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Obtaining stable estimates of caregiver-child joint engagement states is of interest for researchers who study development and early intervention in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, studies to date have offered little guidance on the numbers of sessions and coders necessary to obtain sufficiently stable estimates of these constructs. We used procedures derived from G theory to carry out a generalizability study, in which we partitioned error variance between two facets of our system for measuring joint engagement states: session and coder. A decision study was then conducted to determine the number of sessions and coders required to obtain g coefficients of 0.80, an a priori threshold set for acceptable stability. This process was conducted separately for 10 infant siblings of children with ASD (Sibs-ASD) and 10 infants whose older sibling did not have ASD (Sibs-TD), and for two different joint engagement states; lower- and higher-order supported joint engagement (LSJE and HSJE, respectively). Results indicated that, in the Sibs-ASD group, four sessions and one coder was required to obtain acceptably stable estimates for HSJE; only one session and one coder were required for LSJE. In the Sibs-TD group, two sessions and one coder were required for HSJE; seven sessions and two coders were required for LSJE. Implications for measurement in future research are discussed. Autism Res 2019, 12: 495-504 © 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: This study offers guidance for researchers who measure joint engagement between caregivers and infants who have an older sibling with ASD, and who have older siblings who are TD.
© 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Early institutional rearing is associated with increased risk for subsequent peer relationship difficulties, but the underlying mechanisms have not been identified. Friendship characteristics, social behaviors with peers, normed assessments of social problems, and social cue use were assessed in 142 children (mean age = 10.06, SD = 2.02; range 7-13 years), of whom 67 were previously institutionalized (PI), and 75 were raised by their biological families. Anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, often elevated among PI children, were examined as potential mediators of PI status and baseline social functioning and longitudinal follow-ups (2 and 4 years later). Twenty-seven percent of PI children fell above the Child Behavior Checklist Social Problems cutoff. An examination of specific social behaviors with peers indicated that PI and comparison children did not differ in empathic concern or peer social approach, though parents were more likely to endorse aggression/overarousal as a reason that PI children might struggle with friendships. Comparison children outperformed PI children in computerized testing of social cue use learning. Finally, across these measures, social difficulties exhibited in the PI group were mediated by ADHD symptoms with predicted social problems assessed 4 years later. These findings show that, when PI children struggle with friendships, mechanisms involving attention and behavior regulation are likely contributors.
Dopamine (DA) signaling dysfunction is believed to contribute to multiple neuropsychiatric disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The rare DA transporter (DAT) coding substitution Ala559Val found in subjects with ADHD, bipolar disorder and autism, promotes anomalous DA efflux in vitro and, in DAT Val559 mice, leads to increased reactivity to imminent handling, waiting impulsivity, and enhanced motivation for reward. Here, we report that, in contrast to amphetamine and methylphenidate, which induce significant locomotor activation, cocaine administration to these mice elicits no locomotor effects, despite retention of conditioned place preference (CPP). Additionally, cocaine fails to elevate extracellular DA. Given that amphetamine and methylphenidate, unlike cocaine, lack high-affinity interactions with the serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SERT), we hypothesized that the lack of cocaine-induced hyperlocomotion in DAT Val559 mice arises from SERT blockade and augmented 5-HT signaling relative to cocaine actions on wildtype animals. Consistent with this idea, the SERT blocker fluoxetine abolished methylphenidate-induced locomotor activity in DAT Val559 mice, mimicking the effects seen with cocaine. Additionally, a cocaine analog (RTI-113) with greater selectivity for DAT over SERT retains locomotor activation in DAT Val559 mice. Furthermore, genetic elimination of high-affinity cocaine interactions at SERT in DAT Val559 mice, or specific inhibition of 5-HT receptors in these animals, restored cocaine-induced locomotion, but did not restore cocaine-induced elevations of extracellular DA. Our findings reveal a significant serotonergic plasticity arising in the DAT Val559 model that involves enhanced 5-HT signaling, acting independently of striatal DA release, capable of suppressing the activity of cocaine-sensitive motor circuits.
Energy stores in fat tissue are determined in part by the activity of hypothalamic neurones expressing the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). Even a partial reduction in MC4R expression levels in mice, rats or humans produces hyperphagia and morbid obesity. Thus, it is of great interest to understand the molecular basis of neuromodulation by the MC4R. The MC4R is a G protein-coupled receptor that signals efficiently through Gα , and this signalling pathway is essential for normal MC4R function in vivo. However, previous data from hypothalamic slice preparations indicated that activation of the MC4R depolarised neurones via G protein-independent regulation of the ion channel Kir7.1. In the present study, we show that deletion of Kcnj13 (ie, the gene encoding Kir7.1) specifically from MC4R neurones produced resistance to melanocortin peptide-induced depolarisation of MC4R paraventricular nucleus neurones in brain slices, resistance to the sustained anorexic effect of exogenously administered melanocortin peptides, late onset obesity, increased linear growth and glucose intolerance. Some MC4R-mediated phenotypes appeared intact, including Agouti-related peptide-induced stimulation of food intake and MC4R-mediated induction of peptide YY release from intestinal L cells. Thus, a subset of the consequences of MC4R signalling in vivo appears to be dependent on expression of the Kir7.1 channel in MC4R cells.
