1. Bloch C, Tepest R, Jording M, Vogeley K, Falter-Wagner CM. Intrapersonal synchrony analysis reveals a weaker temporal coherence between gaze and gestures in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Scientific reports. 2022; 12(1): 20417.
The temporal encoding of nonverbal signals within individuals, referred to as intrapersonal synchrony (IaPS), is an implicit process and essential feature of human communication. Based on existing evidence, IaPS is thought to be a marker of nonverbal behavior characteristics in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but there is a lack of empirical evidence. The aim of this study was to quantify IaPS in adults during an experimentally controlled real-life interaction task. A sample of adults with a confirmed ASD diagnosis and a matched sample of typically-developed adults were tested (N = 48). Participants were required to indicate the appearance of a target invisible to their interaction partner nonverbally through gaze and pointing gestures. Special eye-tracking software allowed automated extraction of temporal delays between nonverbal signals and their intrapersonal variability with millisecond temporal resolution as indices for IaPS. Likelihood ratio tests of multilevel models showed enlarged delays between nonverbal signals in ASD. Larger delays were associated with greater intrapersonal variability in delays. The results provide a quantitative constraint on nonverbal temporality in typically-developed adults and suggest weaker temporal coherence between nonverbal signals in adults with ASD. The results provide a potential diagnostic marker and inspire predictive coding theories about the role of IaPS in interpersonal synchronization processes.
2. Bury SM, Haschek A, Wenzel M, Spoor JR, Hedley D. Brief Report: Learning About Autism: Is the Source of Autism Knowledge Associated with Differences in Autism Knowledge, Autism Identity, and Experiences of Stigma. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2022.
People on the autism spectrum can learn about autism from various sources, likely differing in the information, portrayal, and discussion they offer. The present study investigates where autistic people learn about autism, and whether their information source is associated with their level of autism knowledge, perceptions of stigma, and development and expression of an autism identity. A survey of 198 Australian adults with an autism diagnosis showed that learning about autism from conventional sources (e.g., professionals, parents) was associated with more internalised stigma, lower endorsement of special abilities and autism identity, whereas online blogs and social media showed the opposite pattern as well as more accurate knowledge of autism. The findings raise questions about how authoritative sources of information discuss autism.
3. Camasio A, Panzeri E, Mancuso L, Costa T, Manuello J, Ferraro M, Duca S, Cauda F, Liloia D. Linking neuroanatomical abnormalities in autism spectrum disorder with gene expression of candidate ASD genes: A meta-analytic and network-oriented approach. PloS one. 2022; 17(11): e0277466.
BACKGROUND: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of developmental conditions with widespread neuroanatomical abnormalities and a strong genetic basis. Although neuroimaging studies have indicated anatomical changes in grey matter (GM) morphometry, their associations with gene expression remain elusive. METHODS: Here, we aim to understand how gene expression correlates with neuroanatomical atypicalities in ASD. To do so, we performed a coordinate-based meta-analysis to determine the common GM variation pattern in the autistic brain. From the Allen Human Brain Atlas, we selected eight genes from the SHANK, NRXN, NLGN family and MECP2, which have been implicated with ASD, particularly in regards to altered synaptic transmission and plasticity. The gene expression maps for each gene were built. We then assessed the correlation between the gene expression maps and the GM alteration maps. Lastly, we projected the obtained clusters of GM alteration-gene correlations on top of the canonical resting state networks, in order to provide a functional characterization of the structural evidence. RESULTS: We found that gene expression of most genes correlated with GM alteration (both increase and decrease) in regions located in the default mode network. Decreased GM was also correlated with gene expression of some ASD genes in areas associated with the dorsal attention and cerebellar network. Lastly, single genes were found to be significantly correlated with increased GM in areas located in the somatomotor, limbic and ganglia/thalamus networks. CONCLUSIONS: This approach allowed us to combine the well beaten path of genetic and brain imaging in a novel way, to specifically investigate the relation between gene expression and brain with structural damage, and individuate genes of potential interest for further investigation in the functional domain.
