Browsing by Subject "Autism"

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  • Salmela, Liisa; Kuula, Liisa; Merikanto, Ilona; Räikkönen, Katri; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina (2019)
    Objective: Diagnosed autism spectrum disorders have been associated with a high prevalence of sleep problems, other psychiatric disorders and social deficits in adolescence. However, little is known about the possible connection between subclinical autistic traits and sleep. This study explored whether adolescents with elevated levels of subclinical autistic traits are at heightened risk for sleep problems. Methods: This study used data from the community cohort born in 1998. The sample consisted of 157 (57% girls) 17-year-old adolescents. Autistic traits were assessed using the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale were utilized to control for comorbid psychiatric symptoms. Sleep was measured with actigraphy and sleep quality was self-rated using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Associations between autistic traits and sleep were examined using logistic regression analysis. Results: Elevated levels of autistic traits were significantly associated with shorter weekday sleep duration. Moreover, autistic traits remained an independent predictor of short sleep duration when comorbid psychiatric symptoms were controlled for (OR 1.14; 95% CI: 1.03-1.26). Conclusions: The results suggest that subclinical autistic traits should be considered as a possible underlying mechanism affecting adolescent sleep. (c) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
  • Talvio, Karo; Kanninen, Katja M.; White, Anthony R.; Koistinaho, Jari; Castren, Maija L. (2021)
    Trace elements have important functions in several processes involved in cellular homeostasis and survival. Dysfunctional metal ion homeostasis can make an important impact on cellular defence mechanisms. We assessed the concentrations of 23 trace minerals in different tissues (brain, spleen, heart and liver) of Fmr1 knockout (KO) mice that display the main phenotype of Fragile X syndrome (FXS), an intellectual disability syndrome and the best-known monogenic model of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Altogether, seven minerals-Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, and P-were above the detection limit with the analysis revealing increased iron content in the heart of Fmr1 KO mice. In addition, levels of iron were higher in the cerebellum of the transgenic mouse when compared to wild type controls. These results implicate a role for dysregulated iron homeostasis in FXS tissues and suggest that defective iron-related mechanisms contribute to increased tissue vulnerability in FXS.
  • Talvio, Karo; Kanninen, Katja; White, Anthony; Koistinaho, Jari; Castrén, Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Biometalleilla on merkittävä rooli solujen ja kudosten toiminnassa. Ne ovat monen entsyymin toiminnassa elintärkeitä, mutta toisaalta solut pyrkivät pitämään niiden pitoisuudet tarkoissa rajoissa. Metallin yli- tai alimäärä voi joko itsessään vaikeuttaa solujen normaalia toimintaa tai olla merkki epätavallisesta metaboliasta. Fragile X-oireyhtymä on monogeeninen kehitysvammaisuutta aiheuttava perinnällinen sairaus, joka johtuu FMRP-proteiinin puutoksesta. Oireyhtymä on mahdollisesti yleisin periytyvän autismin syy. 23 metallin kudospitoisuudet mitattiin Fragile X-oireyhtymää mallintavan hiirimallin ja kontrollihiirten pikkuaivoista, isoaivokuorelta, maksasta, sydämestä ja pernasta induktiivisesti kytketty plasma -massaspektrometrillä. Seitsemän metallin – Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na ja P – pitoisuudet olivat mittausrajan yläpuolella. Hiirimallin sydämen ja pikkuaivojen rautapitoisuudet olivat korkeampia kuin kontrollihiirten vastaavista kudoksista mitatut arvot. Löydösten merkitsevyydet olivat kuitenkin statistisesti raja-arvoisia. PCA-analyysi vahvisti käsitystä muuttuneesta metallihomeostaasista hiirimallin sydämessä, ja toisaalta Fragile X-oireyhtymän aiheuttavan FMRP-proteiinin mutaatiot on aiemmin liitetty ihmisillä pikkuaivojen rautakertymiin. Tutkimus kärsii pienen näytemäärän takia alhaisesta voimasta, mutta rautamuutokset sopivat aiemmin kuvattuun FMRP-proteiiniin liitettyyn inflammaatioon. Tässä tutkimuksessa sekä aiemmissa julkaisuissa kuvattu biometallien epätasapaino edellyttää lisätutkimusta aiheesta, sillä metalleja sisältäviä lisäravinteita kokeillaan usein hoidoksi hermoston kehityshäiriöissä.
  • Pesonen, Henri; Waltz, Mitzi; Fabri, Marc; Syurina, Elena V.; Kruckels, Sarah; Algner, Mona; Monthubert, Bertrand; Lorenz, Timo (2021)
    Purpose This paper aims to examine effective support strategies for facilitating the employment of autistic students and graduates by answering the following research question: What constitutes effective employment support for autistic students and graduates? Design/methodology/approach Data were collected using the method of empathy-based stories (MEBS) as part of a multinational European project's Web-based survey. The data consisted of 55 writings about effective strategies and 55 writings about strategies to ]avoid when working with autistic students and graduates. The material was analysed using qualitative inductive content analysis. Narratives were created to illustrate desirable and undesirable environments and processes as they would be experienced by students, supported by original excerpts from the stories. Findings The analysis revealed that effective employment support for autistic students and graduates comprised three dimensions of support activity: practices based on the form and environment of support, social interaction support and autism acceptance and awareness. These dimensions were present in both recommended and not recommended support strategy writings. Originality/value The results add to the literature on autism and employment with its focus on the novel context of autistic university students and graduates. Effective strategies will be based on person-centred planning, to include not only the individual impact of autism but also individual career goals, workplace characteristics in the chosen field, employer needs and allocation of the right support. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy, but rather an individualized process is needed, focused on the identification of strengths, the adaptation of employment and work processes and improved understanding and acceptance of autism by management, colleagues and administration in the workplace.
  • Wiklund, Mari; Laakso, Minna (2019)
    This study describes the role of ungrammatical utterances and disfluent speech in the creation of comprehension problems between the participants in group therapy sessions of preadolescents with autism. The speech of the autistic preadolescents included frequent disfluencies and morpho-syntactic problems, such as wrong case endings, ambiguous pronominal references, grammatically incoherent syntactic structures and inaccurate tenses, which caused problems of comprehension. Three different interactional trajectories occurred when solving the potential problems of comprehension following the morpho-syntactically disfluent turns. First, the disfluent turn sometimes led to a clarification request by a co-participant, either a therapist or another participant with ASD. The preadolescents with ASD showed interactional skilfulness in requesting clarification when faced with comprehension problems. Second, in contrast, other occurrences included one or several self-repairs by the speaker with ASD. In these cases, the other group participants either did not react or they encouraged the speaker to continue using discourse particles. If the self-repairing disfluencies led to a persisting problem of comprehension, the therapists sometimes intervened and resolved the problem. However, direct interventions by the therapists were infrequent because the participants with ASD were mostly able to resolve the comprehension problems by themselves. Third, some disfluent and/or grammatically incorrect turns were not treated as problematic by the co-participants nor by the speaker himself.