Pubmed du 12/09/20

samedi 12 septembre 2020

1. Arnett AB, Beighley JS, Kurtz-Nelson EC, Hoekzema K, Wang T, Bernier RA, Eichler EE. Developmental Predictors of Cognitive and Adaptive Outcomes in Genetic Subtypes of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Res ;2020 (Sep 12)

Approximately one-fourth of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases are associated with a disruptive genetic variant. Many of these ASD genotypes have been described previously, and are characterized by unique constellations of medical, psychiatric, developmental, and behavioral features. Development of precision medicine care for affected individuals has been challenging due to the phenotypic heterogeneity that exists even within each genetic subtype. In the present study, we identify developmental milestones that predict cognitive and adaptive outcomes for five of the most common ASD genotypes. Sixty-five youth with a known pathogenic variant involving ADNP, CHD8, DYRK1A, GRIN2B, or SCN2A genes participated in cognitive and adaptive testing. Exploratory linear regressions were used to identify developmental milestones that predicted cognitive and adaptive outcomes within each gene group. We hypothesized that the earliest and most predictive milestones would vary across gene groups, but would be consistent across outcomes within each genetic subtype. Within the ADNP group, age of walking predicted cognitive outcomes, while age of first words predicted adaptive behaviors. Age of phrases predicted adaptive functioning in the CHD8 group, but cognitive outcomes were not clearly associated with early developmental milestones. Verbal milestones were the strongest predictors of cognitive and adaptive outcomes for individuals with mutations to DYRK1A, GRIN2B, or SCN2A. These trends inform decisions about treatment planning and long-term expectations for affected individuals, and they add to the growing body of research linking molecular genetic function to brain development and phenotypic outcomes. LAY SUMMARY : Researchers have found many genetic causes of autism including mutations to ADNP, CHD8, DYRK1A, GRIN2B, and SCN2A genes. We found that each genetic cause had different early developmental milestones that explained the overall functioning of the children when they were older. Depending on the genetic cause, the age that a child first starts walking and/or talking may help to better understand and support a child’s development who has a mutation to one of the above genes.

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2. Ashtari A, Yadegari F, Samadi SA, Watson LR. Sequential Associations Between Communication Acts of Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder and Maternal Verbal Responses. Autism Res ;2020 (Sep 12)

In this study, the sequential associations between child communication acts, including spontaneous communication (SC) and elicited communication (EC), and the types of verbal responses of Iranian mothers (follow-in nondirective, follow-in directive, and redirective responses) were compared between children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and young typically developing (TD) children. Participants were 29 children with ASD aged 3-6 years and 40 TD children aged 13-18 months, matched on expressive vocabulary. Using time-window sequential analysis, maternal verbal responses within a time interval of 3 sec following child communication were examined during 15 min of video-recorded mother-child free play interaction. Mothers in the two groups had broadly similar patterns of response to child communication acts, but some differences in responding to child EC. Across both groups, sequential associations were stronger for maternal follow-in nondirective responses to child SC than for this type of response to child EC, and were stronger for follow-in directive responses to child EC than for follow-in directive responses to child SC. Child EC and SC acts were less likely to be followed by redirective responses than other maternal responses, again across both groups. Finally, mothers of children with ASD were more likely than mothers of TD children to follow-in to child EC with both nondirective and directive responses. Our findings suggest that mothers of children with ASD synchronize their responses with their child’s SC acts to the same extent as mothers of TD children, and are more synchronous in responding to their child’s EC acts. LAY SUMMARY : This observational study examined how Iranian mothers verbally responded to their children’s communication acts, based on whether the children’s communication was spontaneous (unprompted) or elicited (prompted by the mother). Mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder or typical development responded to their children’s spontaneous communication acts in similar ways, but showed some differences in responding to children’s elicited communication. By prompting their children to communicate, mothers create opportunities to give additional verbal responses to their children, which may help to support children’s further language development.

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3. Burton JM, Creaghead NA, Silbert N, Breit-Smith A, Duncan AW, Grether SM. Social Communication and Structural Language of Girls With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch ;2020 (Sep 11):1-17.

