Pubmed du 9/01/09

lundi 12 janvier 2009

1. Carter EW, Sisco LG, Brown L, Brickham D, Al-Khabbaz ZA. Peer interactions and academic engagement of youth with developmental disabilities in inclusive middle and high school classrooms. Am J Ment Retard ;2008 (Nov) ;113(6):479-494.

We examined the peer interactions and academic engagement of 23 middle and high school students with developmental disabilities within inclusive academic and elective classrooms. The extent to which students with and without disabilities interacted socially was highly variable and influenced by instructional format, the proximity of general and special educators, and curricular area. Peer interactions occurred more often within small group instructional formats, when students were not receiving direct support from a paraprofessional or special educator, and in elective courses. Academic engagement also varied, with higher levels evidenced during one-to-one or small group instruction and when in proximity of general or special educators. Implications for designing effective support strategies for students with autism and/or intellectual disability within general education classrooms are discussed.

2. D’Souza A, Onem E, Patel P, La Gamma EF, Nankova BB. Valproic acid regulates catecholaminergic pathways by concentration-dependent threshold effects on TH mRNA synthesis and degradation. Brain Res ;2009 (Jan 9) ;1247:1-10.

The spectrum of neurological conditions and psychiatric disorders affected by valproic acid (VPA) ranges from control of seizure and mood disorders to migraine, neuropathic pain, and even congenital malformations and autism. While widely used clinically, the mechanism(s) of action of VPA is not completely understood. Emerging evidence indicates that brain noradrenergic systems contribute to the symptoms of mood disorders and may involve regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression, the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. We previously showed that the structurally related short chain fatty acid sodium butyrate (SB) induces TH transcription and alters TH mRNA stability in PC12 cells. The present study was undertaken to determine whether the branched short chain fatty acid VPA could also regulate TH gene expression in vitro. Similar to SB, VPA induced TH transcription at all concentrations tested. VPA-stimulated transcription was significantly attenuated by introducing point mutations in either the canonical cAMP- or in the butyrate-response elements of the TH promoter ; or by co-expression of dominant-negative forms of CREB. As with SB, increasing concentrations of VPA demonstrated opposing effects on TH mRNA and protein abundance : elevation of both at low (0.1 mM) but attenuation at concentrations higher than 0.5 mM. This concentration-dependence is consistent with a novel and previously unrecognized cellular/molecular drug regulatory step at the level of TH mRNA stability. Thus, the therapeutic efficacy of VPA might be related to its ability to regulate TH mRNA and protein levels, and thereby central catecholaminergic-dependent behavioral pathways.

3. Gerber JS, Offit PA. Vaccines and Autism : A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses. Clin Infect Dis ;2009 (Jan 7)

Although child vaccination rates remain high, some parental concern persists that vaccines might cause autism. Three specific hypotheses have been proposed : (1) the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine causes autism by damaging the intestinal lining, which allows the entrance of encephalopathic proteins ; (2) thimerosal, an ethylmercury-containing preservative in some vaccines, is toxic to the central nervous system ; and (3) the simultaneous administration of multiple vaccines overwhelms or weakens the immune system. We will discuss the genesis of each of these theories and review the relevant epidemiological evidence.

4. Harris SW, Hessl D, Goodlin-Jones B, Ferranti J, Bacalman S, Barbato I, Tassone F, Hagerman PJ, Herman H, Hagerman RJ. Autism profiles of males with fragile X syndrome. Am J Ment Retard ;2008 (Nov) ;113(6):427-438.

Autism, which is common in individuals with fragile X syndrome, is often difficult to diagnose. We compared the diagnostic classifications of two measures for autism diagnosis, the ADOS and the ADI-R, in addition to the DSM-IV-TR in 63 males with this syndrome. Overall, 30% of the subjects met criteria for autistic disorder and 30% met criteria for PDD-NOS. The classifications on the ADOS and DSM-IV-TR were most similar, whereas the ADI-R classified subjects as autistic much more frequently. We further investigated the relationship of both FMRP and FMRI mRNA to symptoms of autism in this cohort and found no significant relationship between the measures of autism and molecular features, including FMRP, FMRI mRNA, and CGG repeat number.

