Bio

Clinical Focus


  • Work with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders
  • Child Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry

Professional Education


  • Residency:Stanford University School of Medicine (1992) CA
  • Fellowship:Stanford University School of Medicine (1990) CA
  • Residency:Stanford University School of Medicine (1988) CA
  • Internship:Stanford University School of Medicine (1987) CA
  • Board Certification: Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (1995)
  • Medical Education:University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (1986) OH

Teaching

2010-11 Courses


Publications

Journal Articles


  • Head circumferences in twins with and without autism spectrum disorders. Journal of autism and developmental disorders Froehlich, W., Cleveland, S., Torres, A., Phillips, J., Cohen, B., Torigoe, T., Miller, J., Fedele, A., Collins, J., Smith, K., Lotspeich, L., Croen, L. A., Ozonoff, S., LaJonchere, C., Grether, J. K., Hallmayer, J. 2013; 43 (9): 2026-2037

    Abstract

    To determine the genetic relationship between head circumference (HC) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Twin pairs with at least one twin with an ASD were assessed. HCs in affected and unaffected individuals were compared, as were HC correlations in monozygotic and dizygotic pairs. 404 subjects, ages 4-18, were included. 20 % of males and 27 % of females with an ASD had macrocephaly. Unaffected co-twins showed similar rates (16 % of males and 22 % of females). Statistical analysis revealed no significant difference in HCs between affected and unaffected twins. Twins with ASDs and unaffected co-twins have similar HCs and increased rates of macrocephaly. Correlations demonstrated partial inheritance of HCs. Thus, macrocephaly may represent an endophenotype in ASDs.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10803-012-1751-1

    View details for PubMedID 23321801

  • Individual common variants exert weak effects on the risk for autism spectrum disorderspi HUMAN MOLECULAR GENETICS Anney, R., Klei, L., Pinto, D., Almeida, J., Bacchelli, E., Baird, G., Bolshakova, N., Boelte, S., Bolton, P. F., Bourgeron, T., Brennan, S., Brian, J., Casey, J., Conroy, J., Correia, C., Corsello, C., Crawford, E. L., de Jonge, M., Delorme, R., Duketis, E., Duque, F., Estes, A., Farrar, P., Fernandez, B. A., Folstein, S. E., Fombonne, E., Gilbert, J., Gillberg, C., Glessner, J. T., Green, A., Green, J., Guter, S. J., Heron, E. A., Holt, R., Howe, J. L., Hughes, G., Hus, V., Igliozzi, R., Jacob, S., Kenny, G. P., Kim, C., Kolevzon, A., Kustanovich, V., Lajonchere, C. M., Lamb, J. A., Law-Smith, M., Leboyer, M., Le Couteur, A., Leventhal, B. L., Liu, X., Lombard, F., Lord, C., Lotspeich, L., Lund, S. C., Magalhaes, T. R., Mantoulan, C., McDougle, C. J., Melhem, N. M., Merikangas, A., Minshew, N. J., Mirza, G. K., Munson, J., Noakes, C., Nygren, G., Papanikolaou, K., Pagnamenta, A. T., Parrini, B., Paton, T., Pickles, A., Posey, D. J., Poustka, F., Ragoussis, J., Regan, R., Roberts, W., Roeder, K., Roge, B., Rutter, M. L., Schlitt, S., Shah, N., Sheffield, V. C., Soorya, L., Sousa, I., Stoppioni, V., Sykes, N., Tancredi, R., Thompson, A. P., Thomson, S., Tryfon, A., Tsiantis, J., van Engeland, H., Vincent, J. B., Volkmar, F., Vorstman, J. A., Wallace, S., Wing, K., Wittemeyer, K., Wood, S., Zurawiecki, D., Zwaigenbaum, L., Bailey, A. J., Battaglia, A., Cantor, R. M., Coon, H., Cuccaro, M. L., Dawson, G., Ennis, S., Freitag, C. M., Geschwind, D. H., Haines, J. L., Klauck, S. M., McMahon, W. M., Maestrini, E., Miller, J., Monaco, A. P., Nelson, S. F., Nurnberger, J. I., Oliveira, G., Parr, J. R., Pericak-Vance, M. A., Piven, J., Schellenberg, G. D., Scherer, S., Vicente, A. M., Wassink, T. H., Wijsman, E. M., Betancur, C., Buxbaum, J. D., Cook, E. H., Gallagher, L., Gill, M., Hallmayer, J., Paterson, A. D., Sutcliffe, J. S., Szatmari, P., Vieland, V. J., Hakonarson, H., Devlin, B. 2012; 21 (21): 4781-4792

