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Author: Kim Cornish (79)


Dec
2017

Increased severity of problematic daytime behavior has been associated with poorer sleep quality in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. In this work, we investigate whether this relationship holds in a real-time setting, such that an individual's prior sleep can be used to predict their subsequent daytime behavior. We analyzed an extensive real-world dataset containing over 20,000 nightly sleep observations matched to subsequent challenging daytime behaviors (aggression, self-injury, tantrums, property destruction and a challenging behavior index) across 67 individuals with low-functioning autism living in two U.

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Oct
2017

Despite sleep disturbance being a common complaint in individuals with autism, specific sleep phenotypes and their relationship to adaptive functioning have yet to be identified. This study used cluster analysis to find distinct sleep patterns and relate them to independent measures of adaptive functioning in individuals with autism. Approximately 50,000 nights of care-giver sleep/wake logs were collected on school-days for 106 individuals with low functioning autism (87 boys, 14.

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Oct
2017

Carriers of a FMR1 premutation allele (between 55 and 199 CGG repeats) are at risk of developing a wide range of medical, psychiatric and cognitive disorders, including executive dysfunction. These cognitive deficits are often less severe for female premutation carriers compared to male premutation carriers, albeit similar in nature. However, it remains unclear whether female premutation carriers who exhibit executive dysfunction also report verbal learning and memory deficits like those of their male counterparts.

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May
2017

To examine the interrelationships between fragile X mental retardation 1 () mRNA and theexon 1/intron 1 boundary methylation, white matter microstructure, and executive function, in women with apremutation expansion (PM; 55-199 CGG repeats) and controls (CGG < 44).
Twenty women with PM without fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) and 20 control women between 22 and 54 years of age completed this study.mRNA and methylation levels for 9 CpG sites within theexon 1/intron 1 boundary from peripheral blood samples were analyzed.

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Dec
1969

The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between comorbid disorders and executive function (EF) in children diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Three hundred and fifty-five, 6-12 year old children clinically diagnosed with ADHD were included in the study. Comorbid anxiety disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD) were examined.

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Dec
1969

Children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience significant difficulties in attention, learning, executive functions, and behavioral regulation. Emerging evidence suggests that computerized cognitive training may remediate these impairments. In a double blind controlled trial, 76 children with IDD (4-11 years) were randomized to either an attention training (n = 38) or control program (n = 38).

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Dec
1969

Executive dysfunction has been demonstrated among premutation (PM) carriers (55-199 CGG repeats) of the Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. Further, alterations to neural activation patterns have been reported during memory and comparison based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tasks in these carriers. For the first time, the relationships between fMRI neural activation during an interleaved ocular motor prosaccade/antisaccade paradigm, and concurrent task performance (saccade measures of latency, accuracy and error rate) in PM females were examined.

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Nov
2017

Despite well-documented attention deficits in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), distinctions across types of attention problems and their association with academic attainment has not been fully explored. This study examines visual attention capacities and inattentive/hyperactive behaviours in 77 children aged 4 to 11 years with IDD and elevated behavioural attention difficulties. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; n = 23), Down syndrome (DS; n = 22), and non-specific intellectual disability (NSID; n = 32) completed computerized visual search and vigilance paradigms.

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Dec
2016

Children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience heightened attention difficulties which have been linked to poorer cognitive, academic and social outcomes. Although, increasing research has focused on the potential of computerised cognitive training in reducing attention problems, limited studies have assessed whether this intervention could be utilised for those with IDD. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a computerised attention training programme in children with IDD.

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May
2017

The present study compared the course of parent-report and actigraphy-derived sleep profiles over a 1-year period, in school-age children with autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children. The Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire and 14 nights of actigraphy were used to assess sleep profiles. Parents also completed the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale, the Social Worries Questionnaire and the Bedtime Routines Questionnaire.

