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By Tasha Poslaniec Registered nurse, mom of adolescent daughter with autism
K Boshoff, D Gibbs, R L Phillips, L Wiles, L Porter
Parenting a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be stressful, and accessing services can add to this stress. Self-efficacy, agency and advocacy are important for parents when accessing and using services. To develop insight into parental advocacy, a meta-synthesis was undertaken to consolidate the literature focussing on parents' experiences of advocating for their child with ASD. A qualitative meta-synthesis was conducted. Fifteen databases were systematically searched by using key terms related to ASD, children, parents/carers, advocacy and qualitative studies...
November 2016: Child: Care, Health and Development
Gerrit I van Schalkwyk, Chad Beyer, Andrés Martin, Fred R Volkmar
OBJECTIVE: Adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are increasingly attending college. This case report highlights the nature of the psychiatric difficulties these individuals may face and the potential role for college mental health practitioners. PARTICIPANTS: A case of a female student with ASD presenting with significant inattentive symptoms. METHODS: The authors describe the unique features of this patient's clinical presentation, discuss relevant diagnostic considerations, and make recommendations about how to best approach treatment...
October 2016: Journal of American College Health: J of ACH
Martha D Kaiser, Daniel Y-J Yang, Avery C Voos, Randi H Bennett, Ilanit Gordon, Charlotte Pretzsch, Danielle Beam, Cara Keifer, Jeffrey Eilbott, Francis McGlone, Kevin A Pelphrey
C-tactile (CT) afferents encode caress-like touch that supports social-emotional development, and stimulation of the CT system engages the insula and cortical circuitry involved in social-emotional processing. Very few neuroimaging studies have investigated the neural mechanisms of touch processing in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who often exhibit atypical responses to touch. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we evaluated the hypothesis that children and adolescents with ASD would exhibit atypical brain responses to CT-targeted touch...
June 2016: Cerebral Cortex
Sien Braat, R Frank Kooy
Intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, and epilepsy are prime examples of neurodevelopmental disorders that collectively affect a significant percentage of the world population. Recent technological breakthroughs allowed the elucidation of the genetic causes of many of these disorders. As neurodevelopmental disorders are genetically heterogeneous, the development of rational therapy is extremely challenging. Fortunately, many causative genes are interconnected and cluster in specific cellular pathways...
June 3, 2015: Neuron
Robert P Spunt, Jed T Elison, Nicholas Dufour, René Hurlemann, Rebecca Saxe, Ralph Adolphs
The amygdala plays an integral role in human social cognition and behavior, with clear links to emotion recognition, trust judgments, anthropomorphization, and psychiatric disorders ranging from social phobia to autism. A central feature of human social cognition is a theory-of-mind (ToM) that enables the representation other people's mental states as distinct from one's own. Numerous neuroimaging studies of the best studied use of ToM--false-belief reasoning--suggest that it relies on a specific cortical network; moreover, the amygdala is structurally and functionally connected with many components of this cortical network...
April 14, 2015: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Jason S Nomi, Lucina Q Uddin
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by reduced attention to social stimuli including the human face. This hypo-responsiveness to stimuli that are engaging to typically developing individuals may result from dysfunctioning motivation, reward, and attention systems in the brain. Here we review an emerging neuroimaging literature that emphasizes a shift from focusing on hypo-activation of isolated brain regions such as the fusiform gyrus, amygdala, and superior temporal sulcus in ASD to a more holistic approach to understanding face perception as a process supported by distributed cortical and subcortical brain networks...
May 2015: Neuropsychologia
Kaat Alaerts, Kritika Nayar, Clare Kelly, Jessica Raithel, Michael P Milham, Adriana Di Martino
Currently, the developmental trajectories of neural circuits implicated in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are largely unknown. Here, we specifically focused on age-related changes in the functional circuitry of the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), a key hub underlying social-cognitive processes known to be impaired in ASD. Using a cross-sectional approach, we analysed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data collected from children, adolescents and adults available through the autism brain imaging data exchange repository [n = 106 with ASD and n = 109 typical controls (TC), ages 7-30 years]...