Purpose The purpose of this study was to characterize social communication and structural language of school-age girls with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) compared to a matched group of girls who are typically developing (TD). Method Participants were 37 girls between 7 ;5 and 15 ;2 (years ;months)-18 HF-ASD and 19 TD. Children completed the Test of Pragmatic Language-Second Edition (TOPL-2) and Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Fifth Edition. Parents completed the Children’s Communication Checklist-2 United States Edition (CCC-2) and Receptive and Expressive Communication subdomains of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-Second Edition. Results In the area of social communication, girls with HF-ASD earned significantly lower scores and were more often classified as having an impairment on the TOPL-2 and the CCC-2. However, 28% and 33% earned average scores on the TOPL-2 and the CCC-2, respectively. In the area of structural language, no significant differences were found between groups on Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Fifth Edition indexes. In contrast, girls with HF-ASD earned significantly lower scores and were more often classified as having an impairment on the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-Second Edition. Sixty-one percent and 83% scored below average on the Receptive and Expressive Communication subdomains, respectively. Conclusions It has been argued that girls with HF-ASD, when compared to boys with HF-ASD, may have advantages for social communication and structural language that mask their impairments. However, when compared to girls who are TD, girls with HF-ASD demonstrated impaired social communication and structural language. Clinicians should include and carefully examine multiple sources of information when assessing girls with HF-ASD.

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4. Chen P, Li Z, Li Y, Ahmad SS, Kamal MA, Huo X. The language development via FOXP2 in autism spectrum disorder : A Review. Curr Pharm Des ;2020 (Sep 9)

BACKGROUND : An increasing number of newborn children in numerous nations are enrolled in early childhood education programs, and instructors, in this way, assume a focal job in invigorating language improvement in these youthful kids. Kids with language issues are found to have a higher risk for future scholarly challenges and learning inabilities. Language advancement among kids is an intricate procedure and vital for correspondence. The shortcomings in the utilization of grammatical structures may lessen the useful utilization of language for verbally expressive kids with autism spectrum disorder and exacerbate troubles with academic and social expertise advancement. RESULTS : FOXP2, the single principal gene connected to a speech and language issue, is significant for the right execution of complex motor behaviors used for speech. In any case, changes in FOXP2 lead to a speech/language issue portrayed by childhood apraxia of speech. These days, language learning is fundamentally required for kids who need to move to different nations to pursue the instructive frameworks and be helpful individuals or residents of those nations. CONCLUSION : The purpose of this study is to explore the role of FOXP2 in language disorder and its management for children’s language and communication development.

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5. Cheroni C, Caporale N, Testa G. Autism spectrum disorder at the crossroad between genes and environment : contributions, convergences, and interactions in ASD developmental pathophysiology. Mol Autism ;2020 (Sep 10) ;11(1):69.

The complex pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorder encompasses interactions between genetic and environmental factors. On the one hand, hundreds of genes, converging at the functional level on selective biological domains such as epigenetic regulation and synaptic function, have been identified to be either causative or risk factors of autism. On the other hand, exposure to chemicals that are widespread in the environment, such as endocrine disruptors, has been associated with adverse effects on human health, including neurodevelopmental disorders. Interestingly, experimental results suggest an overlap in the regulatory pathways perturbed by genetic mutations and environmental factors, depicting convergences and complex interplays between genetic susceptibility and toxic insults. The pervasive nature of chemical exposure poses pivotal challenges for neurotoxicological studies, regulatory agencies, and policy makers. This highlights an emerging need of developing new integrative models, including biomonitoring, epidemiology, experimental, and computational tools, able to capture real-life scenarios encompassing the interaction between chronic exposure to mixture of substances and individuals’ genetic backgrounds. In this review, we address the intertwined roles of genetic lesions and environmental insults. Specifically, we outline the transformative potential of stem cell models, coupled with omics analytical approaches at increasingly single cell resolution, as converging tools to experimentally dissect the pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as to improve developmental neurotoxicology risk assessment.

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6. Desaunay P, Clochon P, Doidy F, Lambrechts A, Wantzen P, Wallois F, Mahmoudzadeh M, Guile JM, Guénolé F, Baleyte JM, Eustache F, Bowler DM, Guillery-Girard B. Exploring the Event-Related Potentials’ Time Course of Associative Recognition in Autism. Autism Res ;2020 (Sep 12)