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Oct
2016

Whilst neuropsychological research has enhanced our understanding of inattentive and hyperactive behaviours among children with intellectual disability (ID), the absence of rating scales developed for this group continues to be a gap in knowledge. This study examined these behaviours in 176 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Down Syndrome (DS), or idiopathic ID using a newly developed teacher rating scale, the Scale of Attention in Intellectual Disability. Findings suggested that children with ASD had a significantly greater breadth of hyperactive/impulsive behaviours than those with DS or idiopathic ID.

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Oct
2016

The current study assessed the association between anxiety symptoms and sleep in 90 school-aged children, aged 6-12 years (M= 108 months, 52.2% male). The Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) and 14 nights of actigraphy were used to assess sleep.

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Oct
2016

There is now growing evidence of cognitive weakness in female premutation carriers (between 55 and 199 CGG repeats) of the fragile X mental retardation gene, including impairments associated with executive function. While an age-related decline in assessments of executive function has been found for male premutation carriers, few studies have explored whether female carriers show a similar trajectory with age. A total of 20 female premutation carriers and 21 age- and IQ-matched healthy controls completed a battery of tasks assessing executive function tasks, including the behavioural dyscontrol scale (BDS), symbol digit modalities test (SDMT), paced auditory serial addition test (PASAT), Haylings sentence completion test and the digit span task (forward and backward).

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Oct
2015

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have high levels of anxiety. It is unclear whether they exhibit threat-related attentional biases commensurate with anxiety disorders as manifest in non-ASD populations, such as facilitated attention toward, and difficulties disengaging engaging from, threatening stimuli. Ninety children, 45 cognitively able with ASD and 45 age, perceptual-IQ, and gender matched typically developing children, aged 7-12 years, were administered a visual dot probe task using threatening facial pictures.

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Apr
2015

To examine the epigenetic basis of psychiatric symptoms and dysexecutive impairments in FMR1 premutation (PM: 55 to 199 CGG repeats) women.
A total of 35 FMR1 PM women aged between 22 and 55 years and 35 age- and IQ-matched women controls (CGG <45) participated in this study. All participants completed a range of executive function tests and self-reported symptoms of psychiatric disorders.

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Mar
2015

Difficulties with attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity are thought to be as common among children with intellectual disability (ID) as they are in children without ID. Despite this, there is a lack of scales to specifically assess ADHD symptomatology in children and adolescents with ID. This article describes the development and evaluation of a teacher-completed measure; the Scale of Attention in Intellectual Disability (SAID).

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Apr
2015

Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) premutation carriers (PM-carriers) are characterised as having mid-sized expansions of between 55 and 200 CGG repeats in the 5' untranslated region of the FMR1 gene. While there is evidence of executive dysfunction in PM-carriers, few studies have explicitly explored working memory capabilities in female PM-carriers. 14 female PM-carriers and 13 age- and IQ-matched healthy controls completed an ocular motor n-back working memory paradigm.

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Mar
2015

Recent studies in young adult females with the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene premutation (PM) have shown subtle but significant impairments in executive control and postural stability. Less is known about the influence of age and FMR1 gene expression on executive control and postural stability in females with the PM. Here, we examined the attentional demands of reactive stepping using a well-validated measure of choice stepping reaction time under dual-task interference.

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Dec
1969

Although there is evidence that significant sleep problems are common in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and that poor sleep exacerbates problematic daytime behavior, such relationships have received very little attention in both research and clinical practice. Treatment guidelines to help manage challenging behaviors in ASD fail to mention sleep at all, or they present a very limited account. Moreover, limited attention is given to children with low-functioning autism, those individuals who often experience the most severe sleep disruption and behavioral problems.

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Dec
1969

The fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder affecting a subset of carriers of the FMR1 (fragile X mental retardation 1) premutation. Penetrance and expression appear to be significantly higher in males than females. Although the most obvious aspect of the phenotype is the movement disorder that gives FXTAS its name, the disorder is also accompanied by progressive cognitive impairment.

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Jul
2014

Maternal predictors of anxiety risk in young males with fragile X.