October 2015: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Tychele N Turner, Kamal Sharma, Edwin C Oh, Yangfan P Liu, Ryan L Collins, Maria X Sosa, Dallas R Auer, Harrison Brand, Stephan J Sanders, Daniel Moreno-De-Luca, Vasyl Pihur, Teri Plona, Kristen Pike, Daniel R Soppet, Michael W Smith, Sau Wai Cheung, Christa Lese Martin, Matthew W State, Michael E Talkowski, Edwin Cook, Richard Huganir, Nicholas Katsanis, Aravinda Chakravarti
Autism is a multifactorial neurodevelopmental disorder affecting more males than females; consequently, under a multifactorial genetic hypothesis, females are affected only when they cross a higher biological threshold. We hypothesize that deleterious variants at conserved residues are enriched in severely affected patients arising from female-enriched multiplex families with severe disease, enhancing the detection of key autism genes in modest numbers of cases. Here we show the use of this strategy by identifying missense and dosage sequence variants in the gene encoding the adhesive junction-associated δ-catenin protein (CTNND2) in female-enriched multiplex families and demonstrating their loss-of-function effect by functional analyses in zebrafish embryos and cultured hippocampal neurons from wild-type and Ctnnd2 null mouse embryos...
April 2, 2015: Nature
Wei Cheng, Edmund T Rolls, Huaguang Gu, Jie Zhang, Jianfeng Feng
Whole-brain voxel-based unbiased resting state functional connectivity was analysed in 418 subjects with autism and 509 matched typically developing individuals. We identified a key system in the middle temporal gyrus/superior temporal sulcus region that has reduced cortical functional connectivity (and increased with the medial thalamus), which is implicated in face expression processing involved in social behaviour. This system has reduced functional connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is implicated in emotion and social communication...
May 2015: Brain: a Journal of Neurology
Agnieszka Nikiforuk
The 5-HT7 (5-hydroxytryptamine 7, serotonin 7) receptor is one of the most recently identified members of the serotonin receptor family. Pharmacological tools, including selective antagonists and, more recently, agonists, along with 5-HT7 receptor (5-HT7R) knock-out mice have revealed the involvement of this receptor in central nervous system processes. Its well-established role in controlling body temperature and regulating sleep and circadian rhythms has implicated this receptor in mood disorders. Thus, the 5-HT7R has gained much attention as a possible target for the treatment of depression...
April 2015: CNS Drugs
Eric Hollander, Sherie Novotny, Margaret Hanratty, Rona Yaffe, Concetta M DeCaria, Bonnie R Aronowitz, Serge Mosovich
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by dysfunction in three core behavioral domains: repetitive behaviors, social deficits, and language abnormalities. There is evidence that abnormalities exist in peptide systems, particularly the oxytocin system, in autism spectrum patients. Furthermore, oxytocin and the closely related peptide vasopressin are known to play a role in social and repetitive behaviors. This study examined the impact of oxytocin on repetitive behaviors in 15 adults with autism or Asperger's disorder via randomized double-blind oxytocin and placebo challenges...
January 2003: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Mark R Dadds, Elayne MacDonald, Avril Cauchi, Katrina Williams, Florence Levy, John Brennan
The last two decades have witnessed a surge in research investigating the application of oxytocin as a method of enhancing social behaviour in humans. Preliminary evidence suggests oxytocin may have potential as an intervention for autism. We evaluated a 5-day 'live-in' intervention using a double-blind randomized control trial. 38 male youths (7-16 years old) with autism spectrum disorders were administered 24 or 12 international units (depending on weight) intranasal placebo or oxytocin once daily over four consecutive days...
March 2014: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Amanda M K Madden, Susan L Zup
There is a striking sex difference in the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), such that males are diagnosed more often than females, usually in early childhood. Given that recent research has implicated elevated blood serotonin (hyperserotonemia) in perinatal development as a potential factor in the pathogenesis of ASD, we sought to evaluate the effects of developmental hyperserotonemia on social behavior and relevant brain morphology in juvenile males and females. Administration of 5-methoxytryptamine (5-MT) both pre- and postnatally was found to disrupt normal social play behavior in juveniles...
