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Molecular Autism

, 5:15

First Online: 18 February 2014Received: 02 September 2013Accepted: 03 February 2014

Abstract

BackgroundChildren with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD show unusual social behaviors and repetitive behaviors. Some of these behaviors, e.g., time spent in an area or turning rate-direction, can be automatically tracked. Automated tracking has several advantages over subjective ratings including reliability, amount of information provided, and consistency across laboratories, and is potentially of importance for diagnosis, animal models and objective assessment of treatment efficacy. However, its validity for ASD has not been examined. In this exploratory study, we examined associations between rating scale data with automated tracking of children’s movements using the Noldus EthoVision XT system; i.e., tracking not involving a human observer. Based on our observations and previous research, we predicted that time spent in the periphery of the room would be associated with autism severity and that rate and direction of turning would be associated with stereotypies.

MethodsChildren with and without ASD were observed in a free-play situation for 3 min before and 3 min after Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale – Generic ADOS-G testing. The Noldus system provided measures of the rate and direction of turning, latency to approach and time spend near the periphery or the parent.

ResultsRatings of the severity of maladaptive social behaviors, stereotypies, autism severity, and arousal problems were positively correlated with increases in percent time spent in the periphery in the total sample and in the ASD subset. Adaptive social communication skills decreased with increases in the percentage of time spent in the periphery and increases in the latency to approach the parent in the ASD group. The rate and direction of turning was linked with stereotypies only in the group without ASD the faster the rate of a turn to the left, the worse the rating. In the ASD group, there was a shift from a neutral turning bias prior to the ADOS assessment to a strong left turn bias after the ADOS assessment. In the entire sample, this left turn bias was associated with measures of autism severity.

ConclusionResults suggest that automated tracking yields valid and unbiased information for assessing children with autism. Turning bias is an interesting and unexplored measure related to autism.

KeywordsAutism spectrum disorders Automated tracking Behavioral assessment Rating scales Thigmotaxis Treatment measures AbbreviationsABC-CAberrant Behavior Checklist-Community

ADOS-GAutism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic

ASDAutism Spectrum disorder

PDDBIPDD Behavior Inventory

RAVRelative angular velocity

ROIRegion of interest

VABS-IIVineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-2040-2392-5-15 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Ira L Cohen - Judith M Gardner - Bernard Z Karmel - Soh-Yule Kim

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/



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