    Abstract

    While it is apparent that rare variation can play an important role in the genetic architecture of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), the contribution of common variation to the risk of developing ASD is less clear. To produce a more comprehensive picture, we report Stage 2 of the Autism Genome Project genome-wide association study, adding 1301 ASD families and bringing the total to 2705 families analysed (Stages 1 and 2). In addition to evaluating the association of individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we also sought evidence that common variants, en masse, might affect the risk. Despite genotyping over a million SNPs covering the genome, no single SNP shows significant association with ASD or selected phenotypes at a genome-wide level. The SNP that achieves the smallest P-value from secondary analyses is rs1718101. It falls in CNTNAP2, a gene previously implicated in susceptibility for ASD. This SNP also shows modest association with age of word/phrase acquisition in ASD subjects, of interest because features of language development are also associated with other variation in CNTNAP2. In contrast, allele scores derived from the transmission of common alleles to Stage 1 cases significantly predict case status in the independent Stage 2 sample. Despite being significant, the variance explained by these allele scores was small (Vm< 1%). Based on results from individual SNPs and their en masse effect on risk, as inferred from the allele score results, it is reasonable to conclude that common variants affect the risk for ASD but their individual effects are modest.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/hmg/dds301

    View details for Web of Science ID 000310165500016

    View details for PubMedID 22843504

  • Genetic Heritability and Shared Environmental Factors Among Twin Pairs With Autism ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY Hallmayer, J., Cleveland, S., Torres, A., Phillips, J., Cohen, B., Torigoe, T., Miller, J., Fedele, A., Collins, J., Smith, K., Lotspeich, L., Croen, L. A., Ozonoff, S., LaJonchere, C., Grether, J. K., Risch, N. 2011; 68 (11): 1095-1102

    Abstract

    Autism is considered the most heritable of neurodevelopmental disorders, mainly because of the large difference in concordance rates between monozygotic and dizygotic twins.To provide rigorous quantitative estimates of genetic heritability of autism and the effects of shared environment. Design, Setting, andTwin pairs with at least 1 twin with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) born between 1987 and 2004 were identified through the California Department of Developmental Services.Structured diagnostic assessments (Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) were completed on 192 twin pairs. Concordance rates were calculated and parametric models were fitted for 2 definitions, 1 narrow (strict autism) and 1 broad (ASD).For strict autism, probandwise concordance for male twins was 0.58 for 40 monozygotic pairs (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42-0.74) and 0.21 for 31 dizygotic pairs (95% CI, 0.09-0.43); for female twins, the concordance was 0.60 for 7 monozygotic pairs (95% CI, 0.28-0.90) and 0.27 for 10 dizygotic pairs (95% CI, 0.09-0.69). For ASD, the probandwise concordance for male twins was 0.77 for 45 monozygotic pairs (95% CI, 0.65-0.86) and 0.31 for 45 dizygotic pairs (95% CI, 0.16-0.46); for female twins, the concordance was 0.50 for 9 monozygotic pairs (95% CI, 0.16-0.84) and 0.36 for 13 dizygotic pairs (95% CI, 0.11-0.60). A large proportion of the variance in liability can be explained by shared environmental factors (55%; 95% CI, 9%-81% for autism and 58%; 95% CI, 30%-80% for ASD) in addition to moderate genetic heritability (37%; 95% CI, 8%-84% for autism and 38%; 95% CI, 14%-67% for ASD).Susceptibility to ASD has moderate genetic heritability and a substantial shared twin environmental component.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.76

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296649800004

    View details for PubMedID 21727249

  • Similar White Matter Aberrations in Children With Autism and Their Unaffected Siblings A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study Using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY Barnea-Goraly, N., Lotspeich, L. J., Reiss, A. L. 2010; 67 (10): 1052-1060

    Abstract

    Autism is a neurobiological condition with a strong genetic component. Recent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies have indicated that white matter structure is aberrant in autism. To date, white matter structure has not been assessed in family members of children with autism.To determine whether white matter structure is aberrant in children with autism and their unaffected siblings compared with controls, and to test the hypothesis that white matter structure in autism is correlated with autism spectrum symptomatology.Cross-sectional, case-control, voxel-based, whole-brain DTI analysis using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics.University research center. Patients  A sample of 37 children: 13 subjects with autism, 13 of their unaffected siblings, and 11 controls. Controls were age- and intelligence quotient-matched to the unaffected siblings; all groups were age matched. Main Outcome Measure  Fractional anisotropy (FA) and axial and radial diffusivities. In addition, behavioral correlation analyses were conducted using the Autism Diagnostic Interview and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule subscales and FA values, as well as axial diffusivity values in the autism group.Compared with the control group, both the autism and sibling groups had widespread, significantly reduced white matter FA values (P ? .05, corrected) in the frontal parietal and temporal lobes and included, but were not restricted to, regions known to be important for social cognition. Within regions of reduced FA, significant reductions in axial diffusivity, but not radial diffusivity, were observed. There were no significant differences in white matter structure between the autism and sibling groups. There were no significant correlations between autism symptomatology and white matter FA or axial diffusivity.Our findings suggest that white matter structure may represent a marker of genetic risk for autism or vulnerability to development of this disorder.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282917400009