4. Eapen V, Winata T, Gilbert M, Nair R, Khan F, Lucien A, Islam R, Masi A, Lam-Cassettari C, Mendoza Diaz A, Dissanayake C, Karlov L, Descallar J, Eastwood J, Hasan I, Jalaludin B, Kohlhoff J, Liaw ST, Lingam R, Ong N, Tam CWM, Woolfenden S, Barbaro J. Parental experience of an early developmental surveillance programme for autism within Australian general practice: a qualitative study. BMJ open. 2022; 12(11): e064375.
OBJECTIVES: Implementing support and services early in the life course has been shown to promote positive developmental outcomes for children at high likelihood of developmental conditions including autism. This study examined parents’/caregivers’ experiences and perceptions about a digital developmental surveillance pathway for autism, the autism surveillance pathway (ASP), and usual care, the surveillance as usual (SaU) pathway, in the primary healthcare general practice setting. DESIGN: This qualitative study involves using a convenience selection process of the full sample of parents/caregivers that participated in the main programme, ‘General Practice Surveillance for Autism’, a cluster-randomised controlled trial study. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and coded using NVivo V.12 software. An inductive thematic interpretive approach was adopted and data were analysed thematically. PARTICIPANTS: Twelve parents/caregivers of children with or without a developmental condition/autism (who participated in the main programme) in South Western Sydney and Melbourne were interviewed. SETTINGS: All interviews were completed over the phone. RESULTS: There were seven major themes and 20 subthemes that included positive experiences, such as pre-existing patient-doctor relationships and their perceptions on the importance of knowing and accessing early support/services. Barriers or challenges experienced while using the SaU pathway included long waiting periods, poor communication and lack of action plans, complexity associated with navigating the healthcare system and lack of understanding by general practitioners (GPs). Common suggestions for improvement included greater awareness/education for parents/carers and the availability of accessible resources on child development for parents/caregivers. CONCLUSION: The findings support the use of digital screening tools for developmental surveillance, including for autism, using opportunistic contacts in the general practice setting. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ANZCTR (ACTRN12619001200178).
5. Feldman JI, Garla V, Dunham K, Markfeld JE, Bowman SM, Golden AJ, Daly C, Kaiser S, Mailapur N, Raj S, Santapuram P, Suzman E, Augustine AE, Muhumuza A, Cascio CJ, Williams KL, Kirby AV, Keceli-Kaysili B, Woynaroski TG. Longitudinal Relations Between Early Sensory Responsiveness and Later Communication in Infants with Autistic and Non-autistic Siblings. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2022: 1-13.
Early differences in sensory responsiveness may contribute to difficulties with communication among autistic children; however, this theory has not been longitudinally assessed in infants at increased familial versus general population-level likelihood for autism (Sibs-autism vs. Sibs-NA) using a comprehensive battery of sensory responsiveness and communication. In a sample of 40 infants (20 Sibs-autism, of whom six were later diagnosed with autism; 20 Sibs-NA), we tested (a) associations between sensory responsiveness at 12-18 months and communication 9 months later and (b) evaluated whether such associations were moderated by sibling group, autism diagnosis, or age. We found negative zero-order correlations between sensory responsiveness (i.e., caregiver reported hyperresponsiveness and hyporesponsiveness; an observational measure of hyperresponsiveness) and later communication. Additionally, caregiver reported sensory seeking was negatively associated with later expressive communication only in Sibs-NA. Limitations include our relatively small sample size of infants diagnosed with autism. Implications for future research are discussed.
6. Guan Q, Men S, Lunsky Y, Juurlink DN, Bronskill SE, Wunsch H, Gomes T. New opioid use and risk of opioid-related adverse events among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Ontario, Canada. BJPsych open. 2022; 8(6): e208.