Behavioral data on episodic recollection in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) point limited relational memory functioning. However, the involvement of successive memory processes in the profile of episodic memory in ASD needs more study. Here, we used event-related potentials (ERP) to investigate the time course of episodic recollection with an associative recognition paradigm with picture pairs. Twenty-two participants with ASD and 32 with typical development (TD), all right-handed, were included. Behavioral results confirmed difficulties in correctly recognizing identical pairs in the ASD relative to TD group. We found an unexpected amplitude decrement on the P2 (220-270 msec) and FN400 (350-470 msec) potentials, suggesting diminished priming and familiarity effects in the ASD relative to TD group. However, ERP data revealed that the recognition of associative information relies on the same electrophysiological process (old/new effect in the 600-700-msec late positive component) in ASD participants as in TD ones, with a parietal extension in the ASD group. These results suggest that the electrophysiological processes of associative recognition are qualitatively similar in individuals with and without ASD but may differ quantitatively. This difference may be driven by the reduced early processing of picture pairs that may in turn lead to their diminished integration into the semantic memory system, being partially compensated by a greater involvement of associative memory during the recollection process. Other studies would be useful to go further in identifying these cognitive processes involved in atypical recognition in ASD and their neural substrates. LAY SUMMARY : We identified diminished performance on the associative recognition of picture pairs in adolescents and young adults with autism when compared to typical development. Electrophysiological data revealed qualitative similarities but quantitative differences between-group, with diminished priming and familiarity processes partially compensated by an enhanced parietal recollection process.

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7. Ding X, Xu Y, Zhang X, Zhang L, Duan G, Song C, Li Z, Yang Y, Wang Y, Wang X, Zhu C. Gut microbiota changes in patients with autism spectrum disorders. J Psychiatr Res ;2020 (Oct) ;129:149-159.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a high incidence of intestinal comorbidity, indicating a strong association with gut microbiota. The purpose of this study was to characterize gut microbiota profiles in children with ASD. Seventy-seven children with ASD [33 with mild ASD and 44 with severe ASD according to the Childhood Autism Rating Scale score] and 50 age-matched healthy children were enrolled. Compared with children in the healthy control (HC) group, those in the ASD group showed higher biomass, richness, and biodiversity of gut microbiota, and an altered microbial community structure. At the genus level, there was a significant increase in the relative abundance of unidentified Lachnospiraceae, Clostridiales, Erysipelotrichaceae, Dorea, Collinsella, and Lachnoclostridium, whereas Bacteroides, Faecalibacterium, Parasutterella, and Paraprevotella were significantly lower in the ASD group than in the control group. The presence of unidentified Erysipelotrichaceae, Faecalibacterium, and Lachnospiraceae was positively correlated with ASD severity. Notably, three microbial markers (Faecalitalea, Caproiciproducens and Collinsella) were identified in a random forest model with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.94 for differentiation between HCs and ASD patients. Furthermore, the validation model was consistent with the discovery set (AUC = 0.98, 95% CI : 97.9%-100%). The training and testing sets were more effective when the number of bacteria was increased. In addition, the functional properties (such as galactose metabolism, glycosyltransferase activity, and glutathione metabolism) displayed significant differences between the ASD and HC groups. The current study provides evidence for the relationship between gut microbiota and ASD, with the findings suggesting that gut microbiota could contribute to symptomology. Thus, modulation of gut microbiota may be a new therapeutic strategy for ASD.

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8. Douard E, Zeribi A, Schramm C, Tamer P, Loum MA, Nowak S, Saci Z, Lord MP, Rodríguez-Herreros B, Jean-Louis M, Moreau C, Loth E, Schumann G, Pausova Z, Elsabbagh M, Almasy L, Glahn DC, Bourgeron T, Labbe A, Paus T, Mottron L, Greenwood CMT, Huguet G, Jacquemont S. Effect Sizes of Deletions and Duplications on Autism Risk Across the Genome. Am J Psychiatry ;2020 (Sep 11):appiajp202019080834.

OBJECTIVE : Deleterious copy number variants (CNVs) are identified in up to 20% of individuals with autism. However, levels of autism risk conferred by most rare CNVs remain unknown. The authors recently developed statistical models to estimate the effect size on IQ of all CNVs, including undocumented ones. In this study, the authors extended this model to autism susceptibility. METHODS : The authors identified CNVs in two autism populations (Simons Simplex Collection and MSSNG) and two unselected populations (IMAGEN and Saguenay Youth Study). Statistical models were used to test nine quantitative variables associated with genes encompassed in CNVs to explain their effects on IQ, autism susceptibility, and behavioral domains. RESULTS : The "probability of being loss-of-function intolerant" (pLI) best explains the effect of CNVs on IQ and autism risk. Deleting 1 point of pLI decreases IQ by 2.6 points in autism and unselected populations. The effect of duplications on IQ is threefold smaller. Autism susceptibility increases when deleting or duplicating any point of pLI. This is true for individuals with high or low IQ and after removing de novo and known recurrent neuropsychiatric CNVs. When CNV effects on IQ are accounted for, autism susceptibility remains mostly unchanged for duplications but decreases for deletions. Model estimates for autism risk overlap with previously published observations. Deletions and duplications differentially affect social communication, behavior, and phonological memory, whereas both equally affect motor skills. CONCLUSIONS : Autism risk conferred by duplications is less influenced by IQ compared with deletions. The model applied in this study, trained on CNVs encompassing >4,500 genes, suggests highly polygenic properties of gene dosage with respect to autism risk and IQ loss. These models will help to interpret CNVs identified in the clinic.