    View details for PubMedID 20921121

  • Twins with KBG Syndrome and Autism JOURNAL OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS Hah, M., Lotspeich, L. J., Phillips, J. M., Torres, A. D., Cleveland, S. C., Hallmayer, J. F. 2009; 39 (12): 1744-1746

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10803-009-0811-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271767400013

    View details for PubMedID 19597979

  • Brief report: Effect of maternal age on severity of autism JOURNAL OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS Baxter, A. C., Lotspeich, L. J., Spiker, D., Martin, J. L., Grether, J. K., Hallmayer, J. F. 2007; 37 (5): 976-982

    Abstract

    The etiology of autism is complex, consisting of unknown genetic and environmental factors. Previous studies have revealed that maternal age is increased in autism compared to controls, making it a possible risk factor. This study examined the effects of maternal age on autism severity using IQ as a measure of cognitive severity and selected subtests of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) as measures of social severity. A sample of 154 subjects with autism spectrum disorders was obtained from the Stanford Neuropsychiatry/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) clinic. Results indicate that there is no relationship between IQ or selected CBCL subtests and maternal age, suggesting that maternal age does not influence the severity of autism as measured by these indicators.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10803-006-0217-8

    View details for Web of Science ID 000246583900018

    View details for PubMedID 17013673

  • Mapping autism risk loci using genetic linkage and chromosomal rearrangements NATURE GENETICS Szatmari, P., Paterson, A. D., Zwaigenbaum, L., Roberts, W., Brian, J., Liu, X., Vincent, J. B., Skaug, J. L., Thompson, A. P., Senman, L., Feuk, L., Qian, C., Bryson, S. E., Jones, M. B., Marshall, C. R., Scherer, S. W., Vieland, V. J., Bartlett, C., Mangin, L. V., Goedken, R., Segre, A., Pericak-Vance, M. A., Cuccaro, M. L., Gilbert, J. R., Wright, H. H., Abramson, R. K., Betancur, C., Bourgeron, T., Gillberg, C., Leboyer, M., Buxbaum, J. D., Davis, K. L., Hollander, E., Silverman, J. M., Hallmayer, J., Lotspeich, L., Sutcliffe, J. S., Haines, J. L., Folstein, S. E., Piven, J., Wassink, T. H., Sheffield, V., Geschwind, D. H., Bucan, M., Brown, W. T., Cantor, R. M., Constantino, J. N., Gilliam, T. C., Herbert, M., LaJonchere, C., Ledbetter, D. H., Lese-Martin, C., Miller, J., Nelson, S., Samango-Sprouse, C. A., Spence, S., State, M., Tanzi, R. E., Coon, H., Dawson, G., Devlin, B., Estes, A., Flodman, P., Klei, L., McMahon, W. M., Minshew, N., Munson, J., Korvatska, E., Rodier, P. M., Schellenberg, G. D., Smith, M., Spence, M. A., Stodgell, C., Tepper, P. G., Wijsman, E. M., Yu, C., Roge, B., Mantoulan, C., Wittemeyer, K., Poustka, A., Felder, B., Klauck, S. M., Schuster, C., Poustka, F., Boelte, S., Feineis-Matthews, S., Herbrecht, E., Schmoetzer, G., Tsiantis, J., Papanikolaou, K., Maestrini, E., Bacchelli, E., Blasi, F., Carone, S., Toma, C., van Engeland, H., de Jonge, M., Kemner, C., Koop, F., Langemeijer, M., Hijimans, C., Staal, W. G., Baird, G., Bolton, P. F., Rutter, M. L., Weisblatt, E., Green, J., Aldred, C., Wilkinson, J., Pickles, A., Le Couteur, A., Berney, T., McConachie, H., Bailey, A. J., Francis, K., Honeyman, G., Hutchinson, A., Parr, J. R., Wallace, S., Monaco, A. P., Barnby, G., Kobayashi, K., Lamb, J. A., Sousa, I., Sykes, N., Cook, E. H., Guter, S. J., Leventhal, B. L., Salt, J., Lord, C., Corsello, C., Hus, V., Weeks, D. E., Volkmar, F., Tauber, M., Fombonne, E., Shih, A. 2007; 39 (3): 319-328

    Abstract

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are common, heritable neurodevelopmental conditions. The genetic architecture of ASDs is complex, requiring large samples to overcome heterogeneity. Here we broaden coverage and sample size relative to other studies of ASDs by using Affymetrix 10K SNP arrays and 1,181 [corrected] families with at least two affected individuals, performing the largest linkage scan to date while also analyzing copy number variation in these families. Linkage and copy number variation analyses implicate chromosome 11p12-p13 and neurexins, respectively, among other candidate loci. Neurexins team with previously implicated neuroligins for glutamatergic synaptogenesis, highlighting glutamate-related genes as promising candidates for contributing to ASDs.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ng1985