BACKGROUND: Individuals with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) can have a high prevalence of pain, which can be managed with prescription opioids. However, the prevalence of substance use disorder is also high in this population, raising concern about opioid-related adverse events. AIMS: To assess the risk of opioid-related adverse events following opioid initiation among adults with versus without IDD. METHOD: We conducted a population-based, propensity score matched cohort study on all adults starting prescription opioid therapy in Ontario, Canada, between January 2013 and December 2018. The outcomes of interest were opioid toxicity, new opioid use disorder (OUD) diagnosis and dose escalation (≥90 mg morphine or equivalent) in the year after opioid initiation. We used Cox proportional hazards models to assess the association between IDD diagnosis and each outcome. RESULTS: The hazards of opioid toxicity and OUD were significantly higher in those with IDD compared with those without IDD in unmatched analyses (opioid toxicity hazard ratio 3.19, 95% CI 2.81-5.18; OUD hazard ratio 2.36, 95% CI 2.10-2.65), whereas the hazard of dose escalation was significantly lower (hazard ratio 0.76, 95% CI 0.66-0.88). Findings were no longer significant in propensity score matched models for opioid toxicity and dose escalation, whereas the hazard of OUD diagnosis was attenuated substantially in those with IDD (hazard ratio 0.79, 95% CI 0.68-0.91). CONCLUSIONS: IDD diagnosis is not a driver of opioid-related harm. The increased risk we observed is likely driven by various risk factors often present in this population.
7. Hajdúk M, Straková A, Januška J, Ivančík V, Dančík D, Čavojská N, Valkučáková V, Heretik A, Pečeňák J, Abplanalp SJ, Green MF. Connections between and within extended psychosis and autistic phenotypes and social relationships in the general population. Journal of psychiatric research. 2022; 157: 36-42.
OBJECTIVES: Non – clinical individuals with higher levels of autistic traits and psychotic experiences also have problems in social relationships. Therefore, this study aimed to model complex associations between autistic and psychotic phenotypes and indicators of social relationships in the general population using a network approach. METHODS: The sample consisted of 649 participants with a mean age of M = 40.23 and SD = 13.09 sampled from the general population. The sample was representative for the 18-65 years old general population in the Slovak Republic. The following scales were administered: Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences, The Comprehensive Autistic Trait Inventory, and NIH Toolbox Adult Social Relationship Scales. Associations between variables and the presence of communities were identified using Exploratory Graph Analysis. RESULTS: Results revealed four highly stable and densely connected communities within the network: social relationships, autistic traits, positive symptoms, and the last one consisting of all negative symptoms, problems in social interactions, and depression. The most important variables in the network were difficulties in social interaction, perceived rejection, bizarre ideas, depression, and social withdrawal. CONCLUSIONS: The psychotic and autistic phenotypes in the general population showed a network of connections with characteristics of social relationships. Community detection revealed that autistic traits and psychotic-like experiences formed relatively independent communities. Further, there was substantial overlap between negative symptoms (e.g., social withdrawal), and core features of the autistic phenotype, especially social interaction difficulties.
8. Heyl J, Hardy F, Tucker K, Hopper A, Marchã MJ, Liew A, Reep J, Harwood KA, Roberts L, Yates J, Day J, Wheeler A, Eve-Jones S, Briggs TWR, Gray WK. Data quality and autism: Issues and potential impacts. International journal of medical informatics. 2022; 170: 104938.
INTRODUCTION: Large healthcare datasets can provide insight that has the potential to improve outcomes for patients. However, it is important to understand the strengths and limitations of such datasets so that the insights they provide are accurate and useful. The aim of this study was to identify data inconsistencies within the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) dataset for autistic patients and assess potential biases introduced through these inconsistencies and their impact on patient outcomes. The study can only identify inconsistencies in recording of autism diagnosis and not whether the inclusion or exclusion of the autism diagnosis is the error. METHODS: Data were extracted from the HES database for the period 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2021 for patients with a diagnosis of autism. First spells in hospital during the study period were identified for each patient and these were linked to any subsequent spell in hospital for the same patient. Data inconsistencies were recorded where autism was not recorded as a diagnosis in a subsequent spell. Features associated with data inconsistencies were identified using a random forest classifiers and regression modelling. RESULTS: Data were available for 172,324 unique patients who had been recorded as having an autism diagnosis on first admission. In total, 43.7 % of subsequent spells were found to have inconsistencies. The features most strongly associated with inconsistencies included greater age, greater deprivation, longer time since the first spell, change in provider, shorter length of stay, being female and a change in the main specialty description. The random forest algorithm had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.864 (95 % CI [0.862 – 0.866]) in predicting a data inconsistency. For patients who died in hospital, inconsistencies in their final spell were significantly associated with being 80 years and over, being female, greater deprivation and use of a palliative care code in the death spell. CONCLUSIONS: Data inconsistencies in the HES database were relatively common in autistic patients and were associated a number of patient and hospital admission characteristics. Such inconsistencies have the potential to distort our understanding of service use in key demographic groups.
