Bennett L Leventhal

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States

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Publications (165)941.91 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate factors that might hamper early identification of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the present study examined differences between comorbid conditions and adaptive functions measured by the BASC-2 PRS in an epidemiologically ascertained group of children with ASD (Clinical and Non-clinical ASD groups), those who were screened positive but confirmed not to have ASD (No-ASD), and a group of typical, community children (N = 5222). Results indicate that the Clinical ASD group scored lower on the Externalizing Problems composite, Aggression, and Conduct Problems scales than did the No-ASD group whereas the Non-clinical ASD group did not differ from the other two groups except on the Conduct Problem scale. Further, the Clinical ASD group significantly scored lower than the other two groups the Adaptive Skills composite. The scores of the Clinical ASD group on the Social Skills and Leadership scales were lower than those in the No-ASD group, but not those in the Non-clinical ASD group. Results suggest that the frequent comorbid behavioral problems and higher adaptive skills of children in a non-clinical population, compared to a clinical population could mask their core ASD symptoms, resulting in a delay for caretakers to seek appropriate services for these children.
    Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 11/2014; 8(11):1471–1481. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.014 · 2.96 Impact Factor
  • Young Shin Kim, Bennett L. Leventhal
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the pathogenesis of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDDs) has proven to be challenging. Using Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as a paradigmatic NDD, this paper reviews the existing literature on the etiologic substrates of ASD and explores how genetic epidemiology approaches including gene-environment interactions (GxE) can play roles in identifying factors associated with ASD etiology. New genetic and bioinformatics strategies have yielded important clues to ASD genetic substrates. Next steps for understanding ASD pathogenesis require significant effort to focus on how genes and environment interact with one another in typical development and its perturbations. Along with larger sample sizes, future study designs should include sample ascertainment that is epidemiologic and population-based to capture the entire ASD spectrum with both categorical and dimensional phenotypic characterization, environmental measurement with accuracy, validity and biomarkers, statistical methods to address population stratification, multiple comparisons and GxE of rare variants, animal models to test hypotheses and, new methods to broaden the capacity to search for GxE, including genome-wide and environment-wide association studies, precise estimation of heritability using dense genetic markers and consideration of GxE both as the disease cause and a disease course modifier. While examination of GxE appears to be a daunting task, tremendous recent progress in gene discovery opens new horizons for advancing our understanding the role of GxE in the pathogenesis of, and ultimately identifying the causes, treatments and even prevention for ASD and other NDDs.
    Biological Psychiatry 11/2014; 77(1). DOI:10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.11.001 · 9.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AimDespite the general consensus on the importance of youth mental health, the scarcity of child and adolescent mental health services is prominent all over the world. Child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) postgraduate training can play a pivotal role in increasing access to youth mental health services. In comparison to Europe and North America, however, little is reported regarding CAP training in the Far East, one of the most dynamic and rapidly developing world regions with a very young population. This paper presents an original study on the current status of academic child and adolescent psychiatry training across the Far East.Methods We collected data from 17 countries in the Far East using an internally distributed questionnaire to the Consortium members invited for this study, consisting of leading academic child and adolescent psychiatrists in each country.ResultsBased on informants’ input, we found an overall underdevelopment of CAP postgraduate training systems despite CAP's recognition as a subspecialty in 12 of 17 of the nations or functionally self-governing areas in the Far East. Paucity of official guidelines for CAP training was also evident. All informants reported a need for additional child and adolescent mental health professionals.Conclusion There seems to be several obstacles to the development of CAP postgraduate training in the Far East, including stigma towards mental health issues and lack of funding. International collaboration is desired to develop evidence-based and culture-tailored CAP training systems.
    Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 10/2014; 69(3). DOI:10.1111/pcn.12248 · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reducing mental illness stigma in youth is an important societal goal, but much of the existing literature focuses on knowledge enhancement strategies. These alone may not be sufficient to enhance empathy, change fundamental attitudes, or reduce social distance. To evaluate a youth-initiated, discussion- and empathy-based antistigma school program, called "Let's Erase the Stigma" (LETS), among adolescents from Los Angeles. We hypothesized that participation in such clubs, for a semester, would be associated with better attitudes toward mental illness, reduced social distance against those with mental illness, and enhanced performance of antistigma actions, but not greater knowledge about mental disorder. Participants were involved in LETS clubs for a semester; non-participants, also interested in such involvement, were evaluated prior to club activities. Outcomes in this quasi-experimental, non-randomized trial included (a) quantitative measures of attitudes, social distance, positive antistigma actions, and knowledge, all related to mental illness; and (b) open-ended responses related to stigma awareness, potential antistigma actions, and antistigma rationale. The design did not allow for evaluation of pre-post differences but afforded insight into potential contributions of LETS participation regarding outcomes of interest. LETS participation was associated with statistically significant differences across attitudes, social distance, antistigma actions, and knowledge, with effect sizes ranging from small to large. Although not meeting the standard of a randomized trial, the findings suggest that a youth-directed, discussion- and action-based intervention may provide a novel means of reducing mental illness stigma in adolescents. The preliminary nature of the results mandates experimental investigations.