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2014 Jul 16;165B(5):399-409. Epub 2014 May 16.
Bridgette L Tonnsen, Kim M Cornish, Anne C Wheeler, Jane E Roberts
Children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) demonstrate high rates of anxiety disorders, with 65-83% meeting diagnostic criteria. The severity of anxiety symptoms in FXS has been shown to be partially predicted by elevated negative affect across early childhood [Tonnsen et al. (2013a); J Abnorm Child Psychol 41:267-280].

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Sep
2014

Recent studies report a higher risk of dementia and motor symptoms in females with the fragile X mental retardation 1 premutation (PM-carriers) than has hitherto been appreciated. Here, we use dual-task gait paradigms to identify potential markers of cognitive and motor decline in female PM-carriers. Spatiotemporal gait characteristics and variability of gait were assessed during single- and dual-task conditions in 28 female PM-carriers (mean age 41.

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Aug
2014

Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a late-onset movement disorder associated with FMR1 premutation alleles. Asymptomatic premutation (aPM) carriers have preserved cognitive functions, but they present subtle executive deficits. Current efforts are focusing on the identification of specific cognitive markers that can detect aPM carriers at higher risk of developing FXTAS.

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Mar
2014

There is evidence which demonstrates that a subset of males with a premutation CGG repeat expansion (between 55 and 200 repeats) of the fragile X mental retardation 1 gene exhibit subtle deficits of executive function that progressively deteriorate with increasing age and CGG repeat length. However, it remains unclear whether similar deficits, which may indicate the onset of more severe degeneration, are evident in female PM-carriers. In the present study we explore whether female PM-carriers exhibit deficits of executive function which parallel those of male PM-carriers.

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Dec
1969

Sleep disturbance is common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but longitudinal trajectories are poorly defined. This study measured sleep disturbance at baseline and 1 year later examining change over time and associated problem behaviors. Participants were 84 gender-matched children, aged between 7 and 12 years at baseline; 46 children were diagnosed with ASD, and 38 were typically developing (TYP) children.

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Dec
2013

The neurodevelopmental disorder Williams syndrome (WS) has been associated with a social phenotype of hypersociability, non-social anxiety and an unusual attraction to faces. The current study uses eye tracking to explore attention allocation to emotionally expressive faces. Eye gaze and behavioural measures of anxiety and social reciprocity were investigated in adolescents and adults with WS when compared to typically developing individuals of comparable verbal mental age (VMA) and chronological age (CA).

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May
2014

The developmental disorder Williams syndrome (WS) has been associated with an atypical social profile of hyper-sociability and heightened social sensitivity across the developmental spectrum. In addition, previous research suggests that both children and adults with WS have a predisposition towards anxiety. The current research aimed to explore the profiles of social behaviour and anxiety across a broad age range of individuals with the disorder (n = 59, ages 6-36 years).

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Jan
2014

Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 (FMR1) premutation carriers (PM-carriers) have a defective trinucleotide expansion on the FMR1 gene that is associated with continuum of neuropsychological and mental disorders. Currently, little is known about the distinct subcomponents of executive function potentially impaired in female PM-carriers, and there have been no investigations into associations between executive function and incidences of mental disorders. A total of 35 female PM-carriers confirmed by Asuragen triple primed PCR DNA testing and 35 age- and intelligence-matched controls completed tests of executive function (i.

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May
2014

Gender differences in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms and associated problem behaviours over development may provide clues regarding why more males than females are diagnosed with ASD. Fifty-six high-functioning children with ASD, and 44 typically developing controls, half of the participants female, were assessed at baseline (aged 7-12 years) and one-year later, collecting measures of autism, attention and anxiety symptoms, school placement and support information. Findings indicated no gender differences in autistic symptoms.

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Sep
2013

Recent investigations report a higher risk of motor symptoms in females with the FMR1 premutation (PM-carriers) than has hitherto been appreciated. Here we examined basic sensorimotor and postural control under different sensory and attentional dual-task demands. Physiological performance and postural sway measures from the Physiological Profile Assessment (Lord et al.