9. Kaufmann WE, Raspa M, Bann CM, Gable JM, Harris HK, Budimirovic DB, Lozano R. Latent Class Analysis Identifies Distinctive Behavioral Subtypes in Children with Fragile X Syndrome. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2022.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is characterized by variable neurobehavioral abnormalities, which leads to difficulties in developing and evaluating treatments and in determining accurate prognosis. We employed a pediatric cross-sectional sample (1,072 males, 338 females) from FORWARD, a clinic-based natural history study, to identify behavioral subtypes by latent class analysis. Input included co-occurring behavioral conditions, sleep and sensory problems, autistic behavior scales (SCQ, SRS-2), and the Aberrant Behavior Checklist revised for FXS (ABC(FX)). A 5-class solution yielded the most clinically meaningful, pharmacotherapy independent behavioral groups with distinctive SCQ, SRS-2, and ABC(FX) profiles, and adequate non-overlap (≥ 71%): « Mild » (31%), « Moderate without Social Impairment » (32%), « Moderate with Social Impairment » (7%), « Moderate with Disruptive Behavior » (20%), and « Severe » (9%). Our findings support FXS subtyping, for improving clinical management and therapeutic development.
10. Labusch M, Perea M, Sahuquillo-Leal R, Bofill-Moscardó I, Carrasco-Tornero Á, Cañada-Pérez A, García-Blanco A. Development of Moral Judgments in Impersonal and Personal Dilemmas in Autistic Spectrum Disorders from Childhood to Late Adolescence. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2022.
A potential underlying mechanism associated with the difficulties in social interactions in Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) concerns the abnormal development of moral reasoning. The present study examined utilitarian and deontological judgments in impersonal and personal moral dilemmas, comparing 66 individuals with ASD and 61 typically developing (TD) individuals between 6 and 18 years. Utilitarian judgments decreased with age. This decline was much more gradual for personal dilemmas in the ASD than in the TD group. ASD individuals rated utilitarian judgments as more appropriate but felt less calm, consistent with the Empathy Imbalance hypothesis. Utilitarian judgments were associated with social interaction difficulties in ASD. These findings identify possible social therapeutic targets for more efficient coping strategies in individuals with ASD.
11. Lin PY, Chen YL, Hsiao RC, Chen HL, Yen CF. Risks of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and intellectual disability in children delivered by caesarean section: A population-based cohort study. Asian journal of psychiatry. 2022; 80: 103334.
This population-based study investigated the risks of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and intellectual disabilities among children delivered by Cesarean section (CS) in comparison with those who were delivered by vaginal delivery (VD). The Taiwan Maternal and Child Health Database from 2004 to 2016 registered 675,718 and 1,208,983 children delivered by CS and by VD, respectively. The results of Cox proportional hazards regression model demonstrated that children delivered by CS had significantly higher risks of ADHD, ASD, and intellectual disability than those delivered by VD after the confounding effects of maternal and child factors were controlled for.
12. Liu A, Cai C, Wang Z, Wang B, He J, Xie Y, Deng H, Liu S, Zeng S, Yin Z, Wang M. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry based urine metallome to construct clinical decision models for autism spectrum disorder. Metallomics : integrated biometal science. 2022.