    Child and Youth Care Forum 10/2014; 43(5):621-637. DOI:10.1007/s10566-014-9257-y · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The vast majority of mental illnesses can be conceptualized as developmental disorders of neural interactions within the connectome, or developmental miswiring. The recent maturation of pediatric in vivo brain imaging is bringing the identification of clinically meaningful brain-based biomarkers of developmental disorders within reach. Even more auspicious is the ability to study the evolving connectome throughout life, beginning in utero, which promises to move the field from topological phenomenology to etiological nosology. Here, we scope advances in pediatric imaging of the brain connectome as the field faces the challenge of unraveling developmental miswiring. We highlight promises while also providing a pragmatic review of the many obstacles ahead that must be overcome to significantly impact public health.
    Neuron 09/2014; 83(6):1335-1353. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.050 · 15.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the associations between cyberbullying behaviors and problematic internet use, and to compare psychopathologic symptoms in victims, perpetrators, and victims-perpetrators of cyberbullying to those in youths who were not involved in cyberbullying. A total of 4531 youths (11-14 years of age) were recruited from elementary and middle schools. Among 4531 youths, 9.7% were involved in cyberbullying; 3.3% were only victims; 3.4% were only perpetrators; and 3.0% were victims-perpetrators. Cyberbullying behaviors were associated with problematic internet use as well as various psychopathologic symptoms. Depressive symptoms were associated with cyberbullying victimization, and rule-breaking behaviors and aggressive behaviors have relevance to cyberbullying perpetration. Greater attention needs to be paid to identify youths earlier who are involved in cyberbullying and prevent serious adverse consequences in them.
    Yonsei medical journal 05/2014; 55(3):826-30. DOI:10.3349/ymj.2014.55.3.826 · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Changes in autism diagnostic criteria found in DSM-5 may affect autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevalence, research findings, diagnostic processes, and eligibility for clinical and other services. Using our published, total-population Korean prevalence data, we compute DSM-5 ASD and social communication disorder (SCD) prevalence and compare them with DSM-IV pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) prevalence estimates. We also describe individuals previously diagnosed with DSM-IV PDD when diagnoses change with DSM-5 criteria. The target population was all children from 7 to 12 years of age in a South Korean community (N = 55,266), those in regular and special education schools, and a disability registry. We used the Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire for systematic, multi-informant screening. Parents of screen-positive children were offered comprehensive assessments using standardized diagnostic procedures, including the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Best-estimate clinical diagnoses were made using DSM-IV PDD and DSM-5 ASD and SCD criteria. DSM-5 ASD estimated prevalence was 2.20% (95% confidence interval = 1.77-3.64). Combined DSM-5 ASD and SCD prevalence was virtually the same as DSM-IV PDD prevalence (2.64%). Most children with autistic disorder (99%), Asperger disorder (92%), and PDD-NOS (63%) met DSM-5 ASD criteria, whereas 1%, 8%, and 32%, respectively, met SCD criteria. All remaining children (2%) had other psychopathology, principally attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and anxiety disorder. Our findings suggest that most individuals with a prior DSM-IV PDD meet DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ASD and SCD. PDD, ASD or SCD; extant diagnostic criteria identify a large, clinically meaningful group of individuals and families who require evidence-based services.
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 05/2014; 53(5):500-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jaac.2013.12.021 · 6.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tourette syndrome (TS) is characterized by tics, sensorimotor gating deficiencies, and abnormalities of cortico-basal ganglia circuits. A mutation in histidine decarboxylase (Hdc), the key enzyme for the biosynthesis of histamine (HA), has been implicated as a rare genetic cause. Hdc knockout mice exhibited potentiated tic-like stereotypies, recapitulating core phenomenology of TS; these were mitigated by the dopamine (DA) D2 antagonist haloperidol, a proven pharmacotherapy, and by HA infusion into the brain. Prepulse inhibition was impaired in both mice and humans carrying Hdc mutations. HA infusion reduced striatal DA levels; in Hdc knockout mice, striatal DA was increased and the DA-regulated immediate early gene Fos was upregulated. DA D2/D3 receptor binding was altered both in mice and in humans carrying the Hdc mutation. These data confirm histidine decarboxylase deficiency as a rare cause of TS and identify HA-DA interactions in the basal ganglia as an important locus of pathology.