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244480000013

    View details for PubMedID 17322880

  • Voxel-based morphometry elucidates structural neuroanatomy of high-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE AND CHILD NEUROLOGY Kwon, H., Ow, A. W., Pedatella, K. E., Lotspeich, L. J., Reiss, A. L. 2004; 46 (11): 760-764

    Abstract

    Efforts to examine the structural neuroanatomy of autism by using traditional methods of imaging analysis have led to variable findings, often based on methodological differences in image acquisition and analysis. A voxel-based computational method of whole-brain anatomy allows examination of small patterns of tissue differences between groups. High-resolution structural magnetic resonance images were acquired for nine males with high-functioning autism (HFA; mean age 14y [SD3y 4mo]), 11 with Asperger syndrome (ASP; mean age 13y 6mo [SD2y 5mo]), and 13 comparison (COM) participants (mean age 13y 7mo [SD 3y 1mo]). Using statistical parametric mapping, we examined contrasts of gray matter differences between the groups. Males with HFA and ASP had a pattern of decreased gray matter density in the ventromedial regions of the temporal cortex in comparison with males from an age-matched comparison group. Examining contrasts revealed that the COM group had increased gray matter density compared with the ASP or combined HFA and ASP group in the right inferior temporal gyrus, entorhinal cortex, and rostral fusiform gyrus. The ASP group had less gray matter density in the body of the cingulate gyrus in comparison with either the COM or HFA group. The findings of decreased gray matter density in ventromedial aspects of the temporal cortex in individuals with HFA and ASP lends support to theories suggesting an involvement of these areas in the pathophysiology of autism, particularly in the integration of visual stimuli and affective information.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S0012162204001306

    View details for Web of Science ID 000225066000007

    View details for PubMedID 15540637

  • The amygdala is enlarged in children but not adolescents with autism; The hippocampus is enlarged at all ages JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Schumann, C. M., Hamstra, J., Goodlin-Jones, B. L., Lotspeich, L. J., Kwon, H., Buonocore, M. H., Lammers, C. R., Reiss, A. L., Amaral, D. G. 2004; 24 (28): 6392-6401

    Abstract

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction, deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, and a restricted repertoire of activities or interests. We performed a magnetic resonance imaging study to better define the neuropathology of autistic spectrum disorders. Here we report findings on the amygdala and the hippocampal formation. Borders of the amygdala, hippocampus, and cerebrum were defined, and their volumes were measured in male children (7.5-18.5 years of age) in four diagnostic groups: autism with mental retardation, autism without mental retardation, Asperger syndrome, and age-matched typically developing controls. Although there were no differences between groups in terms of total cerebral volume, children with autism (7.5-12.5 years of age) had larger right and left amygdala volumes than control children. There were no differences in amygdala volume between the adolescent groups (12.75-18.5 years of age). Interestingly, the amygdala in typically developing children increases substantially in volume from 7.5 to 18.5 years of age. Thus, the amygdala in children with autism is initially larger, but does not undergo the age-related increase observed in typically developing children. Children with autism, with and without mental retardation, also had a larger right hippocampal volume than typically developing controls, even after controlling for total cerebral volume. Children with autism but without mental retardation also had a larger left hippocampal volume relative to controls. These cross-sectional findings indicate an abnormal program of early amygdala development in autism and an abnormal pattern of hippocampal development that persists through adolescence. The cause of amygdala and hippocampal abnormalities in autism is currently unknown.

    View details for DOI 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1297-04.2004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000222650000018

    View details for PubMedID 15254095

  • Lack of evidence for an association between WNT2 and RELN polymorphisms and autism AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS PART B-NEUROPSYCHIATRIC GENETICS Li, J., Nguyen, L., Gleason, C., Lotspeich, L., Spiker, D., Risch, N., Myers, R. M. 2004; 126B (1): 51-57

    Abstract

    Autism is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in language development and social interaction, as well as stereotypical, repetitive behaviors. The etiology of autism is largely unknown. Family and twin studies have provided compelling evidence for a strong genetic component in most idiopathic cases. Several recent candidate gene studies have suggested that alleles of WNT2 and the reelin gene (RELN), two genes involved in distinct aspects of neurodevelopment, confer greater susceptibility to autism. We screened WNT2 for DNA polymorphisms by sequencing all exons and adjacent intronic regions in 24 autistic patients, and identified not only the WNT2 variants reported previously (two common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 5' upstream region and the 3' untranslated region (UTR), respectively), but also two new SNPs in its 3' UTR. We genotyped all four WNT2 polymorphisms and a polymorphic trinucleotide repeat in the 5' UTR of RELN in 107 families with multiple autistic children, and evaluated evidence for association between these variants and autism by the transmission disequilibrium test (TDT). Our results revealed no deviation from the null hypothesis of no association. Our interpretation of these findings is that it is unlikely that DNA variations in RELN and WNT2 play a significant role in the genetic predisposition to autism.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.b.20122

