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    Neurocognitive and observational markers: prediction of autism spectrum disorder from infancy to mid-childhood

    Bedford, Rachael and Gliga, Teodora and Shephard, Elizabeth and Elsabbagh, Mayada and Charman, T. and Johnson, Mark H. (2017) Neurocognitive and observational markers: prediction of autism spectrum disorder from infancy to mid-childhood. Molecular Autism , ISSN 2040-2392.

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    Background Prospective studies of infants at high familial risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have identified a number of putative early markers that are associated with ASD outcome at 3 years of age. However, some diagnostic changes occur between toddlerhood and mid-childhood, which raises the question of whether infant markers remain associated with diagnosis into mid-childhood. Methods First, we tested whether infant neurocognitive markers (7-month neural response to eye gaze shifts and 14-month visual disengagement latencies) as well as an observational marker of emerging ASD behaviours (the Autism Observation Scale for Infants; AOSI) predicted ASD outcome in high-risk (HR) 7-year-olds with and without an ASD diagnosis (HR-ASD and HR-No ASD) and low risk (LR) controls. Second, we tested whether the neurocognitive markers offer predictive power over and above the AOSI. Results Both neurocognitive markers distinguished children with an ASD diagnosis at 7 years of age from those in the HR-No ASD and LR groups. Exploratory analysis suggested that neurocognitive markers may further differentiate stable versus lost/late diagnosis across the 3 to 7 year period, which will need to be tested in larger samples. At both 7 and 14 months, combining the neurocognitive marker with the AOSI offered a significantly improved model fit over the AOSI alone. Conclusions Infant neurocognitive markers relate to ASD in mid-childhood, improving predictive power over and above an early observational marker. The findings have implications for understanding the neurodevelopmental mechanisms that lead from risk to disorder and for identification of potential targets of pre-emptive intervention.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Autism, High risk, Infants, Siblings, Diagnosis, Prediction, Neurocognitive
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Teodora Gliga
    Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2017 10:18
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:36


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