International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience : Developmental Perspectives of Autism (Décembre 2014)

mardi 17 février 2015

L’édition du mois de décembre 2014 de la revue International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience est consacrée à l’autisme : Developmental Perspectives of Autism

1. Matson J. Editorial. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience ;2014 ;39(0):1.

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2. Yin A, Qiu Y, jia B, Song T, Yu Y, Alberts I, Zhong M. The developmental pattern of the RAS/RAF/Erk1/2 pathway in the BTBR autism mouse model. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience ;2014 ;39(0):2-8.

Abstract BTBR mice exhibit several autistic-like behaviors and are currently used as a model for understanding mechanisms that may be responsible for the pathogenesis of autism. Ras/Raf/ERK1/2 signaling has been suggested to play an important role in neural development, learning, memory, and cognition. Two studies reported that a deletion of a locus on chromosome 16 containing the mitogen-activated protein kinase 3 (MAPK3) gene, which encodes ERK1, is associated with autism. In the present study, Ras/Raf/ERK1/2 signaling was found to be up-regulated in BTBR mice relative to matched control B6 mice, to further suggest involvement in the pathogenesis of autism. To further characterize the developmental pattern of Ras/Raf/ERK1/2 signaling, varying stages during development were sampled to reveal an up-regulation in newborn and 2-week old BTBR mice relative to age-matched B6 mice. By the age of 3-week, Ras/Raf/ERK1/2 signaling in the brain of BTBR mice was unaltered relative to B6 mice, with this trend maintained in 6-week samples. These results suggest that the alteration of Ras/Raf/ERK signaling in the early developmental stages in mice could contribute to the noted autistic phenotype. Furthermore, these findings support the value of BTBR mice to serve as a human analog for autistic etiological research and aid in a better understanding of the developmental mechanisms of autism.

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3. Janušonis S. Serotonin dynamics in and around the central nervous system : Is autism solvable without fundamental insights ?. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience ;2014 ;39(0):9-15.

Abstract Altered serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) signaling has been implicated in some developmental abnormalities of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the presumed role of 5-HT in ASD raises new questions in fundamental neuroscience. Specifically, it is not clear if the current piecemeal approach to 5-HT signaling in the mammalian body is effective and whether new conceptual approaches may be required. This review briefly discusses 5-HT production and circulation in the central nervous system and outside of it, especially with regard to ASD, and proposes a more encompassing approach that questions the utility of the “neurotransmitter” concept. It then introduces the idea of a generalized 5-HT packet that may offer insights into possible links between serotonergic varicosities and blood platelets. These approaches have theoretical significance, but they are also well positioned to advance our understanding of some long-standing problems in autism research.

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4. Peterson C. Theory of mind understanding and empathic behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience ;2014 ;39(0):16-21.

Abstract This paper begins with a review of past research on theory of mind and empathy in children with ASD. Using varied operational definitions of empathy ranging from physiological heart rate through story vignettes to reports by privileged observers (e.g., teachers) of children’s empathic behavior, results of previous studies are limited and contradictory. Thus new evidence is needed to answer two key questions : Are children with ASD less empathic than typically developing children ? Do individual differences in theory of mind (ToM) understanding among children with ASD predict differences in their behavioral empathy ? An original empirical study of 76 children aged 3–12 years (37 with ASD ; 39 with typical development) addressed these. Results showed that children with ASD were significantly less empathic, according to their teachers, than typically developing children. However, this was not because of their slower ToM development. Findings showed equally clearly that ToM understanding was unrelated to empathy in children with ASD. The same was true for typically developing children once age and verbal maturity were controlled. Indeed, even the subgroup of older children with ASD in the sample who passed false belief tests were significantly less empathic than younger preschoolers who failed them.

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5. White SW, Mazefsky CA, Dichter GS, Chiu PH, Richey JA, Ollendick TH. Social-cognitive, physiological, and neural mechanisms underlying emotion regulation impairments : understanding anxiety in autism spectrum disorder. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience ;2014 ;39(0):22-36.

Abstract Anxiety is one of the most common clinical problems among children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet we know little about its etiology in the context of ASD. We posit that emotion regulation (ER) impairments are a risk factor for anxiety in ASD. Specifically, we propose that one reason why anxiety disorders are so frequently comorbid with ASD is because ER impairments are ubiquitous to ASD, stemming from socio-cognitive, physiological, and neurological processes related to impaired cognitive control, regulatory processes, and arousal. In this review, we offer a developmental model of how ER impairments may arise in ASD, and when (moderating influences) and how (meditational mechanisms) they result in anxiety.

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6. Rieffe C, De Bruine M, De Rooij M, Stockmann L. Approach and avoidant emotion regulation prevent depressive symptoms in children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience ;2014 ;39(0):37-43.