April 10, 2014: Physiology & Behavior
Evdokia Anagnostou, Latha Soorya, Jessica Brian, Annie Dupuis, Deepali Mankad, Sharon Smile, Suma Jacob
BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of treatments targeting core symptom domains in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Several animal models and research in typically developing volunteers suggests that manipulation of the oxytocin system may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of social deficits. We review the literature for oxytocin and ASD and report on early dosing, safety and efficacy data of multi-dose oxytocin on aspects of social cognition/function, as well as repetitive behaviors and co-occurring anxiety within ASD...
September 11, 2014: Brain Research
Jorge A Barraza, Naomi S Grewal, Susan Ropacki, Pamela Perez, Anthony Gonzalez, Paul J Zak
The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) modulates functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and regulates a range of social processes. Clinical studies have used intranasal OT administration to treat symptoms arising from a number of psychiatric disorders including autism, schizophrenia, and depression. Most of this research, however, has been based on single dose treatments of OT in younger adult populations. The present study examined the impact on the health and psychological well-being of a 10-day OT administration in an older adult population...
April 2013: Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Waguih William Ishak, Maria Kahloon, Hala Fakhry
OBJECTIVES: Oxytocin (OT) has long been implicated in maternal bonding, sexual behavior and social affiliation behaviors. This paper reviews the wide effects of oxytocin and its key role in well-being. METHODS: Studies were identified through Medline, Pubmed, and PsychINFO search of the English-language literature from the past sixty years (1959 to 2009) using the key word "oxytocin" in human studies. Of the 287 articles identified, 102 were selected for review...
April 2011: Journal of Affective Disorders
Masaya Tachibana, Kuriko Kagitani-Shimono, Ikuko Mohri, Tomoka Yamamoto, Wakako Sanefuji, Ayumi Nakamura, Masako Oishi, Tadashi Kimura, Tatsushi Onaka, Keiichi Ozono, Masako Taniike
OBJECTIVE: Oxytocin (OT) has been a candidate for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and the impact of intranasally delivered OT on ASD has been investigated. However, most previous studies were conducted by single-dose administration to adults; and, therefore, the long-term effect of nasal OT on ASD patients and its effect on children remain to be clarified. METHODS: We conducted a singled-armed, open-label study in which OT was administered intranasally over the long term to eight male youth with ASD (10-14 years of age; intelligence quotient [IQ] 20-101)...
March 2013: Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Adam J Guastella, Kylie M Gray, Nicole J Rinehart, Gail A Alvares, Bruce J Tonge, Ian B Hickie, Caroline M Keating, Cristina Cacciotti-Saija, Stewart L Einfeld
BACKGROUND: There is increasing interest in oxytocin as a therapeutic to treat social deficits in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a course of oxytocin nasal spray to improve social behavior in youth with ASD. METHODS: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial across two Australian university sites between February 2009 and January 2012, 50 male participants aged between 12 and 18 years, with Autistic or Asperger's Disorder, were randomized to receive either oxytocin (n = 26) or placebo (n = 24) nasal sprays (either 18 or 24 International Units), administered twice-daily for 8 weeks...
April 2015: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines
Roberto Canitano
Recent discoveries and advances in genetics and neuroscience have provided deeper understanding of the complex neurobiology of ASD. The development of novel treatments is strictly dependent on these findings in order to design new strategies in the pharmacotherapy of ASD. At this time, therapeutics are limited to treating associated core, symptoms. Studies of single gene disorders, such as Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Fragile X and Tuberous Sclerosis, might be of significant help since the neurobiology of these disorders is clearer and clinical trials are already underway for these conditions...
August 15, 2013: Behavioural Brain Research
Adam J Guastella, Ian B Hickie, Margaret M McGuinness, Melissa Otis, Elizabeth A Woods, Hannah M Disinger, Hak-Kim Chan, Timothy F Chen, Richard B Banati
A series of studies have reported on the salubrious effects of oxytocin nasal spray on social cognition and behavior in humans, across physiology (e.g., eye gaze, heart rate variability), social cognition (e.g., attention, memory, and appraisal), and behavior (e.g., trust, generosity). Findings suggest the potential of oxytocin nasal spray as a treatment for various psychopathologies, including autism and schizophrenia. There are, however, increasing reports of variability of response to oxytocin nasal spray between experiments and individuals...
May 2013: Psychoneuroendocrinology
2014-12-02 16:47:56
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