© 2018 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.
Impulsivity is a transdiagnostic feature of a range of externalizing psychiatric disorders. Preclinical work links reduced ventral striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability with heightened impulsivity and novelty seeking. However, there is a lack of human data investigating the relationship between DAT availability, particularly in subregions of the striatum, and the personality traits of impulsivity and novelty seeking. Here we collected PET measures of DAT availability (BP) using the tracer F-FE-PE2I in 47 healthy adult subjects and examined relations between BP in striatum, including its subregions: caudate, putamen, and ventral striatum (VS), and trait impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale: BIS-11) and novelty seeking (Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire: TPQ-NS), controlling for age and sex. DAT BP in each striatal subregion showed nominal negative associations with total BIS-11 but not TPQ-NS. At the subscale level, VS DAT BP was significantly associated with BIS-11 motor impulsivity (e.g., taking actions without thinking) after correction for multiple comparisons. VS DAT BP explained 13.2% of the variance in motor impulsivity. Our data demonstrate that DAT availability in VS is negatively related to impulsivity and suggest a particular influence of DAT regulation of dopamine signaling in VS on acting without deliberation (BIS motor impulsivity). While needing replication, these data converge with models of ventral striatal functions that emphasize its role as a key interface linking motivation to action.
Some people are more willing to make immediate, risky, or costly reward-focused choices than others, which has been hypothesized to be associated with individual differences in dopamine (DA) function. In two studies using PET imaging, one empirical (Study 1: = 144 males and females across 3 samples) and one meta-analytic (Study 2: = 307 across 12 samples), we sought to characterize associations between individual differences in DA and time, probability, and physical effort discounting in human adults. Study 1 demonstrated that individual differences in DA D2-like receptors were not associated with time or probability discounting of monetary rewards in healthy humans, and associations with physical effort discounting were inconsistent across adults of different ages. Meta-analytic results for temporal discounting corroborated our empirical finding for minimal effect of DA measures on discounting in healthy individuals but suggested that associations between individual differences in DA and reward discounting depend on clinical features. Addictions were characterized by negative correlations between DA and discounting, but other clinical conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, obesity, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, were characterized by positive correlations between DA and discounting. Together, the results suggest that trait differences in discounting in healthy adults do not appear to be strongly associated with individual differences in D2-like receptors. The difference in meta-analytic correlation effects between healthy controls and individuals with psychopathology suggests that individual difference findings related to DA and reward discounting in clinical samples may not be reliably generalized to healthy controls, and vice versa. Decisions to forgo large rewards for smaller ones due to increasing time delays, uncertainty, or physical effort have been linked to differences in dopamine (DA) function, which is disrupted in some forms of psychopathology. It remains unclear whether alterations in DA function associated with psychopathology also extend to explaining associations between DA function and decision making in healthy individuals. We show that individual differences in DA D2 receptor availability are not consistently related to monetary discounting of time, probability, or physical effort in healthy individuals across a broad age range. By contrast, we suggest that psychopathology accounts for observed inconsistencies in the relationship between measures of DA function and reward discounting behavior.
Copyright © 2019 Castrellon et al.
OBJECTIVES - To investigate the association between green tea intake and incident stones in two large prospective cohorts.
METHODS - We examined self-reported incident kidney stone risk in the Shanghai Men's Health Study (n = 58 054; baseline age 40-74 years) and the Shanghai Women's Health Study (n = 69 166; baseline age 40-70 years). Information on the stone history and tea intake was collected by in-person surveys. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were adjusted for baseline demographic variables, medical history and dietary intakes including non-tea oxalate from a validated food frequency questionnaire.
RESULTS - During 319 211 and 696 950 person-years of follow up, respectively, 1202 men and 1451 women reported incident stones. Approximately two-thirds of men and one-quarter of women were tea drinkers at baseline, of whom green tea was the primary type consumed (95% in men, 88% in women). Tea drinkers (men: hazard ratio 0.78, 95% confidence interval 0.69-0.88; women: hazard ratio 0.8, 95% confidence interval 0.77-0.98) and specifically green tea drinkers (men: hazard ratio 0.78, 95% confidence interval 0.69-0.88; women: hazard ratio 0.84, 95% confidence interval 0.74-0.95) had lower incident risk than never/former drinkers. Compared with never/former drinkers, a stronger dose-response trend was observed for the amount of dried tea leaf consumed/month by men (hazard ratio 0.67, 95% confidence interval 0.56-0.80, P < 0.001) than by women (hazard ratio 0.87, 95% confidence interval 0.70-1.08, P = 0.041).