Abstract The prevalence of depression is high in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), but its etiology has not yet been studied in this group. Emotion dysregulation is a well-known contributor to the development of depression in typically developing (TD) children, which might also apply to children with ASD. In this study, we examined the longitudinal relationship between three different ways of emotion regulation (approach, avoidance and worry/rumination) and depressive symptoms in children with ASD and a group of TD children which were compatible with the ASD group (age 9–15-years old). Children filled out self-report questionnaires at 3 time points (with a 9-month break between each session). To account for missing data multiple imputations were used. A regression model with clustered bootstrapping was used to establish which factors contributed to depression and to identify possible differences between the ASD and TD group. Approach and avoidant strategies prevented the development of depressive symptoms in both respective groups, whereas elevated levels of worry/rumination in turn increased children’s depressive symptoms. Besides differences in absolute levels (children with ASD scored higher on symptoms of depression and lower on approach strategies than the TD group), no other differences between the groups emerged.

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7. Matson JL, Goldin RL. Diagnosing young children with autism. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience ;2014 ;39(0):44-48.

Abstract The starting point for any research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) involves the identification of people who evince the condition. From this point follows research on symptom presentation, genetics, epidemiology, animal models, treatment efficacy, and many other important topics. Major advances have been made in differential diagnosis, particularly with young children. This fact is particularly important since ASD is a life long condition. This review documents recent advances and the current state of research on this topic.

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8. Fava L, Strauss K. Response to Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention for autism—An umbrella approach to issues critical to treatment individualization. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience ;2014 ;39(0):49-58.

Abstract Integrating knowledge across the disciplines of genetics, neurological, and behavioral science targets, so far, early identification of children with autism and thus early access to intervention. Cross-discipline collaboration might be substantially improve treatment efficacy via individualized treatment based on the child and family needs, consistency across treatment providers and careful planning of skill curricula, setting and techniques. This paper documents the current state of five main issues critical to treatment individualization where cross-discipline collaboration is warranted : (1) developmental timing, (2) treatment intensity, (3) heterogeneity in treatment response, (4) program breath and flexibility, and (5) formats of treatment provision.

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9. Waddington H, Sigafoos J, Lancioni GE, O’Reilly MF, van der Meer L, Carnett A, Stevens M, Roche L, Hodis F, Green VA, Sutherland D, Lang R, Marschik PB. Three children with autism spectrum disorder learn to perform a three-step communication sequence using an iPad®-based speech-generating device. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience ;2014 ;39(0):59-67.

AbstractBackground Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have limited or absent speech and might therefore benefit from learning to use a speech-generating device (SGD). The purpose of this study was to evaluate a procedure aimed at teaching three children with ASD to use an iPad®-based SGD to make a general request for access to toys, then make a specific request for one of two toys, and then communicate a thank-you response after receiving the requested toy. Method A multiple-baseline across participants design was used to determine whether systematic instruction involving least-to-most-prompting, time delay, error correction, and reinforcement was effective in teaching the three children to engage in this requesting and social communication sequence. Generalization and follow-up probes were conducted for two of the three participants. Results With intervention, all three children showed improvement in performing the communication sequence. This improvement was maintained with an unfamiliar communication partner and during the follow-up sessions. Conclusion With systematic instruction, children with ASD and severe communication impairment can learn to use an iPad-based SGD to complete multi-step communication sequences that involve requesting and social communication functions.

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10. Foley KA, MacFabe DF, Vaz A, Ossenkopp K-P, Kavaliers M. Sexually dimorphic effects of prenatal exposure to propionic acid and lipopolysaccharide on social behavior in neonatal, adolescent, and adult rats : Implications for autism spectrum disorders. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience ;2014 ;39(0):68-78.

Abstract Emerging evidence suggests that the gut microbiome plays an important role in immune functioning, behavioral regulation and neurodevelopment. Altered microbiome composition, including altered short chain fatty acids, and/or immune system dysfunction, may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), with some children with ASD exhibiting both abnormal gut bacterial metabolite composition and immune system dysfunction. This study describes the effects of prenatal propionic acid (PPA), a short chain fatty acid and metabolic product of many antibiotic resistant enteric bacteria, and of prenatal lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a bacterial mimetic and microbiome component, on social behavior in male and female neonatal, adolescent and adult rats. Pregnant Long–Evans rats were injected once a day with either a low level of PPA (500 mg/kg SC) on gestation days G12–16, LPS (50 μg/kg SC) on G12, or vehicle control on G12 or G12–16. Sex- and age-specific, subtle effects on behavior were observed. Both male and female PPA treated pups were impaired in a test of their nest seeking response, suggesting impairment in olfactory-mediated neonatal social recognition. As well, adolescent males, born to PPA treated dams, approached a novel object more than control animals and showed increased levels of locomotor activity compared to prenatal PPA females. Prenatal LPS produced subtle impairments in social behavior in adult male and female rats. These findings raise the possibility that brief prenatal exposure to elevated levels of microbiome products, such as PPA or LPS, can subtly influence neonatal, adolescent and adult social behavior.

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