2,231 research outputs found

    Cultural basis of social ‘deficits’ in autism spectrum disorders

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    There is very little research that specifically looks at how autism spectrum disorders are perceived in various communities. This qualitative research was conducted with parents who had children on the autistic spectrum belonging to four different ethnic communities (White British, Somali, West African and South Asian- 63 in total) and living in the UK. The study found that the importance that the parents give to various social skills varied on the basis of their cultural background and the gender of the parent. This is an important aspect to consider while providing support and services to individuals on the autism spectrum and their family members if the services have to be appropriate for their needs. This consideration would also enable the individuals on the autism spectrum to develop appropriate social skills required within their cultural groups. This is a preliminary study and further research on the topic is required

    Precursors to social and communication difficulties in infants at-risk for autism: gaze following and attentional engagement

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    Whilst joint attention (JA) impairments in autism have been widely studied, little is known about the early development of gaze following, a precursor to establishing JA. We employed eye-tracking to record gaze following longitudinally in infants with and without a family history of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at 7 and 13 months. No group difference was found between at-risk and low-risk infants in gaze following behaviour at either age. However, despite following gaze successfully at 13 months, at-risk infants with later emerging socio-communication difficulties (both those with ASD and atypical development at 36 months of age) allocated less attention to the congruent object compared to typically developing at-risk siblings and low-risk controls. The findings suggest that the subtle emergence of difficulties in JA in infancy may be related to ASD and other atypical outcomes

    Vertical zonation of testate amoebae in the Elatia Mires, northern Greece : palaeoecological evidence for a wetland response to recent climate change or autogenic processes?

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    The Elatia Mires of northern Greece are unique ecosystems of high conservation value. The mires are climatically marginal and may be sensitive to changing hydroclimate, while northern Greece has experienced a significant increase in aridity since the late twentieth century. To investigate the impact of recent climatic change on the hydrology of the mires, the palaeoecological record was investigated from three near-surface monoliths extracted from two sites. Testate amoebae were analysed as sensitive indicators of hydrology. Results were interpreted using transfer function models to provide quantitative reconstructions of changing water table depth and pH. AMS radiocarbon dates and 210Pb suggest the peats were deposited within the last c. 50 years, but do not allow a secure chronology to be established. Results from all three profiles show a distinct shift towards a more xerophilic community particularly noted by increases in Euglypha species. Transfer function results infer a distinct lowering of water tables in this period. A hydrological response to recent climate change is a tenable hypothesis to explain this change; however other possible explanations include selective test decay, vertical zonation of living amoebae, ombrotrophication and local hydrological change. It is suggested that a peatland response to climatic change is the most probable hypothesis, showing the sensitivity of marginal peatlands to recent climatic change

    Stability of the Autism Diagnostic Interview—Revised from Pre-School to Elementary School Age in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

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    This study examined the stability of scores on the ADI-R from pre-school to elementary school age in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Participants were 35 children who, at T1, all had a clinical diagnosis of ASD. On initial assessment (mean age 3.5 years; SD 0.6), all met ADI-R algorithm criteria for autism. ADI-R assessments were repeated at follow up (FU; mean age 10.5 years; SD 0.8). Changes in ADI-R total, domain and ADI-R algorithm item scores were assessed. Twentyeight children continued to score above the ADI-R cut-off for autism at FU, although significant decreases in ADI-R domain and item scores were also found. In conclusion, while classification of children according to ADI-R criteria, generally remained stable between pre-school and elementary school age, many children demonstrated significant improvements in symptom severity

    Executive function profiles of preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: a systematic review

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    Background: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are both associated with differences in Executive Functioning (EF). There is lack of clarity around the specificity or overlap of EF differences in early childhood when both disorders are first emerging. Method: This systematic review aims to delineate preschool EF profiles by examining studies comparing the EF profiles of children with and without ASD or ADHD. Five electronic databases were systematically searched (last search in May 2022) to identify published, quantitative studies of global and specific EF (Inhibition, Shifting, Working Memory, Planning and Attentional Control), comparing children aged 2-6 with a diagnosis of ASD or ADHD to peers without ASD or ADHD. Results: Thirty-one empirical studies (10 ADHD and 21 ASD studies) met criteria for inclusion. EF profiles in preschool ASD were characterised by consistent Shifting, and, in most cases, Inhibition impairments. ADHD studies consistently reported impairments in Inhibition and Planning, and in most cases Working Memory. Findings with regards to sustained Attention and Shifting in ADHD and Working Memory and Planning in ASD were mixed. Conclusions: Overall, current evidence indicates overlap but also some specificity in EF impairments in preschool ASD and ADHD. There were differences in the degree to which individual domains were impaired, with Shifting more consistently impaired in ASD, and Inhibition, Working Memory and Planning in ADHD. Methodological issues and differences in methods of outcome measurement could potentially underlie mixed findings, as informant-based measures revealed more robust EF impairments than laboratory-based tasks