    View details for Web of Science ID 000220607300010

    View details for PubMedID 15048648

  • Emotional attribution in high-functioning individuals with autistic spectrum disorder: A functional imaging study JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY Piggot, J., Kwon, H., Mobbs, D., Blasey, C., Lotspeich, L., Menon, V., Bookheimer, S., Reiss, A. L. 2004; 43 (4): 473-480

    Abstract

    To determine whether expertise in the attribution of emotion from basic facial expressions in high-functioning individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is supported by the amygdala, fusiform, and prefrontal regions of interest (ROI) and is comparable to that of typically developing individuals.Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired from 14 males with ASD and 10 matched adolescent controls while performing emotion match (EM) (perceptual), emotion label (EL) (linguistic), and control tasks. Accuracy, response time, and average activation were measured for each ROI.There was no significant difference in accuracy, response time, or ROI activation between groups performing the EL task. The ASD group was as accurate as the control group performing the EM task but had a significantly longer response time and lower average fusiform activation.Expertise in the attribution of emotion from basic facial expressions was task-dependent in the high-functioning ASD group. The hypothesis that the high-functioning ASD group would be less expert and would have reduced fusiform activation was supported in the perceptual task but not the linguistic task. The reduced fusiform activation in the perceptual task was not explained by reduced expertise; it is therefore concluded that reduced fusiform activation is associated with the diagnosis of ASD.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.chi.0000111363.94169.37

    View details for Web of Science ID 000220384300014

    View details for PubMedID 15187808

  • Investigation of neuroanatomical differences between autism and Asperger syndrome ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY Lotspeich, L., Kwon, H., Schumann, C. M., Fryer, S. L., Goodlin-Jones, B. L., Buonocore, M. H., Lammers, C. R., AMARAL, D. G., Reiss, A. L. 2004; 61 (3): 291-298

    Abstract

    Autism and Asperger syndrome (ASP) are neurobiological conditions with overlapping behavioral symptoms and of unknown etiologies. Results from previous autism neuroimaging studies have been difficult to replicate, possibly owing to site differences in subject samples, scanning procedures, and image-processing methods. We sought (1) to determine whether low-functioning autism (LFA; IQ<70), high-functioning autism (HFA; IQ>or=70), and ASP constitute distinct biological entities as evidenced by neuroanatomical measures, and (2) to assess for intersite differences.Case-control study examining coronally oriented 124-section spoiled gradient echo images acquired on 3 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, and processed by BrainImage 5.X. Participants were recruited and underwent scanning at 2 academic medicine departments. Participants included 4 age-matched groups of volunteer boys aged 7.8 to 17.9 years (13 patients with LFA, 18 with HFA, 21 with ASP, and 21 control subjects), and 3 volunteer adults for neuroimaging reliability. Main outcome measures included volumetric measures of total, white, and gray matter for cerebral and cerebellar tissues.Intersite differences were seen for subject age, IQ, and cerebellum measures. Cerebral gray matter volume was enlarged in both HFA and LFA compared with controls (P =.009 and P =.04, respectively). Cerebral gray matter volume in ASP was intermediate between that of HFA and controls, but nonsignificant. Exploratory analyses revealed a negative correlation between cerebral gray matter volume and performance IQ within HFA but not ASP. A positive correlation between cerebral white matter volume and performance IQ was observed within ASP but not HFA.Lack of replication between previous autism MRI studies could be due to intersite differences in MRI systems and subjects' age and IQ. Cerebral gray tissue findings suggest that ASP is on the mild end of the autism spectrum. However, exploratory assessments of brain-IQ relationships reveal differences between HFA and ASP, indicating that these conditions may be neurodevelopmentally different when patterns of multiple measures are examined. Further investigations of brain-behavior relationships are indicated to confirm these findings.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000220064800010

    View details for PubMedID 14993117

  • White matter structure in autism: Preliminary evidence from diffusion tensor imaging BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY Barnea-Goraly, N., Kwon, H., Menon, V., Eliez, S., Lotspeich, L., Reiss, A. L. 2004; 55 (3): 323-326

    Abstract

    Individuals with autism have severe difficulties in social communication and relationships. Prior studies have suggested that abnormal connections between brain regions important for social cognition may contribute to the social deficits seen in autism.In this study, we used diffusion tensor imaging to investigate white matter structure in seven male children and adolescents with autism and nine age-, gender-, and IQ-matched control subjects.Reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) values were observed in white matter adjacent to the ventromedial prefrontal cortices and in the anterior cingulate gyri as well as in the temporoparietal junctions. Additional clusters of reduced FA values were seen adjacent to the superior temporal sulcus bilaterally, in the temporal lobes approaching the amygdala bilaterally, in occipitotemporal tracts, and in the corpus callosum.Disruption of white matter tracts between regions implicated in social functioning may contribute to impaired social cognition in autism.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsych.2003.10.022

