Physiological arousal might predict severity of autistic behaviour in fragile X syndrome

fragile x

The researchers in this study were interested in looking at differences in physiological arousal between infants and toddlers with fragile X syndrome and those with typical development.

They looked at physiological predictors early in development to autism severity later in development in fragile X syndrome. Participants were 31 male children with fragile X syndrome aged between 8 and 40 months and 25 age-matched control participants.

They found that the group with fragile X syndrome showed shorter interbeat intervals  (the time interval between individual beats of the heart usually measured in milliseconds). lower vagal tone and less modulation of the interbeat intervals. They found a nonlinear effect with interbeat intervals and autistic behaviour; but they did find a linear effect with vagal tome and autistic behaviour.

They suggest that atypical physiological arousal might emerge within the first year and could predict severity of autistic behaviour in fragile X syndrome. The authors conclude that their findings have

important implications for the early identification and treatment of autistic behaviours in young children with fragile X syndrome.

Heart Activity and Autistic Behavior in Infants and Toddlers With Fragile X Syndrome, Roberts J et al., in  American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 117,. 2, 90-102.

Share on Facebook Tweet this on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+
Mark as read
Create a personal elf note about this blog
Profile photo of John Northfield

John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

More posts

Follow me here –