic delays. RESULTS : The median diagnostic delay was 27 months (interquartile range [IQR] 8-36), and three professional contacts (IQR 3-6) were needed to achieve a diagnosis. Patients switched between primary and tertiary care even in later stages of the pathway. Patients with Asperger’s syndrome had longer delays than patients with autism, and girls and older patients took more time to receive a diagnosis. Parental concerns regarding language, developmental issues, and perceived developmental regression resulted in shorter diagnostic delays. CONCLUSIONS : Pathways to diagnosis of ASD are long and involve multiple contacts, with patients alternating between primary and specialized care. This pattern reflects failures in the diagnostic protocols and referral systems of clinical centers in Mexico, and such issues may be experienced in countries with similarly overwhelmed health care systems.

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23. Zukerman G, Yahav G, Ben-Itzchak E. The Gap Between Cognition and Adaptive Behavior in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder : Implications for Social Anxiety and the Moderating Effect of Autism Traits. J Autism Dev Disord ;2020 (Aug 1)

The gap between cognitive ability and adaptive behavior has been thought to enhance psychopathology among people with autism, particularly among those without intellectual disability. We examined this association by exploring the gap between cognitive understanding of social behavior and socially adaptive behavior, and its impact on social anxiety symptoms, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and depressive symptoms, among 53 university students with autism (without intellectual disability). A higher cognition-social adaptation discrepancy was associated with more social anxiety, but this effect was moderated by autistic trait (AT) levels ; a greater gap was associated with more avoidance symptoms of social anxiety only among students with high AT. Cognitive flexibility and prosocial behavior may mitigate the effects of AT. Potential implications and interventions are discussed.

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