    View details for Web of Science ID 000188434000019

    View details for PubMedID 14744477

  • Behavioral phenotypic variation in autism multiplex families: Evidence for a continuous severity gradient AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS Spiker, D., Lotspeich, L. J., DiMiceli, S., Myers, R. M., Risch, N. 2002; 114 (2): 129-136

    Abstract

    Recent genetic investigations of autism have studied multiplex families, typically including families with multiple siblings who meet criteria for a diagnosis of autism. However, little is known about the specific behavioral characteristics of siblings with autism in these multiplex families. We investigated the behavioral phenotypic variability and similarity of 351 siblings with autism in 171 multiplex families using cluster analysis and correlations. The results of cluster analyses showed that the individuals with autism could be characterized on a severity gradient: a continuum based on severity of symptoms and impairment as measured by Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) scores, verbal-nonverbal status, and nonverbal IQ scores. Clusters based on scores from the ADI-R for the autism diagnostic criteria of the DSM-IV and nonverbal IQ scores still represented a severity gradient when the effects of verbal-nonverbal status were removed. The severity gradient was shown to be heritable, with a sib correlation of 30% or a heritability of 60%. In summary, in a sample of 171 autism multiplex families, there was no evidence of discrete behaviorally defined subgroups of affected individuals or families characterized by distinct patterns of behavioral symptoms. Rather, the clusters could be characterized along a single, heritable, continuous severity dimension.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.10188

    View details for Web of Science ID 000173929800002

    View details for PubMedID 11857572

  • Lack of association between HoxA1 and HoxB1 gene variants and autism in 110 multiplex families AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS Li, J., Tabor, H. K., Nguyen, L., Gleason, C., Lotspeich, L. J., Spiker, D., Myers, R. M. 2002; 114 (1): 24-30

    Abstract

    A recent report suggested that the HoxA1 and/or HoxB1 genes play a role in susceptibility to autism. To determine whether these findings could be confirmed, we screened these genes for DNA polymorphisms by sequencing all exons in 24 individuals with autism. We identified the same sequence variants in the genes that appeared in this report, which include one single-base substitution variant in HoxA1 and a common haplotype in HoxB1. We performed an association study by applying the transmission disequilibrium test to detect possible association of these variants to autism in 110 multiplex families. Our results demonstrated no deviation from the null hypothesis of no association. We have also separately examined transmissions within individual mating types, for paternal versus maternal alleles, to affected versus unaffected children, and for transmission to affected boys versus girls. None of these subsets revealed significant deviation from the null expectation. Our interpretation of these findings is that it is unlikely that HoxA1 and HoxB1 play a significant role in the genetic predisposition to autism.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000173133600004

    View details for PubMedID 11840501

  • Birth order effects on nonverbal IQ scores in autism multiplex families JOURNAL OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS Spiker, D., Lotspeich, L. J., DiMiceli, S., Szatmari, P., Myers, R. M., Risch, N. 2001; 31 (5): 449-460

    Abstract

    Lord (1992) published a brief report showing a trend for decreasing nonverbal IQ scores with increasing birth order in a sample of 16 autism multiplex families, and urged replication in a larger sample. In this report, analyses of nonverbal IQ scores for a sample of 144 autism multiplex families indicated that nonverbal IQ scores were significantly lower in secondborn compared with firstborn siblings with autism. This birth order effect was independent of gender as well as the age differences within sib pairs. No such birth order effects were found for social or communicative deficits as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), but there was a modest tendency for increased scores for ritualistic behaviors for the firstborn sibs. Further, there were no gender differences on nonverbal IQ scores in this sample. Results are discussed in terms of implications for genetic studies of autism.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000172802000002

    View details for PubMedID 11794410

  • Absence of linkage and linkage disequilibrium to chromosome 15q11-q13 markers in 139 multiplex families with autism AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS Salmon, B., Hallmayer, J., Rogers, T., Kalaydjieva, L., Petersen, P. B., Nicholas, P., Pingree, C., McMahon, W., Spiker, D., Lotspeich, L., Kraemer, H., McCague, P., DiMiceli, S., Nouri, N., Pitts, T., Yang, J., Hinds, D., Myers, R. M., Risch, N. 1999; 88 (5): 551-556

    Abstract

    Chromosomal region 15q11-q13 has been implicated to harbor a susceptibility gene or genes underlying autism. Evidence has been derived from the existence of cytogenetic anomalies in this region associated with autism, and the report of linkage in a modest collection of multiplex families. Most recently, linkage disequilibrium with the marker GABRB3-155CA2 in the candidate locus GABRB3, located in this region, has been reported. We searched for linkage using eight microsatellite markers located in this region of chromosome 15 in 147 affected sib-pairs from 139 multiplex autism families. We also tested for linkage disequilibrium in the same set of families with the same markers. We found no evidence for excess allele sharing (linkage) for the markers in this region. Also, we found no evidence of linkage disequilibrium, including for the locus GABRB3-155CA2. Thus, it appears that the role of this region of chromosome 15 is minor, at best, in the majority of individuals with autism.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000082781500021