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9. Fernandez-Prieto M, Moreira C, Cruz S, Campos V, Martínez-Regueiro R, Taboada M, Carracedo A, Sampaio A. Executive Functioning : A Mediator Between Sensory Processing and Behaviour in Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord ;2020 (Sep 11)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction, executive functioning, sensory-perceptual abilities and behaviour, such as anxious/depressed states, attention problems, aggression, or somatic complains. However, the dynamic relationship between these dimensions remains to be addressed. Therefore, we explored the link between executive functions, sensory processing and behaviour in 79 children and adolescents with ASD. Results showed significant associations between all dimensions-executive functions, sensory processing and behaviour. Furthermore, using structural equation modelling methods, we observed a mediation effect of executive functioning, specifically the domain pertaining to emotion regulation and control, and in the relationship between sensory processing abnormalities and behavioural problems. We discuss the importance of emotion regulation as a mediator between sensory processing and behavioural impairments and its impact in social competence in ASD.

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10. Hage SRV, Lopes-Herrera SA, Santos TF, Defense-Netvral DA, Martins A, Sawasaki LY, Fernandes FDM. Oral hygiene and habits of children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. J Clin Exp Dent ;2020 (Aug) ;12(8):e719-e724.

BACKGROUND : Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) frequently receive poorer health care then the general population. Frequently the speech-language pathologist is the only health professional that follows the child’s everyday life and therefore is the only resource for guidance regarding basic health habits. Poor oral health may result in severe discomfort and other health problems that can be prevented by simple routine habits and adequate professional follow-up. The aim of the present study was to gather information about oral hygiene and dental care habits of children with ASD and their families. The hypothesis was that these children have poorer oral care habits than their families. MATERIAL AND METHODS : Participants were parents of 120 children with autism, aged 4 to 12 years in two different cities of the state of Sao Paulo. They answered to a simple questionnaire about oral hygiene and health care habits. RESULTS : Indicated that there is a significant difference (p< 0.001) between the children and their families regarding basic oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, as well as routine visits to the dentist. CONCLUSIONS : This information clearly indicates the need for education programs aiming to encourage the inclusion children with ASD in the basic habits of oral care carried-out by the families. Key words:Autism disorder, oral hygiene habits, oral health.

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11. Hand BN, Coury DL, Darragh AR, White S, Moffatt-Bruce S, Harris L, Longo A, Gilmore D, Garvin JH. Patient and caregiver experiences at a specialized primary care center for autistic adults. J Comp Eff Res ;2020 (Sep 11)

Background : Little is known about the extent to which patient-centered medical homes meet the needs of autistic adults. Materials & methods : We conducted a cross-sectional survey of autistic adult patients (n = 47) and caregivers of autistic adult patients (n = 66) receiving care through one patient-centered medical home specifically designed to meet the needs of this population. We performed post hoc comparisons of our results to previously published data from a national sample of autistic adults. Results : Participants reported high levels of satisfaction with care, frequent preventive healthcare use and few unmet healthcare needs. Autistic adults in our sample reported significantly higher satisfaction and fewer unmet healthcare needs. Conclusion : A patient-centered medical home tailored to the needs of autistic adults is a promising approach to healthcare delivery for meeting this population’s needs.

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12. Jacobs D, Steyaert J, Dierickx K, Hens K. Parents’ multi-layered expectations when requesting an Autism Spectrum Disorder assessment of their young child : an in-depth interview study. BMC Psychiatry ;2020 (Sep 10) ;20(1):440.

BACKGROUND : Parents are valued stakeholders in research, clinical practice and policy development concerning autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, little is known about what drives and moves parents besides their obvious worries and help request when they ask for a diagnostic ASD assessment of their child. METHODS : Seventeen Flemish parents of 11 young children participated in a longitudinal study consisting of three in-depth interviews before and after their child’s diagnostic ASD assessment. Data were analysed in Nvivo 11 according to the procedures of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. RESULTS : In this paper we report the results of the first series of interviews which were conducted after parents had asked for an ASD assessment of their young child, and before this assessment started. The pre-assessment experiences of the parents were dominated by the anticipation of various implications of an ASD diagnosis, comprising both positive and negative expectations. The theme of positive expectations consisted of two equally prominent subthemes : treatment-related implications but also expectations pertaining to their psychological and relational experiences. CONCLUSIONS : This study suggests important issues for clinicians to bear in mind during a consultation with parents who request an ASD assessment of their young child. We argue that attending to and communicating about parents’ expectations prior to their child’s ASD assessment may help clinicians to better understand parents’ requests for help, and to address their needs more effectively.

