Preliminary findings suggest the number and volume of supragranular and infragranular pyramidal neurons are similar in the anterior superior temporal area of control subjects and subjects with autism.
Contributors: Veronica, Martinez Cerdeno, Kim, E, Camacho, J, Combs, Z, Ariza, J, Lechpammer, M, Noctor, SC, Martínez-Cerdeño, V
... Abstract We investigated the cytoarchitecture of the anterior superior temporal area (TA2) of the postmortem cerebral cortex in 9 subjects with autism and 9 age-matched typically developing subjects between the ages of 13 and 56 years. The superior temporal gyrus is involved in auditory processing and social cognition and its pathology has been correlated with autism. We quantified the number and soma volume of pyramidal neurons in the supragranular layers and pyramidal neurons in the infragranular layers in each subject. We did not find significant differences in the number or volume of supragranular or infragranular neurons in the cerebral cortex of subjects with autism compared to typically developing subjects. This report does not support an alteration of supragranular to infragranular neurons in autism. However, further stereological analysis of the number of cells and cell volumes in specific cortical areas is needed to better establish the cellular phenotype of the autistic cerebral cortex and to understand its clinical relevance in autism.
The Sensitivity and Specificity of the Social Communication Questionnaire for Autism Spectrum Disorder with Respect to Age
Contributors: Barnard-Brak, Lucy, Brewer, A, Chesnut S, , Richman D, , Shaeffer AM,
... Abstract Scientific Abstract The Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) assesses communication skills and social functioning in screening for symptoms of autism-spectrum disorder (ASD). The SCQ is recommended for individuals between 4 to 40 years with a cutoff score of 15 for referral. Mixed findings have been reported regarding the recommended cutoff score’s ability to accurately classify an individual as at-risk for ASD (sensitivity) versus an individual as not at-risk for ASD (specificity). Based on a sample from the National Database for Autism Research (n=344; age: 1.58 to 25.92 years old), the present study examined the SCQ’s sensitivity versus specificity across a range of ages. We recommend that the cutoff scores for the SCQ be re-evaluated with age as a consideration. Lay Abstract The age neutrality of the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) was examined as a common screener for ASD. Mixed findings have been reported regarding the recommended cutoff score’s ability to accurately classify an individual as at-risk for ASD (sensitivity) versus accurately classifying an individual as not at-risk for ASD (specificity). With a sample from the National Database for Autism Research, the present study examined the SCQ’s sensitivity versus specificity. Analyses indicated that the actual sensitivity and specificity scores were lower than initially reported by the creators of the SCQ.
Contributors: James, Gusella, Tai, DJ, Ragavendran, A, Manavalan, P, Stortchevoi, A, Seabra, CM, Erdin, S, Collins, RL, Blumenthal, I, Chen, X
... Abstract Recurrent, reciprocal genomic disorders resulting from non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) between near-identical segmental duplications (SDs) are a major cause of human disease, often producing phenotypically distinct syndromes. The genomic architecture of flanking SDs presents a challenge for modeling these syndromes; however, the capability to efficiently generate reciprocal copy number variants (CNVs) that mimic NAHR would represent a valuable modeling tool. We describe here a CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering method, single-guide CRISPR/Cas targeting of repetitive elements (SCORE), to model reciprocal genomic disorders and demonstrate its capabilities by generating reciprocal CNVs of 16p11.2 and 15q13.3, including alteration of one copy-equivalent of the SDs that mediate NAHR in vivo. The method is reproducible, and RNA sequencing reliably clusters transcriptional signatures from human subjects with in vivo CNVs and their corresponding in vitro models. This new approach will provide broad applicability for the study of genomic disorders and, with further development, may also permit efficient correction of these defects.
The clinical relevance of self-reported premenstrual worsening of depressive symptoms in the management of depressed outpatients: a STAR*D report.