    View details for PubMedID 10490715

  • A genomic screen of autism: Evidence for a multilocus etiology AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS Risch, N., Spiker, D., Lotspeich, L., Nouri, N., Hinds, D., Hallmayer, J., Kalaydjieva, L., McCague, P., DiMiceli, S., Pitts, T., Nguyen, L., Yang, J., Harper, C., Thorpe, D., Vermeer, S., Young, H., Hebert, J., Lin, A., Ferguson, J., Chiotti, C., Wiese-Slater, S., Rogers, T., Salmon, B., Nicholas, P., Petersen, P. B., Pingree, C., McMahon, W., Wong, D. L., Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., Kraemer, H. C., Myers, R. M. 1999; 65 (2): 493-507

    Abstract

    We have conducted a genome screen of autism, by linkage analysis in an initial set of 90 multiplex sibships, with parents, containing 97 independent affected sib pairs (ASPs), with follow-up in 49 additional multiplex sibships, containing 50 ASPs. In total, 519 markers were genotyped, including 362 for the initial screen, and an additional 157 were genotyped in the follow-up. As a control, we also included in the analysis unaffected sibs, which provided 51 discordant sib pairs (DSPs) for the initial screen and 29 for the follow-up. In the initial phase of the work, we observed increased identity by descent (IBD) in the ASPs (sharing of 51.6%) compared with the DSPs (sharing of 50.8%). The excess sharing in the ASPs could not be attributed to the effect of a small number of loci but, rather, was due to the modest increase in the entire distribution of IBD. These results are most compatible with a model specifying a large number of loci (perhaps >/=15) and are less compatible with models specifying

    View details for Web of Science ID 000081836900025

    View details for PubMedID 10417292

  • Exclusion of linkage to the HLA region in ninety multiplex sibships with autism JOURNAL OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS Rogers, T., Kalaydjieva, L., Hallmayer, J., Petersen, P. B., Nicholas, P., Pingree, C., McMahon, W. M., Spiker, D., Lotspeich, L., Kraemer, H., McCague, P., DiMiceli, S., Nouri, N., Peachy, T., Yang, J., Hinds, D., Risch, N., Myers, R. M. 1999; 29 (3): 195-201

    Abstract

    Several studies have suggested a role for the histocompatibility complex of loci (HLA) in the genetic susceptibility to autism. We have tested this hypothesis by linkage analysis using genetic marker loci in the HLA region on chromosome 6p in multiplex families with autism. We have examined sharing of alleles identical by descent in 97 affected sib pairs from 90 families. Results demonstrate no deviation from the null expectation of 50% sharing of alleles in this region; in fact, for most marker loci, the observed sharing was less than 50%. Thus, it is unlikely that loci in this region contribute to the genetic etiology of autism to any significant extent in our families.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000081351400003

    View details for PubMedID 10425582

  • Autism and the X chromosome - Multipoint sib-pair analysis ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY Hallmayer, J., Hebert, J. M., Spiker, D., Lotspeich, L., McMahon, W. M., Petersen, P. B., Nicholas, P., Pingree, C., Lin, A. A., CAVALLISFORZA, L. L., Risch, N., CIARANELLO, R. D. 1996; 53 (11): 985-989

    Abstract

    Genetic factors undoubtedly play a major etiologic role in autism, but how it is inherited remains unanswered. The increased incidence in males suggests possible involvement of the X chromosome.Using data from 38 multiplex families with autism (2 or more autistic siblings), we performed a multipoint sib-pair linkage analysis between autism and 35 microsatellite markers located on the X chromosome. The model included a single parameter, the risk ratio lambda xs (i.e., ratio of risk to siblings compared with the population prevalence), owing to an X-linked gene. Different lambda xs values were assumed and regions of exclusion were established.The entire X chromosome could be excluded for a lambda xs value of 4. The ability to exclude an X-linked gene decreased with smaller lambda xs values, and some positive evidence was obtained with smaller values. A maximum lod score of 1.24 was obtained at locus DXS424 with a lambda xs value of 1.5.We were able to exclude any moderate to strong gene effect causing autism on the X chromosome. Smaller gene effects (lambda xs < 4) could not be excluded, in particular, a gene of small effect located between DXS453 and DXS1001.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996VR82200002

    View details for PubMedID 8911221

  • Male-to-male transmission in extended pedigrees with multiple cases of autism AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS Hallmayer, J., Spiker, D., Lotspeich, L., McMahon, W. M., Petersen, P. B., Nicholas, P., Pingree, C., CIARANELLO, R. D. 1996; 67 (1): 13-18