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13. Kamand M, Ilieva M, Louise Forsberg S, Thomassen M, Meyer M, Fex Svenningsen Å, Maria Michel T. Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (SDUKIi003-A) from a 20-year-old male patient diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Stem Cell Res ;2020 (Sep 1) ;48:101974.

Autism spectrum disorder is a heterogenous neurodevelopmental disorder. The patients experience challenges in social interaction and communication skills as well as restricted and/or repetitive behaviors. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying developmental brain disorders, patient-derived cellular models represent a useful tool. We have generated a human induced pluripotent stem cell line (SDUKIi003-A) from skin fibroblasts derived from a 20-year old male patient diagnosed with Asperger syndrome ("FYNEN-cohort" of Southern Denmark). The reprogramming of the fibroblasts was accomplished using integration-free episomal plasmids. Characterization validated the expression of pluripotency markers, differentiation into the three germ layers, and absence of chromosomal abnormalities.

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14. Lambrechts A, Cook J, Ludvig EA, Alonso E, Anns S, Taylor M, Gaigg SB. Reward Devaluation in Autistic Children and Adolescents with Complex Needs : A Feasibility Study. Autism Res ;2020 (Sep 10)

Rewards act as a motivator for positive behavior and learning. Although compounding evidence indicates that reward processing operates differently in autistic individuals who do not have co-occurring learning disabilities, little is known about individuals who have such difficulties or other complex needs. This study aimed first to assess the feasibility of using an adapted reward devaluation paradigm to examine basic reward processes in this underrepresented population, and second to investigate whether autistic children and adolescents with complex needs would show dynamic behavioral changes in response to changes in the motivational value of a reward. Twenty-seven autistic children and adolescents with complex needs and 20 typically developing 5-year-old children took part in the study. Participants were presented with two visual cues on a touchscreen laptop, which triggered the delivery of a video, music, or physical reward. One of the rewards was then presented in abundance to decrease its motivational value. Participants showed decreased interest in the video and music rewards after devaluation. The experimental setup was found to be suitable to test individuals with complex needs, although recommendations are made for the use of physical rewards. The results suggest that autistic participants with complex needs demonstrate goal-directed behavior and that it is feasible to develop experimental paradigms that can shed important light on learning processes that are fundamental to many education and intervention strategies for this population. LAY SUMMARY : We adapted an experimental task to conduct research with autistic children and adolescents with complex needs, who remain grossly underrepresented in autism research. We found that once a reward was presented in great quantity, participants were less motivated to obtain it, showing that they adapted their behavior to changes in the value of that reward. This is an important finding to help promote learning and design better interventions for this population.

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15. Lo JYT, Shum KK. Brief Report : A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of RECALL (Reading to Engage Children with Autism in Language and Learning) for Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord ;2020 (Sep 11)

This study investigated the effects of a parent-implemented dialogic reading approach-Reading to Engage Children with Autism in Language and Learning (RECALL)-on the engagement in reading and inference-making ability for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Thirty-one preschoolers (mean age = 5.90 years, SD = 0.69 ; 26 boys, 5 girls) were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. Six weeks of RECALL significantly enhanced story comprehension, emotion knowledge, and reading engagement among preschoolers in the treatment group. This might be the first randomized controlled trial testing the effects of RECALL on children with ASD. Our findings suggest that additional instructional support such as the application of a prompting hierarchy during dialogic reading might help children with ASD reap greater benefits from shared book reading.

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16. Maltman N, DaWalt LS, Hong J, Mailick M. Brief Report : Socioeconomic Factors Associated with Minimally Verbal Status in Individuals with ASD. J Autism Dev Disord ;2020 (Sep 10)

About 30% of adults with autism are minimally verbal. Past research suggested that after age five, few gain verbal fluency, but studies have rarely investigated whether family environmental factors contribute to the acquisition of verbal fluency. The present study utilized data from the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised to compare changes in verbal fluency for 404 individuals with autism from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. Socioeconomic factors were examined across fluency groups (i.e., those who did/did not achieve verbal fluency). Findings indicated that fully 60% of those who were minimally verbal in early childhood acquired verbal fluency in adolescence and adulthood. Parent socioeconomic status differed across fluency groups, suggesting the importance of environmental factors for individual development.

