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    Uncovering neurodevelopmental paths to Autism Spectrum Disorder through an integrated analysis of developmental measures and neural sensitivity to faces

    Bussu, G. and Llera, A. and Jones, Emily J.H. and Tye, C. and Johnson, Mark H. and Beckmann, C. and Buitelaar, J. (2020) Uncovering neurodevelopmental paths to Autism Spectrum Disorder through an integrated analysis of developmental measures and neural sensitivity to faces. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience , ISSN 1180-4882. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Background: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is highly heterogeneous in etiology and manifestation. The neurobiological processes underlying ASD development are reflected in multiple features, from behavior and cognition to brain functioning. An integrated analysis of these features may optimize the identification of these processes. Methods: We examined cognitive and adaptive functioning, and ASD symptoms between 8 and 36 months in 161 infants at familial high-risk for ASD (HR) and 71 low-risk controls (LR), and neural sensitivity to eye-gaze at 8 months in a subsample of 140 HR and 61 LR. We used linked independent component analysis to extract patterns of variation across domains and development, and selected the patterns significantly associated with clinical classification at 36 months. Results: An early process at 8 months, indicating high levels of functioning and low levels of symptoms linked to higher attention to gaze shifts, was reduced in infants who developed ASD. A longitudinal process of increasing functioning and low levels of symptoms was reduced in infants who developed ASD, while another process suggesting a stagnation in cognitive functioning at 24 months was increased in infants who developed ASD. Limitations: Although results show a clear significant trend relating to clinical classification, there was substantial overlap between groups. Conclusions: We uncovered underlying processes acting together early in development and associated with clinical outcome. Results highlight the complexity of emerging ASD, which goes beyond the borders of clinical categories. Future work should integrate genetic data to investigate the specific genetic risks linked to these processes.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Emily Jones
    Date Deposited: 07 May 2020 11:01
    Last Modified: 24 Jun 2020 21:30
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/31872

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