    Abstract

    Despite strong genetic influences in autism, the true mode of inheritance remains unknown. Sex differences in autism have been described in both singleton and multiplex families [Lord et al., 1982; Volkmar et al., 1993; McLennan et al., 1993; Lord, 1992]: Boys outnumber girls by 3 or 4 to 1, and so a sex-linked mode of transmission must also be considered. The key characteristic of X-linkage is that all sons of affected men are unaffected (no male-to-male transmission). In the present study, which is part of an ongoing linkage project in autism, we describe 77 multiplex autism families, 11 of who are affected cousin or half-sibling families. By using these families, it is possible to trace the path of genetic transmission and observe whether the hypothesis of X-linkage is tenable. Of 11 extended pedigrees from 77 multiplex families, six show male-to-male transmission; in these families, X-linkage can be excluded as the genetic basis for their autism. The data from the other five families are compatible with either an autosomal or an X-linked mode of transmission. The key point to emerge, then, is that autism cannot be exclusively an X-linked disorder; there must be an autosomal mode of transmission at least in some families. Thus we must consider the alternative hypotheses that autism is either entirely autosomal, or it is genetically heterogeneous, involving at least one autosomal locus with genderspecific expression, as well as a possible locus on the X-chromosome.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996TY40300003

    View details for PubMedID 8678108

  • MOLECULAR ANALYSIS AND TEST OF LINKAGE BETWEEN THE FMR-I GENE AND INFANTILE-AUTISM IN MULTIPLEX FAMILIES AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS Hallmayer, J., Pintado, E., Lotspeich, L., Spiker, D., McMahon, W., Petersen, P. B., Nicholas, P., Pingree, C., Kraemer, H. C., Wong, D. L., Ritvo, E., Lin, A., Hebert, J., CAVALLISFORZA, L. L., CIARANELLO, R. D. 1994; 55 (5): 951-959

    Abstract

    Approximately 2%-5% of autistic children show cytogenetic evidence of the fragile X syndrome. This report tests whether infantile autism in multiplex autism families arises from an unusual manifestion of the fragile X syndrome. This could arise either by expansion of the (CGG)n trinucleotide repeat in FMR-1 or from a mutation elsewhere in the gene. We studied 35 families that met stringent criteria for multiplex autism. Amplification of the trinucleotide repeat and analysis of methylation status were performed in 79 autistic children and in 31 of their unaffected siblings, by Southern blot analysis. No examples of amplified repeats were seen in the autistic or control children or in their parents or grandparents. We next examined the hypothesis that there was a mutation elsewhere in the FMR-1 gene, by linkage analysis in 32 of these families. We tested four different dominant models and a recessive model. Linkage to FMR-1 could be excluded (lod score between -24 and -62) in all models by using probes DXS548, FRAXAC1, and FRAXAC2 and the CGG repeat itself. Tests for heterogeneity in this sample were negative, and the occurrence of positive lod scores in this data set could be attributed to chance. Analysis of the data by the affected-sib method also did not show evidence for linkage of any marker to autism. These results enable us to reject the hypothesis that multiplex autism arises from expansion of the (CGG)n trinucleotide repeat in FMR-1.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994QB68200015

  • GENETICS OF AUTISM - CHARACTERISTICS OF AFFECTED AND UNAFFECTED CHILDREN FROM 37 MULTIPLEX FAMILIES AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS Spiker, D., Lotspeich, L., Kraemer, H. C., Hallmayer, J., McMahon, W., Petersen, P. B., Nicholas, P., Pingree, C., WIESESLATER, S., Chiotti, C., Wong, D. L., DIMICELLI, S., Ritvo, E., CAVALLISFORZA, L. L., CIARANELLO, R. D. 1994; 54 (1): 27-35

    Abstract

    Evidence from twin and family studies strongly suggests that genetic factors play a prominent role in the etiology of some cases of infantile autism. Genetic factors would be expected to be especially strong in families with multiple autistic members (multiplex families). This report describes the identification and evaluation of 44 families with two or more autistic children collected as part of a genetic linkage study in autism. Families were referred with a presumptive classification of multiplex autism. Children referred as autistic, as well as their presumptively normal siblings, were assessed using the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS). Thirty-seven of the 44 families (87%) had at least two children who met diagnostic criteria for autism on the ADI. Of the total group of 117 children evaluated in those families, 83 (71%) met all ADI criteria and could be unambiguously classified as autistic (affected), 26 (22%) met none of the ADI criteria and were classified as not autistic (unaffected), and 8 (7%) were classified as uncertain because they met one or more but not all of the ADI cutpoints. Autistic siblings were not significantly concordant for most autism characteristics, for IQ, or for verbal ability. Significant concordances were found, however, for behaviors related to rituals and repetitive play, and for social impairments in the expression and understanding of facial expressions of emotion.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994NA25400006

    View details for PubMedID 8178836

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