Contributors: Haley, CL, Sung, SC, Rush, AJ, Trivedi, MH, Wisniewski, SR, Luther, JF, Kornstein, SG
... Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence, clinical and demographic correlates, and relationship to treatment outcome of self-reported premenstrual exacerbation of depressive symptoms in premenopausal women with major depressive disorder who are receiving antidepressant medication. METHOD: This post-hoc analysis used clinical trial data from treatment-seeking, premenopausal, adult female outpatients with major depression who were not using hormonal contraceptives. For this report, citalopram was used as the first treatment step. We also used data from the second step in which one of three new medications were used (bupropion-SR [sustained release], venlafaxine-XR [extended release], or sertraline). Treatment-blinded assessors obtained baseline treatment outcomes data. We hypothesized that those with reported premenstrual depressive symptom exacerbation would have more general medical conditions, longer index depressive episodes, lower response or remission rates, and shorter times-to-relapse with citalopram, and that they would have a better outcome with sertraline than with bupropion-SR. RESULTS: At baseline, 66% (n=545/821) of women reported premenstrual exacerbation. They had more general medical conditions, more anxious features, longer index episodes, and shorter times-to-relapse (41.3 to 47.1 weeks, respectively). Response and remission rates to citalopram, however, were unrelated to reported premenstrual exacerbation. Reported premenstrual exacerbation was also unrelated to differential benefit with sertraline and bupropion-SR. CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported premenstrual exacerbation has moderate clinical utility in the management of depressed patients, although it is not predictive of overall treatment response. Factors that contribute to a more chronic or relapsing course may also play a role in premenstrual worsening of major depressive disorder (MDD).
Defining the spectrum of large inversions, complex structural variation, and chromothripsis in the morbid genome.
Contributors: Talkowski, Michael, Collins, Ryan, Brand, Harrison, Redin, Claire, Hanscom, Carrie, Antolik, Caroline, Stone, Matthew, Glessner, Joseph, Mason, Tamara, Pregno, Giulia
... Abstract Subject level data for associated publication
Contributors: Pevsner, Jonathan, Freed, Donald
... Abstract DOI is being issued as a reserved DOI.
Contributors: Schipul, SE, Williams, D, Keller, T, Minshew, N, Just, M
... Abstract This functional magnetic resonance imaging study compared the neural activation patterns of 18 high-functioning individuals with autism and 18 IQ-matched neurotypical control participants as they learned to perform a social judgment task. Participants learned to identify liars among pairs of computer-animated avatars uttering the same sentence but with different facial and vocal expressions, namely those that have previously been associated with lying versus truth-telling. Despite showing a behavioral learning effect similar to the control group, the autism group did not show the same pattern of decreased activation in cortical association areas as they learned the task. Furthermore, the autism group showed a significantly smaller increase in interregion synchronization of activation (functional connectivity) with learning than did the control group. Finally, the autism group had decreased structural connectivity as measured by corpus callosum size, and this measure was reliably related to functional connectivity measures. The findings suggest that cortical underconnectivity in autism may constrain the ability of the brain to rapidly adapt during learning.
Contributors: Krumm, N, Eichler, E
... Abstract XHMM was run on a set of realigned BAM files from the SSC collection (see NDAR Study 334 for BAM files) using the attached scripts. These scripts calculate depth of coverage using GATK, pull the GATK output from an instance on NDAR's cloud, merge the output of GATK into a single matrix, process the read depth matrix (filter, center), normalize the matrix using principal component analysis (PCA), process the normalized read depth matrix (filter, z-score), run a hidden markov model (HMM) on this matrix to identify CNVs in the normalized data, and generate family level vcfs from the xhmm data. XHMM produces as output coverage summary tables produced by GATK (sample_interval_statistics, sample_interval_summary, sample_summary, sample_statistics), principal component data files, a genotyped CNV output VCF file, and some example plots and graphics. For this study, the GATK output is available. Additional information about XHMM is available here: http://atgu.mgh.harvard.edu/xhmm/tutorial.shtml
Contributors: Eichler, EE, Duyzend, MH, Nuttle, X, Coe, BP, Baker, C, Nickerson, DA, Bernier, R
... Abstract Recurrent deletions and duplications at chromosome 16p11.2 are a major genetic contributor to autism but also associate with a wider range of pediatric diagnoses. In order to investigate the potential genetic basis for phenotype variability, we assessed the parent-of-origin of the 16p11.2 copy number variant (CNV) and the presence of additional CNVs using commercial SNP microarrays in over 100 families where detailed phenotype data were available. Additional phenotypic and genotypic data is available to approved researchers from the Simons Foundation SFARI Base (https://sfari.org/resources/sfari-base).
RNA-Seq studies of gene expression in micro-dissected samples from the brains of individuals with autism and controls
Contributors: Allman, J
... Abstract We seek to understand the cellular bases of autism by using a new technology, RNA-Seq, to determine differences in gene expression in autopsy brains of subjects with well described autism versus age and sex matched neurotypical individuals. We have investigated two specific cortical areas involved in self-awareness and social reciprocity which are abnormal in autism and have found increased expression in a network of genes related to inflammation in autism group A, whereas the remaining cases, autism group B, have increased expression in a network of genes related to synapses.