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17. Nicholson T, Williams DM, Lind SE, Grainger C, Carruthers P. Linking metacognition and mindreading : Evidence from autism and dual-task investigations. J Exp Psychol Gen ;2020 (Sep 10)

Questions of how we know our own and other minds, and whether metacognition and mindreading rely on the same processes, are longstanding in psychology and philosophy. In Experiment 1, children/adolescents with autism (who tend to show attenuated mindreading) showed significantly lower accuracy on an explicit metacognition task than neurotypical children/adolescents, but not on an allegedly metacognitive implicit one. In Experiment 2, neurotypical adults completed these tasks in a single-task condition or a dual-task condition that required concurrent completion of a secondary task that tapped mindreading. Metacognitive accuracy was significantly diminished by the dual-mindreading-task on the explicit task but not the implicit task. In Experiment 3, we included additional dual-tasks to rule out the possibility that any secondary task (regardless of whether it required mindreading) would diminish metacognitive accuracy. Finally, in both Experiments 1 and 2, metacognitive accuracy on the explicit task, but not the implicit task, was associated significantly with performance on a measure of mindreading ability. These results suggest that explicit metacognitive tasks (used frequently to measure metacognition in humans) share metarepresentational processing resources with mindreading, whereas implicit tasks (which are claimed by some comparative psychologists to measure metacognition in nonhuman animals) do not. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

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18. Payne KL, Maras KL, Russell AJ, Brosnan MJ. Are Mental Health, Family and Childhood Adversity, Substance Use and Conduct Problems Risk Factors for Offending in Autism ?. J Autism Dev Disord ;2020 (Sep 11)

Mental health difficulties, family and childhood adversity factors, substance use and conduct problems have all been linked to offending behaviour in the general population. However, no large-scale study with comparison groups has investigated these risk factors in relation to autistic offenders. The current research included 40 autistic offenders, 40 autistic non-offenders, 40 typically developed (TD) offenders and 39 TD non-offenders. Conduct problems risk factors differentiated autistic offenders from both non-offender groups (autistic and TD) and mental health risk factors differentiated autistic offenders from both TD groups (offenders and non-offenders). Further research is required to understand more about the role of both conduct problems risk factors in autistic offenders (e.g., age at onset, frequency of behaviours) and the mental health needs of autistic offenders.

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19. Rodriguez G, Drastal K, Hartley SL. Cross-lagged model of bullying victimization and mental health problems in children with autism in middle to older childhood. Autism ;2020 (Sep 12):1362361320947513.

Youth with autism spectrum disorders are disproportionately at risk for bullying victimization compared to typically developing children and adolescents. While internalizing and externalizing mental health problems have been linked to victimization experiences, few studies have examined the longitudinal effects bullying victimization experiences may have on youth mental health outcomes. The present study investigated longitudinal associations between bullying victimization and mental health problems in a sample of children with autism in middle childhood to early adolescence (aged 5 to 12 years). Findings from our study suggest that youth with autism who experienced bullying victimization (versus no victimization) were older in age, had more severe autism symptoms, and higher levels of internalizing and externalizing mental health problems at study onset. Though externalizing mental health problems at study onset (Time 1) did not relate to change in the likelihood of being bullied one year later (Time 2), experiences of bullying victimization did relate to an increase in parent reports of internalizing mental health problems. This study expanded on previous cross-sectional studies by including two waves of data in a relatively large sample of youth with autism and highlights important information that may be helpful in adapting approaches to intervention at the individual level. Moreover, our findings support the need for bullying programs that may need to focus particular attention to subgroups of youth with autism who may be most at-risk for bullying victimization such as those with more autism symptoms and those with past experiences of victimization (given the chronic nature of bullying).

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20. Schiavi S, Carbone E, Melancia F, Buzzelli V, Manduca A, Campolongo P, Pallottini V, Trezza V. Perinatal supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids corrects the aberrant social and cognitive traits observed in a genetic model of autism based on FMR1 deletion in rats. Nutr Neurosci ;2020 (Sep 11):1-14.

