Pubmed du 10/07/09

mercredi 15 juillet 2009

1. Chawarska K, Shic F. Looking But Not Seeing : Atypical Visual Scanning and Recognition of Faces in 2 and 4-Year-Old Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord ;2009 (Jul 10)

This study used eye-tracking to examine visual scanning and recognition of faces by 2- and 4-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (N = 44) and typically developing (TD) controls (N = 30). TD toddlers at both age levels scanned and recognized faces similarly. Toddlers with ASD looked increasingly away from faces with age, atypically attended to key features of faces, and were impaired in face recognition. Deficits in recognition were associated with imbalanced attention between key facial features. This study illustrates that face processing in ASD may be affected early and become further compromised with age. We propose that deficits in face processing likely impact the effectiveness of toddlers with ASD as social partners and thus should be targeted for intervention.

2. Ma DQ, Rabionet R, Konidari I, Jaworski J, Cukier HN, Wright HH, Abramson RK, Gilbert JR, Cuccaro ML, Pericak-Vance MA, Martin ER. Association and gene-gene interaction of SLC6A4 and ITGB3 in autism. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet ;2009 (Jul 8)

Autism is a heritable neurodevelopmental disorder with substantial genetic heterogeneity. Studies point to possible links between autism and two serotonin related genes : SLC6A4 and ITGB3 with a sex-specific genetic effect and interaction between the genes. Despite positive findings, inconsistent results have complicated interpretation. This study seeks to validate and clarify previous findings in an independent dataset taking into account sex, family-history (FH) and gene-gene effects. Family-based association analysis was performed within each gene. Gene-gene interactions were tested using extended multifactor dimensionality reduction (EMDR) and MDR-phenomics (MDR-P) using sex of affecteds and FH as covariates. No significant associations with individual SNPs were found in the datasets stratified by sex, but associations did emerge when we stratified by family history. While not significant in the overall dataset, nominally significant association was identified at RS2066713 (P = 0.006) within SLC6A4 in family-history negative (FH-) families, at RS2066713 (P = 0.038) in family-history positive (FH+) families but with the opposite risk allele as in the FH- families. For ITGB3, nominally significant association was identified at RS3809865 overall (P = 0.040) and within FH+ families (P = 0.031). However, none of the associations survived the multiple testing correction. MDR-P confirmed gene-gene effects using sex of affecteds (P = 0.023) and family history (P = 0.014, survived the multiple testing corrections) as covariates. Our results indicate the extensive heterogeneity within these two genes among families. The potential interaction between SLC6A4 and ITGB3 may be clarified using family history as an indicator of genetic architecture, illustrating the importance of covariates as markers of heterogeneity in genetic analyses. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

3. Pan CY, Tsai CL, Chu CH. Fundamental Movement Skills in Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord ;2009 (Jul 9)

The purpose of this study was to compare the movement skills of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and those without disabilities. Ninety-one children (ASD, n = 28 ; ADHD, n = 29 ; control, n = 34), ages 6-10 years, were of average IQ participated. After controlling for age, both ASD and ADHD groups scored significantly lower than controls (p’s < .05) on overall gross motor development as well as locomotor and object control subtests, and the ASD group performed more poorly than the ADHD group (p’s < .01) on both subtests. Of the children with ASD and ADHD, only 16% had clinical levels of impairment. Potential underlying factors are discussed, with suggestions for future research.

4. Simms ML, Kemper TL, Timbie CM, Bauman ML, Blatt GJ. The anterior cingulate cortex in autism : heterogeneity of qualitative and quantitative cytoarchitectonic features suggests possible subgroups. Acta Neuropathol ;2009 (Jul 10)

Autism is a behaviorally defined disorder with deficits in social interaction, communication, atypical behaviors, and restricted areas of interest. Postmortem studies of the brain in autism have shown a broad spectrum of abnormalities in the cerebellum and neocortex, involving limbic regions such as anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, Brodmann’s area 24). Using stereological techniques, we analyzed quantitatively cytoarchitectonic subdomains of the ACC (areas 24a, b, c) with regard to cell packing density and cell size. Microscopic examination of the ACC was also done to identify any neuropathologies. Results showed a significant decrease in cell size in layers I-III and layers V-VI of area 24b and in cell packing density in layers V-VI of area 24c. Direct comparisons revealed irregular lamination in three of nine autism brains and increased density of neurons in the subcortical white matter in the remaining cases. Because previous studies have suggested that von Economo neurons (VENs) may be altered in autism, a preliminary study of their density and size was undertaken. VEN density did not differ between autism and control brains overall. However, among the nine autism cases, there were two subsets ; three brains with significantly increased VEN density and the remaining six cases with reduced VEN density compared to controls. Collectively, the findings of this pilot study may reflect the known heterogeneity in individuals with autism and variations in clinical symptomotology. Further neuroanatomic analyses of the ACC, from carefully documented subjects with autism, could substantially expand our understanding of ACC functions and its role in autism.

5. Stokstad E. Scientific community. Resignations highlight disagreement on vaccines in autism group. Science ;2009 (Jul 10) ;325(5937):135.

6. Wittling RA, Schweiger E, Rizhova L, Vershinina EA, Starup LB. A simple method for measuring brain asymmetry in children : Application to autism. Behav Res Methods ;2009 (Aug) ;41(3):812-819.

A device for measuring signal transfer within and between hemispheres has been developed at the Center for Neuropsychological Research at the University of Trier, Germany. It contains two identical panels allowing both tactile stimulation and motor response with buttons for the fingers of each hand. The buttons have two functions. They can exert a slight tactile stimulation to a finger, and they can be pressed down by the finger to provide a motor response to the tactile stimulation allowing measuring the response time. The device was used for measuring brain asymmetry in tactile processing autistic children. The participants were given a finger tapping test followed by the procedures with unilateral and bilateral processing of tactile stimulation. All participants responded positively to the test procedure and accepted it as a kind of game. The results indicated that brains were more asymmetrical in autistic children than in controls : The right hemisphere functioned quicker than the left hemisphere.


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