BACKGROUND: The global prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is on the rise, and high levels of exposure to toxic heavy metals may be associated with this increase. Urine analysis is a noninvasive method for investigating the accumulation and excretion of heavy metals. The aim of this study was to identify ASD-associated urinary metal markers. METHODS: Overall, 70 children with ASD and 71 children with typical development (TD) were enrolled in this retrospective case-control study. In this metallomics investigation, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was performed to obtain the urine profile of 27 metals. RESULTS: Children with ASD could be distinguished from children with TD based on the urine metal profile, with ASD children showing an increased urine metal Shannon diversity. A metallome-wide association analysis was used to identify seven ASD-related metals in urine, with cobalt, aluminum, selenium, and lithium significantly higher, and manganese, mercury, and titanium significantly lower in the urine of children with ASD than in children with TD. The least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) machine learning method was used to rank the seven urine metals in terms of their effect on ASD. On the basis of these seven urine metals, we constructed a LASSO regression model for ASD classification and found an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.913. We also constructed a clinical prediction model for ASD based on the seven metals that were different in the urine of children with ASD and found that the model would be useful for the clinical prediction of ASD risk. CONCLUSIONS: The study findings suggest that altered urine metal concentrations may be an important risk factor for ASD, and we recommend further exploration of the mechanisms and clinical treatment measures for such alterations.
13. Miao C, Du L, Zhang Y, Jia F, Shan L. Novel de novo ZNF148 truncating variant causing autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and intellectual disability. Clinical genetics. 2022.
ZNF148 gene is a Krüppel-type transcription factor that has transcriptional regulatory function. Heterozygous variant in ZNF148 gene causes an intellectual disability syndrome characterized by global developmental delay, absence or hypoplasia of corpus callosum, wide intracerebral ventricles, and dysmorphic facial features, while its associations with ASD and ADHD have not been reported. We report a new patient with intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The patient had a novel heterozygous truncating variant c.1818dupC (p.Lys607Glnfs*11) in the ZNF148 gene. This variation produces a ZNF148 truncated protein with a deletion of the C-terminal activation domain and may destabilize the protein by affecting the transcriptional activation function. Brain MRI shows normal brain development. Here, we identify a novel ZNF148 heterozygous truncating variant in a patient with distinct phenotypes of ASD and ADHD, which expands the genotype-phenotype spectrum of ZNF148, and indicates ZNF148 is also a potential target gene for ASD. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
14. Saroukhani S, Samms-Vaughan M, Bressler J, Lee M, Byrd-Williams C, Hessabi M, Grove ML, Shakespeare-Pellington S, Loveland KA, Rahbar MH. Additive or Interactive Associations of Food Allergies with Glutathione S-Transferase Genes in Relation to ASD and ASD Severity in Jamaican Children. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2022.
To investigate additive and interactive associations of food allergies with three glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes in relation to ASD and ASD severity in Jamaican children. Using data from 344 1:1 age- and sex-matched ASD cases and typically developing controls, we assessed additive and interactive associations of food allergies with polymorphisms in GST genes (GSTM1, GSTP1 and GSTT1) in relation to ASD by applying conditional logistic regression models, and in relation to ASD severity in ASD cases as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2nd Edition (ADOS-2) total and domains specific comparison scores (CSs) by fitting general linear models. Although food allergies and GST genes were not associated with ASD, ASD cases allergic to non-dairy food had higher mean ADOS-2 Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors (RRB) CS (8.8 vs. 8.0, P = 0.04). In addition, allergy to dairy was associated with higher mean RRB CS only among ASD cases with GSTT1 DD genotype (9.9 vs. 7.8, P < 0.01, interaction P = 0.01), and GSTP1 Val/Val genotype under a recessive genetic model (9.8 vs. 7.8, P = 0.02, interaction P = 0.06). Our findings are consistent with the role for GST genes in ASD and food allergies, though require replication in other populations.
15. Sung YS, Lin CY, Chu SY, Lin LY. Emotion Dysregulation Mediates the Relationship Between Sensory Processing and Behavior Problems in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Preliminary Study. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 2022.
Emotion dysregulation is one of the challenges that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families face. It is unclear whether emotion dysregulation plays a mediating role in the relationship between sensory processing patterns and problem behaviors among these children. This study examined the relations between emotion dysregulation, behavioral problems, and sensory processing patterns among fifty-seven young children with ASD. Behavioral problems and sensory processing patterns were moderately to strongly correlated with emotion dysregulation. The relationship between sensory processing patterns and behavioral problems was significant with emotion dysregulation as a mediator. These findings help identify the relationship between emotion dysregulation, sensory processing patterns, and behavioral problems to facilitate the planning of intervention strategies for young children with ASD.