Background and objective : Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder for which no treatments exist. Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of inherited mental retardation and the most frequent monogenic cause of ASD. Given the lack of pharmacological treatments for ASD, increasing interest is devoted to non-pharmacological approaches, including dietary interventions. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are critical for neurobehavioraldevelopment. This study had two aims : 1. To validatethe recently developed Fmr1-(Δ)exon 8 rat model of FXS ; 2. To assess the impact of omega-3 PUFAs dietary supplementation during pregnancy and lactation on the altered behavior displayed by Fmr1-(Δ)exon 8 rats. Methods : Female Fmr1-(Δ)exon 8 and wild-type Sprague-Dawley rats were fed with either an omega-3 PUFAs enriched diet or with an isocaloric control diet during pregnancy and lactation. Behavioral experiments were carried out on the infant (Postnatal days (PNDs) 9 and 13), juvenile (PND 35) and adult (PND 90) male offspring. Results : Fmr1-(Δ)exon 8 pups showed hypolocomotion, reduced ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) emission and impaired social discrimination compared to wild-type controls. Juvenile and adult Fmr1-(Δ)exon 8 rats showed deficits in the social and cognitive domains, that were counteracted by perinatal omega-3 PUFAs supplementation. Conclusion : Our results support the validity of the Fmr1-(Δ)exon 8 rat model to mimic key autistic-like features and support an important role of omega-3 PUFAs during of neurodevelopment. Although the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of omega-3 PUFAs supplementation in ASD needs to be clarified, this dietary intervention holds promise to mitigate core and comorbid autistic features.

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21. Su PL, Rogers SJ, Estes A, Yoder P. The role of early social motivation in explaining variability in functional language in toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. Autism ;2020 (Sep 12):1362361320953260.

About one-third of children with autism spectrum disorder never develop the language that they need in different day-to-day situations. Identifying potential factors that can predict later language development is crucial to understanding why some children with autism spectrum disorder successfully develop language while others do not. This study sought to investigate one of the understudied predictors of language development, social motivation, and to test theories for why this association may occur. Testing the theories requires that we measure children’s ability to deliberately and directly communicate with others (i.e. intentional communication) and children’s language understanding between the measures of social motivation and later expressive language. We tested 87 children with autism spectrum disorder, aged 14-31 months, at four times over 24 months. We found that children with relatively stronger social motivation had relatively better language use 2 years later. This positive link was partly due to a child’s ability to produce intentional communication and to understand language. Although we did not measure parents’ talking to their children, a theory that inspired this study suggests that children who use frequent intentional communication probably motivate others to talk with them frequently, which facilitates children’s language understanding which leads to the development of expressive language. This theory, if confirmed to be true, can provide guidance for parents who want to help their children learn to talk. Parents could look for intentional communication from their children and respond by talking to their children. Effective intervention on both parent and child targets will likely enhance treatment efficacy. Future work is needed to test these ideas.

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22. Suzuki K, Oi Y, Inagaki M. The Relationships Among Autism Spectrum Disorder Traits, Loneliness, and Social Networking Service Use in College Students. J Autism Dev Disord ;2020 (Sep 10)

This study aimed to explore the relationships among autism spectrum disorder (ASD) traits, loneliness, and social networking services (SNS) use. We created a questionnaire to evaluate manners during LINE use, which included five factors : "low literacy," "inactive use," "low responsiveness," "lack of consideration," and "low group activity." Structural equation modeling revealed that difficulties in attention switching and low communication skills were associated with low literacy, low social skills were associated with inactive use, and low literacy and inactive use were associated with loneliness. We suggested that SNS use plays a role in maintaining and enhancing friendships, whereas college students with higher ASD traits tend to use inappropriate manners for SNS, which is associated with loneliness.

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23. Trinh S, Arnett A, Kurtz-Nelson E, Beighley J, Picoto M, Bernier R. Transcriptional subtyping explains phenotypic variability in genetic subtypes of autism spectrum disorder. Dev Psychopathol ;2020 (Sep 11):1-9.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and presence of restricted, repetitive behaviors, and interests. However, individuals with ASD vary significantly in their challenges and abilities in these and other developmental domains. Gene discovery in ASD has accelerated in the past decade, and genetic subtyping has yielded preliminary evidence of utility in parsing phenotypic heterogeneity through genomic subtypes. Recent advances in transcriptomics have provided additional dimensions with which to refine genetic subtyping efforts. In the current study, we investigate phenotypic differences among transcriptional subtypes defined by neurobiological spatiotemporal co-expression patterns. Of the four transcriptional subtypes examined, participants with mutations to genes typically expressed highly in all brain regions prenatally, and those with differential postnatal cerebellar expression relative to other brain regions, showed lower cognitive and adaptive skills, higher severity of social communication deficits, and later acquisition of speech and motor milestones, compared to those with mutations to genes highly expressed during the postnatal period across brain regions. These findings suggest higher-order characterization of genetic subtypes based on neurobiological expression patterns may be a promising approach to parsing phenotypic heterogeneity among those with ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

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24. Wang HE, Cheng CM, Bai YM, Hsu JW, Huang KL, Su TP, Tsai SJ, Li CT, Chen TJ, Leventhal BL, Chen MH. Familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder : a nationwide population-based study. Psychol Med ;2020 (Sep 11):1-11.