    Oscillatory neural networks underlying resting-state, attentional control and social cognition task conditions in children with ASD, ADHD and ASD+ADHD

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    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are common and impairing neurodevelopmental disorders that frequently co-occur. The neurobiological mechanisms involved in ASD and ADHD are not fully understood. However, alterations in large-scale neural networks have been proposed as core deficits in both ASD and ADHD and may help to disentangle the neurobiological basis of these disorders and their co-occurrence. In this study, we examined similarities and differences in large-scale oscillatory neural networks between boys aged 8-13 years with ASD (n = 19), ADHD (n = 18), ASD + ADHD (n = 29) and typical development (Controls, n = 26). Oscillatory neural networks were computed using graph-theoretical methods from electroencephalographic (EEG) data collected during an eyes-open resting-state and attentional control and social cognition tasks in which we previously reported disorder-specific atypicalities in oscillatory power and event-related potentials (ERPs). We found that children with ASD showed significant hypoconnectivity in large-scale networks during all three task conditions compared to children without ASD. In contrast, children with ADHD showed significant hyperconnectivity in large-scale networks during the attentional control and social cognition tasks, but not during the resting-state, compared to children without ADHD. Children with co-occurring ASD + ADHD did not differ from children with ASD when paired with this group and vice versa when paired with the ADHD group, indicating that these children showed both ASD-like hypoconnectivity and ADHD-like hyperconnectivity. Our findings suggest that ASD and ADHD are associated with distinct alterations in large-scale oscillatory networks, and these atypicalities present together in children with both disorders. These alterations appear to be task-independent in ASD but task-related in ADHD, and may underlie other neurocognitive atypicalities in these disorders. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Prediction of 7-year psychopathology from mother-infant joint attention behaviours: a nested case–control study

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    <br>Background: To investigate whether later diagnosis of psychiatric disorder can be predicted from analysis of mother-infant joint attention (JA) behaviours in social-communicative interaction at 12 months.</br> <br>Method: Using data from a large contemporary birth cohort, we examined 159 videos of a mother-infant interaction for joint attention behaviour when children were aged one year, sampled from within the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort. Fifty-three of the videos involved infants who were later considered to have a psychiatric disorder at seven years and 106 were same aged controls. Psychopathologies included in the case group were disruptive behaviour disorders, oppositional-conduct disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, pervasive development disorder, anxiety and depressive disorders. Psychiatric diagnoses were obtained using the Development and Wellbeing Assessment when the children were seven years old.</br> <br>Results: None of the three JA behaviours (shared look rate, shared attention rate and shared attention intensity) showed a significant association with the primary outcome of case–control status. Only shared look rate predicted any of the exploratory sub-diagnosis outcomes and was found to be positively associated with later oppositional-conduct disorders (OR [95% CI]: 1.5 [1.0, 2.3]; p = 0.041).</br><br>Conclusions: JA behaviours did not, in general, predict later psychopathology. However, shared look was positively associated with later oppositional-conduct disorders. This suggests that some features of JA may be early markers of later psychopathology. Further investigation will be required to determine whether any JA behaviours can be used to screen for families in need of intervention.</br&gt

    Derivatives of a benzoquinone acyl hydrazone with activity against Toxoplasma gondii

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    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite with global incidence. The acute infection, toxoplasmosis, is treatable but current regimens have poor host tolerance and no cure has been found for latent infections. This work builds upon a previous high throughput screen which identified benzoquinone acyl hydrazone (KG8) as the most promising compound; KG8 displayed potent in vitro activity against T. gondii but only marginal in vivoefficacy in a T. gondii animal model. To define the potential of this new lead compound, we now describe a baseline structure-activity relationship for this chemotype. Several derivatives displayed IC50\u27s comparable to that of the control treatment pyrimethamine with little to no cytotoxicity. The best of these, KGW44 and KGW59, had higher metabolic stability than KG8. In an in vivo T. gondii murine model, KGW59 significantly increased survivorship. This work provides new insights for optimization of this novel chemotype

    An approach to supporting young people with autism spectrum disorder and high anxiety to re-engage with formal education - the impact on young people and their families

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    School refusal is an important factor impacting upon poor outcomes for adolescents and youth. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience characteristic difficulties regarding social interaction and communication, rigidity of thinking and sensory sensitivities. These difficulties, coupled with the heightened anxiety that many on the spectrum experience, place them at particular risk of school refusal. This study investigates activity undertaken in one UK local authority, where provision was developed to help such students to re-engage with formal education. Data were collected at three points through the first year of the provision’s existence. Findings show all students were successfully supported to attend the provision and re-engage with formal education. Factors supportive of re-engagement are presented and considered in the light of an ecological model of support for school refusers and what is considered as ‘good practice’ in autism education. It is suggested that the factors identified are indicative of good practice across both areas of activity
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