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Jul
2013

In typical development, early reading is underpinned by language skills, like vocabulary and phonological awareness (PA), as well as taught skills like letter knowledge. Less is understood about how early reading develops in children with neurodevelopmental disorders who display specific profiles of linguistic strengths and weaknesses, such as Down syndrome (DS) and Williams syndrome (WS).
Early reading, letter knowledge, rhyme matching, phoneme matching and receptive vocabulary were assessed in 26 children with DS and 26 children with WS between 4 and 8 years, as well as in two groups of typically developing (TD) children matched on nonverbal mental age (NVMA controls) or reading (RA controls).

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May
2013

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) has a characteristic cognitive "signature" that by late childhood includes core weaknesses in attention and working memory (WM), but their earlier developmental trajectories remain uncharted. Using a combined cross-sectional and prospective longitudinal design, we tested whether early profiles of attention and WM impairment in FXS indicate developmental freeze or developmental change. In Study 1, 26 young boys with FXS and 55 typically developing (TD) boys completed two experimental paradigms designed to assess cognitive aspects of attention and WM, in addition to behavioral indices of inattention and hyperactivity.

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May
2013

Previous studies suggest that individuals with Williams syndrome (WS), a rare genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder, show specific weaknesses in visual attention and response inhibition within the visuospatial domain. Here we examine the extent to which impairments in attentional control extend to the visuomotor domain using a well-validated measure of choice stepping reaction time (CSRT) in individuals with WS. We examined the interaction between executive control and visually guided stepping using a verbal fluency dual-task or Go/NoGo paradigm during CSRT performance.

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Sep
2013

Academic attainment in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is under-studied, with associated factors largely undetermined. Parent-reported attention symptoms, attentional-switching and sustained-attention tasks were examined to determine relationships with mathematics and reading attainment in 124 children aged 7-12 years; sixty-four with high-functioning ASD, half girls, and sixty age- and gender-matched typical children (TYP). With full-scale IQ controlled there were no differences in mathematics, reading, attentional switching or sustained attention.

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Mar
2013

For years, premutation-carriers of fragile X-syndrome (FXS) were assumed free from any deleterious phenotype. In this review, we discuss the current literature on neurocognitive, emotional and neuromotor profiles emerging in females with the fragile-X premutation, and discuss phenotypic profiles in male premutation-carriers to gain insights into possible underlying mechanisms associated with FMR1 gene expression. We contend that this emerging phenotypic profile in females with the fragile-X premutation needs further investigation using experimentally-driven tasks sensitive to neural networks especially vulnerable to FMR1 gene expression.

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Dec
1969

The attention profile of girls with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is unclear compared with boys with ASD and typical children. This study aimed to investigate parent-reported ASD and ADHD symptoms in a large sample of boys and girls with and without ASD.
A total of 124 normally intelligent children, half of them girls, 64 with autistic disorder or Asperger's disorder, and 60 age- and gender-matched typically developing, aged 7 to 12 years, were recruited.

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Dec
1969

The development of sustained attention in the preschool years is not yet fully understood. Delineating age-related changes of attentional proficiencies and deficiencies is important for understanding atypical developmental trajectories, specifically in neurodevelopmental disorders that are characterized by attentional difficulties. The objective of the current study was to develop preschool-appropriate measures for assessing sustained attention and to chart developmental changes in attention in early childhood.

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Nov
2012

Attention is construed as multicomponential, but the roles of its distinct subfunctions in shaping the broader developing cognitive landscape are poorly understood. The current study assessed 3- to 6-year-olds (N=83) to: (a) trace developmental trajectories of attentional processes and their structure in early childhood and (b) measure the impact of distinct attention subfunctions on concurrent and longitudinal abilities related to literacy and numeracy. Distinct trajectories across attention measures revealed the emergence of 2 attentional factors, encompassing "executive" and "sustained-selective" processes.