    Neuron 01/2014; 81(1):77-90. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2013.10.052 · 15.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Changes in autism diagnostic criteria found in DSM5 may affect Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prevalence, research findings, diagnostic processes and eligibility for clinical and other services. Utilizing our published, total-population Korean prevalence data, we compute DSM5 ASD and Social Communication Disorder (SCD) prevalence and compare them to DSMIV Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) prevalence estimates. We also describe individuals previously diagnosed with DSMIV PDD when diagnoses change with DSM-5 criteria. Method The target population was all 7-12-year-old children in a South Korean community (N= 55,266), those in regular and special education schools and a disability registry. We utilized the Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire for systematic, multi-informant screening. Parents of screen-positive children were offered comprehensive assessments using standardized diagnostic procedures, including the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Best estimate clinical diagnoses were made using DSMIV PDD and DSM5 ASD and SCD criteria. Results DSM5 ASD estimated prevalence is 2.20% (CI: 1.77-3.64). Combined DSM-5 ASD and SCD prevalence is virtually same as DSM-IV PDD prevalence (2.64%). Most children with Autistic Disorder (99%), Asperger Disorder (92%), and PDD NOS (63%) met DSM-5 ASD criteria, whereas 1%, 8% and 32%, respectively, met SCD criteria. All remaining children (2% ) had other psychopathology, principally Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and anxiety disorder. Conclusion Our findings suggest that most individuals with a prior DSMIV PDD meet DSM5 diagnostic criteria for ASD and SCD. PDD, ASD or SCD, extant diagnostic criteria identify a large, clinically meaningful group of individuals and families who require evidence-based services.
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    ABSTRACT: In this pilot study, amygdala connectivity related to trauma symptoms was explored using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) in 23 healthy adolescents ages 13-17 years with no psychiatric diagnoses. Adolescents completed a self-report trauma symptom checklist and a R-fMRI scan. We examined the relationship of trauma symptoms to resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala. Increasing self-report of trauma symptoms by adolescents was associated with increasing functional connectivity with the right amygdala and a local limbic cluster and decreasing functional connectivity with the amygdala and a long-range frontoparietal cluster to the left amygdala, which can be a hallmark of immaturity. These pilot findings in adolescents provide preliminary evidence that even mild trauma symptoms can be linked to the configuration of brain networks associated with the amygdala.
    Journal of Traumatic Stress 12/2013; 26(6):784-7. DOI:10.1002/jts.21873 · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • 60th Meeting of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; 10/2013
  • Bennett L Leventhal
    Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 04/2013; 23(3):222-3. DOI:10.1089/cap.2013.2332 · 3.07 Impact Factor
  • Bennett L Leventhal
    Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 03/2013; DOI:10.1089/cap.2013.2302 · 3.07 Impact Factor
  • Bennett L Leventhal
    Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 01/2013; 23(1). DOI:10.1089/cap.2013.2312 · 3.07 Impact Factor
  • Neil D Ryan, Jae-Won Kim, Bennett L Leventhal
    Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 12/2012; 22(6):463-5. DOI:10.1089/cap.2012.2262 · 3.07 Impact Factor
  • 59th Meeting of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; 10/2012
  • 59th Meeting of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; 10/2012
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    ABSTRACT: The National Institute of Mental Health strategic plan for advancing psychiatric neuroscience calls for an acceleration of discovery and the delineation of developmental trajectories for risk and resilience across the lifespan. To attain these objectives, sufficiently powered datasets with broad and deep phenotypic characterization, state-of-the-art neuroimaging, and genetic samples must be generated and made openly available to the scientific community. The enhanced Nathan Kline Institute-Rockland Sample (NKI-RS) is a response to this need. NKI-RS is an ongoing, institutionally centered endeavor aimed at creating a large-scale (N > 1000), deeply phenotyped, community-ascertained, lifespan sample (ages 6-85 years old) with advanced neuroimaging and genetics. These data will be publically shared, openly, and prospectively (i.e., on a weekly basis). Herein, we describe the conceptual basis of the NKI-RS, including study design, sampling considerations, and steps to synchronize phenotypic and neuroimaging assessment. Additionally, we describe our process for sharing the data with the scientific community while protecting participant confidentiality, maintaining an adequate database, and certifying data integrity. The pilot phase of the NKI-RS, including challenges in recruiting, characterizing, imaging, and sharing data, is discussed while also explaining how this experience informed the final design of the enhanced NKI-RS. It is our hope that familiarity with the conceptual underpinnings of the enhanced NKI-RS will facilitate harmonization with future data collection efforts aimed at advancing psychiatric neuroscience and nosology.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 10/2012; 6:152. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2012.00152
  • Neal D Ryan, Bennett L Leventhal
    Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 10/2012; 22(5):385-7. DOI:10.1089/cap.2012.2252 · 3.07 Impact Factor
  • Bennett L Leventhal
    Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 08/2012; 22(4):315. DOI:10.1089/cap.2012.2242 · 3.07 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

12k Citations
941.91 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Department of Psychiatry
      San Francisco, California, United States
  • 2010–2014
    • Nathan Kline Institute
      Orangeburg, New York, United States
  • 2000–2014
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
      • • Department of Disability and Human Development
      • • Institute for Juvenile Research
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2012–2013
    • Yonsei University
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
    • Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2010–2012
    • University of Pittsburgh
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 2009
    • CUNY Graduate Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2007
    • University of Michigan
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • 1983–2007
    • University of Chicago
      • • Department of Health Studies
      • • Department of Human Genetics
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2004–2005
    • University of California, Berkeley
      Berkeley, California, United States
    • Hallym University
      Sŏul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2001
    • Dartmouth Medical School
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Hanover, NH, United States
  • 1994
    • The University of Chicago Medical Center
      Chicago, Illinois, United States