Pubmed du 30/01/09

mardi 3 février 2009

1. Cox AR, McDowell S. A Response to the article on the Association between Paracetamol/Acetaminophen : Use and Autism by Stephen T. Schultz. Autism ;2009 (Jan) ;13(1):123-124.

2. Dissanayake C, Bui Q, Bulhak-Paterson D, Huggins R, Loesch DZ. Behavioural and cognitive phenotypes in idiopathic autism versus autism associated with fragile X syndrome. J Child Psychol Psychiatry ;2008 (Nov 1)

Background : In order to better understand the underlying biological mechanism/s involved in autism, it is important to investigate the cognitive and behavioural phenotypes associated with idiopathic autism (autism without a known cause) and comorbid autism (autism associated with known genetic/biological disorders such as fragile X syndrome). Parental effects associated with each type of autism also serve to cast light on the biological underpinnings of autism. Method : Forty-nine participants with idiopathic autism (AD ; Mean age : 11.16 ; SD : 6.08) and their parents (45 mothers ; 34 fathers), and 48 participants with fragile X syndrome and co-morbid autism (FXS/AD ; Mean age : 17.30 ; SD : 10.22) and their parents (32 mothers ; 30 fathers) were administered the ADOS-G and the age-appropriate Wechsler test to ascertain autism and cognitive profiles respectively. Results : The AD and FXS/AD groups showed a similar profile on the ADOS domains, with slightly higher scores on the Communication domain in the FXS/AD group, after adjusting for full-scale IQ. Marked differences between the groups in their cognitive abilities were apparent, with the FXS/AD group showing significantly lower scores on all subtests except Comprehension. While no parental effects were found for the FXS/AD group, a paternal effect was apparent on the combined ADOS score for the AD group. Moreover, midparental effects were found in this group for full-scale IQ (FSIQ) and verbal IQ (VIQ). Analyses also revealed parental effects for the subtests of Similarities, Vocabulary, and Information with predominantly maternal effect, and Digit Span with predominantly paternal effect. Both parents contributed to the midparental effect for Processing Speed. Conclusions : The results, together with our previous findings, suggest that the postulated combination of susceptibility genes for autism may primarily involve cognitive rather than behavioural processes.

3. Gilbert SJ, Meuwese JD, Towgood KJ, Frith CD, Burgess PW. Abnormal functional specialization within medial prefrontal cortex in high-functioning autism : a multi-voxel similarity analysis. Brain ;2009 (Jan 30)

Multi-voxel pattern analyses have proved successful in ’decoding’ mental states from fMRI data, but have not been used to examine brain differences associated with atypical populations. We investigated a group of 16 (14 males) high-functioning participants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 16 non-autistic control participants (12 males) performing two tasks (spatial/verbal) previously shown to activate medial rostral prefrontal cortex (mrPFC). Each task manipulated : (i) attention towards perceptual versus self-generated information and (ii) reflection on another person’s mental state (’mentalizing’versus ’non-mentalizing’) in a 2 x 2 design. Behavioral performance and group-level fMRI results were similar between groups. However, multi-voxel similarity analyses revealed strong differences. In control participants, the spatial distribution of activity generalized significantly between task contexts (spatial/verbal) when examining the same function (attention/mentalizing) but not when comparing different functions. This pattern was disrupted in the ASD group, indicating abnormal functional specialization within mrPFC, and demonstrating the applicability of multi-voxel pattern analysis to investigations of atypical populations.

4. Hubert BE, Wicker B, Monfardini E, Deruelle C. Electrodermal reactivity to emotion processing in adults with autistic spectrum disorders. Autism ;2009 (Jan) ;13(1):9-19.

Although alterations of emotion processing are recognized as a core component of autism, the level at which alterations occur is still debated. Discrepant results suggest that overt assessment of emotion processing is not appropriate. In this study, skin conductance response (SCR) was used to examine covert emotional processes. Both behavioural responses and SCRs of 16 adults with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) were compared to those of 16 typical matched adults. Participants had to judge emotional facial expressions, the age of faces or the direction of a moving object. Although behavioural performance was similar in the two populations, individuals with an ASD exhibited lower SCRs than controls in the emotional judgement task. This suggests that such individuals may rely on different strategies due to altered autonomic processing. Furthermore, failure to produce normal physiological reactions to emotional faces may be related to social impairments in individuals with an ASD.