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Jun
2012

Given the inherent difference in judgment required to complete visual detection and identification tasks, it is unknown whether task selection differentially affects visual performance as a function of development. The aim of the present study is therefore to systematically assess and contrast visual performance using these two types of paradigms in order to determine whether paradigm-contingent differences in performance exist across different periods of development. To do so, we assessed sensitivity to both luminance- and texture-defined stationary and dynamic gratings using both detection and identification paradigms.

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Mar
2012

Basic attentional processes and their impact on developmental trajectories in fragile X syndrome were assessed in a 3-year prospective study. Although fragile X syndrome is a monogenic X-linked disorder, there is striking variability in outcomes even in young boys with the condition. Attention is a key factor constraining interactions with the environment, so it is a perfect candidate to predict trajectories in cognitive and behavioral outcomes.

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Nov
2012

This study investigated whether the novel Comic Strip Task (CST) could be used to detect Theory-of-Mind impairments (ToM) in 4- to 8-year-old children with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Twelve children with either high-functioning autism or Asperger's Disorder and 12 typically-developing children completed the 21-item measure. The overall CST demonstrated moderate internal consistency but the Belief-understanding subscale was excluded from the test due to poor reliability.

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Jun
2012

Until a decade ago, it was assumed that males with the fragile X premutation were unaffected by any cognitive phenotype. Here we examined the extent to which CGG repeat toxicity extends to visuospatial functioning in male fragile X premutation carriers who are asymptomatic for a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Thirty-three premutation males aged 20-68 years [divided into two groups: 16 low-repeat carriers (CGG ≥ 55 ≤ 100) and 17 high-repeat carriers (CGG>100)] with a family history of fragile X syndrome and 62 non-affected adult males with normal FMR1 alleles were recruited.

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Mar
2012

To capture the neuropsychological profile among male carriers of the FMR1 premutation allele (55-200 CGG repeats) who do not meet diagnostic criteria for the late-onset fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome, FXTAS.
We have initiated a multicenter collaboration that includes 3 independent cohorts, totaling 100 carriers of the premutation and 216 noncarriers. The initial focus of this collaboration has been on executive function.

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Jun
2012

  Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is an early diagnosed monogenic disorder, associated with a striking pattern of cognitive/attentional difficulties and a high risk of poor behavioural outcomes. FXS therefore represents an ideal model disorder to study prospectively the impact of early attention deficits on behaviour.
  Thirty-seven boys with FXS aged 4-10 years and 74 typically developing (TD) boys took part.

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Dec
2011

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and reading disability (RD) frequently co-occur in the child population and therefore raise the possibility of shared genetic etiology. We used a quantitative trait loci (QTL) approach to assess the involvement of the dopamine transporter (DAT1) gene polymorphism in mediating reading disability and poor attention in a general population sample of primary school children aged 6-11 years in the UK. The potential confounding effects of IQ and chronological age were also investigated.

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Aug
2011

This study determined whether CGG repeat length moderates the relationship between age and performance on selective measures of executive function in premutation carriers (PM) who are asymptomatic for a recently described late-onset neurodegenerative disorder, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS).
Forty PM men aged 18-69 years with a family history of fragile X syndrome underwent neuropsychological tests of inhibition and working memory. We examined only men who are asymptomatic for FXTAS.

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Dec
1969

Gender is an important factor to consider in understanding the clinical presentation, management, and developmental trajectory of children with neuropsychiatric disorders. While much is known about the clinical and neurobehavioural profiles of boys with neuropsychiatric disorders, surprisingly little is known about girls. The aim of this chapter was to review our understanding of gender by considering the most prevalent childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders, autism and Fragile X syndrome.

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Jul
2011

In the current study, the authors examined whether the fatigue level of children diagnosed with cri du chat syndrome was associated with the expression of autistic symptoms. Sixty-nine children with cri du chat syndrome were compared with 47 children with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities who did not differ on intellectual severity. Participants were assessed using the Infant Sleep Questionnaire ( J.

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