BACKGROUND : Family coaggregation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia have been presented in previous studies. The shared genetic and environmental factors among psychiatric disorders remain elusive. METHODS : This nationwide population-based study examined familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives (FDRs) of individuals with ASD. Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database was used to identify 26 667 individuals with ASD and 67 998 FDRs of individuals with ASD. The cohort was matched in 1:4 ratio to 271 992 controls. The relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of ADHD, ASD, BD, MDD and schizophrenia were assessed among FDRs of individuals with ASD and ASD with intellectual disability (ASD-ID). RESULTS : FDRs of individuals with ASD have higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders compared with controls : ASD 17.46 (CI 15.50-19.67), ADHD 3.94 (CI 3.72-4.17), schizophrenia 3.05 (CI 2.74-3.40), BD 2.22 (CI 1.98-2.48) and MDD 1.88 (CI 1.76-2.00). Higher RRs of schizophrenia (4.47, CI 3.95-5.06) and ASD (18.54, CI 16.18-21.23) were observed in FDRs of individuals with both ASD-ID, compared with ASD only. CONCLUSIONS : The risk for major psychiatric disorders was consistently elevated across all types of FDRs of individuals with ASD. FDRs of individuals with ASD-ID are at further higher risk for ASD and schizophrenia. Our results provide leads for future investigation of shared etiologic pathways of ASD, ID and major psychiatric disorders and highlight the importance of mental health care delivered to at-risk families for early diagnoses and interventions.

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25. Wilson HA, Creighton C, Scharfman H, Choleris E, MacLusky NJ. Endocrine Insights into the Pathophysiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Neuroscientist ;2020 (Sep 11):1073858420952046.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a class of neurodevelopmental disorders that affects males more frequently than females. Numerous genetic and environmental risk factors have been suggested to contribute to the development of ASD. However, no one factor can adequately explain either the frequency of the disorder or the male bias in its prevalence. Gonadal, thyroid, and glucocorticoid hormones all contribute to normal development of the brain, hence perturbations in either their patterns of secretion or their actions may constitute risk factors for ASD. Environmental factors may contribute to ASD etiology by influencing the development of neuroendocrine and neuroimmune systems during early life. Emerging evidence suggests that the placenta may be particularly important as a mediator of the actions of environmental and endocrine risk factors on the developing brain, with the male being particularly sensitive to these effects. Understanding how various risk factors integrate to influence neural development may facilitate a clearer understanding of the etiology of ASD.

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26. Zajic MC, Solari EJ, McIntyre NS, Lerro L, Mundy PC. Observing Visual Attention and Writing Behaviors During a Writing Assessment : Comparing Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Peers with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Typically Developing Peers. Autism Res ;2020 (Sep 12)

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate heterogeneous writing skills that are generally lower than their typically developing (TD) peers and similar to peers with attention difficulties like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Recent evidence suggests children with ASD spend less time engaging in writing tasks compared to their peers, but previous studies have not examined engagement specifically within the writing task environment. This study used video observation data collected from 121 school-age children (60 children with ASD, 32 children with ADHD, and 29 TD children) to compare differences in visual attention and writing task behaviors and relationships between task behaviors and age, cognitive skills, and ASD and ADHD symptom severity. Findings indicated that groups mostly spent time looking at and writing on the draft, though this was lowest in the ASD group. No differences were found between the ASD and ADHD groups after accounting for task behavior durations as percentages of total used task time. Groups spent little time looking at their outlines and looking away from the task, with all groups spending relatively more time looking at the task picture. Time spent engaged with the draft showed a positive relationship with writing performance across groups, but a negative relationship between time spent looking at the task picture and writing performance only appeared for the ADHD group. The ASD and ADHD groups showed negative associations between draft engagement and ASD symptom severity but not ADHD symptom severity. Implications are discussed for understanding writing task engagement in research and instructional contexts. LAY SUMMARY : Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate variable writing skills. Here, we examine how children with ASD engage during a writing task by using video observation data to compare their engagement to peers with and without attention difficulties. Findings indicate (a) lower draft engagement and similar task disengagement in children with ASD compared to their peers and (b) moderate-to-strong relationships between writing scores and ASD symptom severity with within-task engagement in children with ASD and their peers with attention difficulties.

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