5. Orsmond GI, Kuo HY, Seltzer MM. Siblings of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder : Sibling relationships and wellbeing in adolescence and adulthood. Autism ;2009 (Jan) ;13(1):59-80.

We investigated sibling relationships and wellbeing in adolescents and adults with a sibling with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Adolescents engaged in more shared activities than did adults. Adolescents reported greater social support, greater use of emotion-focused coping strategies, and less use of problem-focused coping than adults. In adulthood, females with a sister with ASD reported the most positive affect in the sibling relationship and men with a sister with ASD the least. Adolescents engaged in more shared activities and reported more positive affect in their sibling relationship when their sibling with ASD had fewer behavior problems ; greater use of problem-focused coping buffered the negative effects of behavior problems on sibling engagement. For adults, more shared activities were observed when the sibling with ASD was younger in age and had fewer behavior problems ; greater positive affect in sibling relationships was predicted by greater parental support.

6. Schultz ST. Response to the Letter by Cox and McDowell : Association of Paracetamol/Acetaminophen Use and Autism. Autism ;2009 (Jan) ;13(1):124-125.

7. Shu BC. Quality of life of family caregivers of children with autism : The mother’s perspective. Autism ;2009 (Jan) ;13(1):81-91.

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the quality of life (QOL) and feeling of mothers of a child with autism. The QOL instrument was also used. A total of 104 participants completed all questionnaires, which included the Taiwan version of the WHOQOL-BREF. A final robust parsimonious structural model showed a positive correlation between the four domains of QOL. Mother’s feeling was positively related to the physical and psychological domains. History of chronic disease was negatively related to mother’s feeling and the physical domain. Religion was negatively correlated with the psychological and environmental domains. The study provided evidence that the WHOQOL-BREF is an adequate and appropriate instrument in the assessment of caregivers of children with autism in Taiwan. Mother’s feeling, history of chronic disease and religion were related to QOL in these mothers of children with autism.

8. Vismara LA, Colombi C, Rogers SJ. Can one hour per week of therapy lead to lasting changes in young children with autism ? Autism ;2009 (Jan) ;13(1):93-115.

Deficits in attention, communication, imitation, and play skills reduce opportunities for children with autism to learn from natural interactive experiences that occur throughout the day. These developmental delays are already present by the time these children reach the toddler period. The current study provided a brief 12 week, 1 hour per week, individualized parent-child education program to eight toddlers newly diagnosed with autism. Parents learned to implement naturalistic therapeutic techniques from the Early Start Denver Model, which fuses developmental- and relationship-based approaches with Applied Behavior Analysis into their ongoing family routines and parent-child play activities. Results demonstrated that parents acquired the strategies by the fifth to sixth hour and children demonstrated sustained change and growth in social communication behaviors. Findings are discussed in relation to providing parents with the necessary tools to engage, communicate with, and teach their young children with autism beginning immediately after the diagnosis.

9. Yildiz S, Aktas S, Uzun G. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in autism : is there evidence ? Undersea Hyperb Med ;2008 (Nov-Dec) ;35(6):453-455.

10. Zandt F, Prior M, Kyrios M. Similarities and differences between children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and those with obsessive compulsive disorder : Executive functioning and repetitive behaviour. Autism ;2009 (Jan) ;13(1):43-57.

In order to examine hypothesized underlying neurocognitive processes in repetitive behaviour, children and adolescents (7-16 years) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) were compared on a range of executive function (EF) measures. Performance on neuropsychological tests assessing executive functioning showed a trend for children with ASD to perform poorly on tasks requiring generation of multiple responses, while children with OCD tended to demonstrate impairments on a task requiring inhibition. Parental ratings on a questionnaire measure of EF indicated impairments in both groups relative to controls. Relationships between questionnaire and performance measures of EF were generally weak. There was some limited support for a relationship between EF and repetitive behaviour, but effects tended to be small and variable across groups and measures.


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