16. Welsh JP, Munson J, St John T, Meehan CN, Tran Abraham EN, Reitz F, Begay KK, Dager SR, Estes AM. Relationship of Impairments in Associative Learning With Intellectual Disability and Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Children With Autism. Neurology. 2022.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The severity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) varies widely and is associated with intellectual disability (ID) and brain dysmorphology. We tested the hypothesis that the heterogeneity of ASD can be accounted for, in part, by altered associative learning measured by eye-blink conditioning (EBC) paradigms, used to test for forebrain and cerebellar dysfunction across the full range of ASD severity and intellectual ability. METHODS: Children in this cohort study were diagnosed with ASD or typical development (TD); most children were recruited from a 10-year longitudinal study. Outcome measures were the percentage and timing of conditioned eye-blink responses (CRs) acquired to a tone, recorded photometrically and related to measures of ASD severity, IQ, and age-2 brain morphometry by MRI. A sequence of trace and delay EBC was used. Analysis of variance, t-test, and logistic regression (LR) were employed. RESULTS: Sixty-two children were studied at school-age. Nine ASD children with ID since age 2 (ASD+ID; IQ=49±6; 11.9±0.2 years-old [±SD]) learned more slowly than thirty TD children (IQ=120±16; 10.5±1.5 years-old [±SD]) during trace EBC and showed atypically early-onset CRs (1.4 SD pre-TD) related to hypoplasia of the cerebellum at age 2 but not of the amygdala, hippocampus, or cerebral cortex. Conversely, sixteen ASD children with robust intellectual development since age 2 (IQ=100±3; 12.0±0.4 years-old [±SD]) learned typically but showed early-onset CRs only during long-delay EBC (0.8 SD pre-TD) unrelated to hypoplasia of any measured brain area. Using sixteen EBC measures, binary LR classified ASD and TD with 80% accuracy (95%CI=72-88%), 81% sensitivity (95%CI=69-92%), and 79% specificity (95%CI=68-91%); multinomial LR more accurately classified children based on ID (94% accuracy, 95%CI=89-100%) than ASD severity (85% accuracy, 95%CI=77-93%). Separate analyses of thirty-nine children with MRI (2.1±0.3 years-old [±SD]) indicated that cerebellar hypoplasia did not predict ASD+ID over ages 2-4 (Cohen’s d=0.3), as compared to early-onset CRs during age-11 trace EBC (Cohen’s d=-1.3). CONCLUSIONS: Trace EBC reveals the relationship between cerebellar hypoplasia and ASD+ID likely by engaging cerebro-cerebellar circuits involved in intellectual ability and implicit timing. Follow-up prospective studies using associative learning can determine whether ID can be predicted in children with early ASD diagnoses.
17. Yang B, Wang M, Zhou W, Wang X, Chen S, Potenza MN, Yuan LX, Dong GH. Disrupted network integration and segregation involving the default mode network in autism spectrum disorder. Journal of affective disorders. 2022.
Changes in the brain’s default mode network (DMN) in the resting state are closely related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Module segmentation can effectively elucidate the neural mechanism of ASD and explore intra- and inter-network connections by means of the participation coefficient (PC). We used that resting-state fMRI data from 269 ASD patients and 340 healthy controls (HCs) in the current study. From the results, ASD subjects showed a significantly higher PC of the DMN than HC subjects. This difference was related to lower intra-module connections within the DMN and higher inter-network connections between the DMN and other networks. When the subjects were split into age groups, the results were verified in the 7-12- and 12-18-year-old age groups but not in the young adult group (18-25 years). When the subjects were divided according to different subtypes of ASD, the results were also observed in the classic autism and pervasive developmental disorder groups, but not in the Asperger disorder group. In conclusions, less developed network segregation in the DMN could be a valid biomarker for ASD. This provides network scientists with new insights into the intermodular connectivity configurations of complex networks from different dimensions in a systematic and comprehensive manner.