CONCLUSIONS - Green tea intake is associated with a lower risk of incident kidney stones, and the benefit is observed more strongly among men.
© 2018 The Japanese Urological Association.
Negative affect is a core symptom domain associated with an array of neurological and psychiatric disorders and is only partially targeted by current therapies, highlighting the need for better, more targeted treatment options. This study focuses on negative affective symptoms associated with prolonged alcohol abstinence, one of the leading causes of relapse. Using a mouse model of chronic alcohol consumption followed by forced abstinence (CDFA), prolonged alcohol abstinence increased c-fos expression and spontaneous glutamatergic neurotransmission in the dorsal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dBNST), a region heavily implicated in negative affect in both humans and rodents. Further, pharmacologically enhancing endogenous cannabinoids (eCB) with JZL184 prevents abstinence-induced increases in dBNST neuronal activity, underscoring the therapeutic potential of drugs targeting the brain's eCB system. Next, we used a channelrhodopsin-assisted mapping strategy to identify excitatory inputs to the dBNST that could contribute to CDFA-induced negative affect. We identified the insular cortex (insula), a region involved in regulating interoception, as a dense, functional, eCB-sensitive input to the dBNST. Using a chemogenetic strategy to locally mimic eCB signaling, we demonstrate that the insula strongly influences the CDFA behavioral phenotype and dBNST neuronal activity. Lastly, we used an anterograde strategy for transynaptic targeting of Cre expression in combination with a G-DREADD to selectively recruit dBNST neurons receiving insula projections. Chemogenetic recruitment of these neurons mimicked behavioral and c-fos responses observed in CDFA. Collectively, this study supports a role for the insula-BNST neural circuit in negative affective disturbances and highlights the therapeutic potential of the eCB system for treating negative affective disorders.
CHIP (carboxyl terminus of heat shock 70-interacting protein) has long been recognized as an active member of the cellular protein quality control system given the ability of CHIP to function as both a co-chaperone and ubiquitin ligase. We discovered a genetic disease, now known as spinocerebellar autosomal recessive 16 (SCAR16), resulting from a coding mutation that caused a loss of CHIP ubiquitin ligase function. The initial mutation describing SCAR16 was a missense mutation in the ubiquitin ligase domain of CHIP (p.T246M). Using multiple biophysical and cellular approaches, we demonstrated that T246M mutation results in structural disorganization and misfolding of the CHIP U-box domain, promoting oligomerization, and increased proteasome-dependent turnover. CHIP-T246M has no ligase activity, but maintains interactions with chaperones and chaperone-related functions. To establish preclinical models of SCAR16, we engineered T246M at the endogenous locus in both mice and rats. Animals homozygous for T246M had both cognitive and motor cerebellar dysfunction distinct from those observed in the CHIP null animal model, as well as deficits in learning and memory, reflective of the cognitive deficits reported in SCAR16 patients. We conclude that the T246M mutation is not equivalent to the total loss of CHIP, supporting the concept that disease-causing CHIP mutations have different biophysical and functional repercussions on CHIP function that may directly correlate to the spectrum of clinical phenotypes observed in SCAR16 patients. Our findings both further expand our basic understanding of CHIP biology and provide meaningful mechanistic insight underlying the molecular drivers of SCAR16 disease pathology, which may be used to inform the development of novel therapeutics for this devastating disease.
This project examines the connections between community psychology and faith-based community development. We investigate whether and how 4 major principles of community psychology-neighboring, sense of community, empowerment, and citizen participation-are found in the theory and philosophy of practice of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), a national faith-based community development network. We employ content analysis of four official CCDA publications to identify whether and how these four principles are embedded in the organization's espoused principles of practice. Our findings are as follows: (a) All four principles are found within CCDA theory and philosophy of practice, with the greatest emphasis on neighboring and sense of community and a less robust application of empowerment and citizen participation; (b) CCDA primarily focuses on the individual-level impact of these principles; and (c) CCDA Bases their application of these principles in Christian scripture and tradition. Our results indicate that the field could be strengthened by examining religious approaches to these principles and considering how organizations engage these concepts in both the theory and the practice. Additionally, faith-based organizations may foster a more effective application of these concepts in their social change efforts by partnering with community researchers and practitioners.
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.