5. Kanne SM, Christ SE, Reiersen AM. Psychiatric Symptoms and Psychosocial Difficulties in Young Adults with Autistic Traits. J Autism Dev Disord ;2009 (Jan 9)

A screening version of the social responsiveness scale (SRS) was administered to 1,847 university students to identify a subgroup reporting significantly greater autism traits relative to their peers (High SRS group). A group reporting minimal autism traits was also identified (Low SRS group) matched for age, gender, and attentional difficulties. We administered the Behavioral Assessment System for Children-2nd edition (BASC-2), a comprehensive questionnaire designed to assess psychiatric symptoms and personality characteristics, to both groups. The high SRS group reported significantly more difficulties across the majority of areas, including depression/anxiety, interpersonal relationships, and personal adjustment. Thus, young adults reporting a greater degree of autistic traits also reported greater psychiatric difficulties across a wide psychosocial range.

6. Lipton SA, Li H, Zaremba JD, McKercher SR, Cui J, Kang YJ, Nie Z, Soussou W, Talantova M, Okamoto S, Nakanishi N. Autistic phenotype from MEF2C knockout cells. Science ;2009 (Jan 9) ;323(5911):208.

7. Munson J, Dawson G, Sterling L, Beauchaine T, Zhou A, Elizabeth K, Lord C, Rogers S, Sigman M, Estes A, Abbott R. Evidence for latent classes of IQ in young children with autism spectrum disorder. Am J Ment Retard ;2008 (Nov) ;113(6):439-452.

Autism is currently viewed as a spectrum condition that includes strikingly different severity levels ; IQ is consistently described as one of the primary aspects of the heterogeneity in autism. To investigate the possibility of more than one distinct subtype of autism based on IQ both latent class analysis and taxometrics methods were used to classify Mullen IQs in a sample of 456 children with autism spectrum disorder. We found evidence for multiple IQbased subgroups using both methods. Groups differed in level of intellectual functioning and patterns of verbal versus nonverbal ability. Results support the notion of distinct subtypes of autism that differ in severity of intellectual ability, patterns of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and severity of autism symptoms.

8. Ornstein PA, Schaaf JM, Hooper SR, Hatton DD, Mirrett P, Bailey DB, Jr. Memory skills of boys with fragile X syndrome. Am J Ment Retard ;2008 (Nov) ;113(6):453-465.

Multiple aspects of memory were examined in 42 boys with fragile X syndrome and a comparison group of 42 typically developing boys matched on MA. Working memory, incidental memory, and deliberate memory were assessed with a battery that included both free-recall and recognition tasks. Findings indicated that boys with fragile X syndrome performed more poorly than their matches on most measures. The exception was free recall, in which their accuracy was equal to that of the control participants. Results from analyses of a subset of boys with fragile X syndrome who exhibit characteristics of autism and their MA matches, though preliminary, support the conclusion that memory deficits are especially marked in boys who have fragile X syndrome and evidence autistic behaviors.

9. Rizzolatti G, Fabbri-Destro M, Cattaneo L. Mirror neurons and their clinical relevance. Nat Clin Pract Neurol ;2009 (Jan) ;5(1):24-34.

One of the most exciting events in neurosciences over the past few years has been the discovery of a mechanism that unifies action perception and action execution. The essence of this ’mirror’ mechanism is as follows : whenever individuals observe an action being done by someone else, a set of neurons that code for that action is activated in the observers’ motor system. Since the observers are aware of the outcome of their motor acts, they also understand what the other individual is doing without the need for intermediate cognitive mediation. In this Review, after discussing the most pertinent data concerning the mirror mechanism, we examine the clinical relevance of this mechanism. We first discuss the relationship between mirror mechanism impairment and some core symptoms of autism. We then outline the theoretical principles of neurorehabilitation strategies based on the mirror mechanism. We conclude by examining the relationship between the mirror mechanism and some features of the environmental dependency syndromes.


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