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    The N170 face-sensitive brain response: toward a stratification biomarker for ASD

    Mason, Luke and Moessnang, C. and Chatham, C. and Ham, L. and Tillmann, J. and Guillaume, D. and Claire, E. and Leblond, C. and CLiquet, F. and Bougeron, T. and Charman, T. and Oakley, B. and Banaschewski, T. and Meyer-Lindenberg, A. and Baron-Cohen, S. and Bolte, S. and Buitelaar, J. and Durston, S. and Loth, E. and Oranje, B. and Persico, A. and Dell'Acqua, F. and Ecker, C. and Johnson, Mark H. and Murphy, D and Jones, Emily J.H. (2022) The N170 face-sensitive brain response: toward a stratification biomarker for ASD. Science Translational Medicine , ISSN 1946-6234. (In Press)

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    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by difficulties in social communication, but also great heterogeneity. To offer individualised medicine approaches, we need to better target interventions by stratifying autistic people into subgroups with different biological profiles and/or prognoses. We sought to validate neural responses to faces as a potential stratification biomarker in ASD by measuring neural (electroencephalography/EEG) responses to faces (critical in social interaction) in N=436 children and adults with and without ASD. The speed of early-stage face processing (N170 latency) was on average slower in ASD than age-matched controls. In addition, N170 latency was associated with responses to faces in the fusiform gyrus during an fMRI task and polygenic scores for ASD, triangulating links to social biology. Critically, within the ASD group N170 latency predicted change in adaptive socialisation skills over an 18-month follow-up period; data-driven clustering identified a subgroup with slower brain responses and poor social prognosis. Use of a distributional data-driven cut-off was associated with predicted improvements of power in simulated clinical trials targeting social functioning. Taken together, this provides converging evidence for the utility of the N170 as a stratification biomarker to identify biologically and prognostically defined subgroups in ASD, and may provide a blueprint for similar endeavours in other psychiatric conditions.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Luke Mason
    Date Deposited: 30 May 2022 15:17
    Last Modified: 01 Jun 2022 04:33


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