Molteni Massimo

Molteni Massimo
IRCCS Eugenio Medea · DPT developmental psychopatology

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240
Publications
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Publications

Publications (240)
Preprint
Recently there has been an increase in telemedicine applied to child neuropsychiatry, such as the use of online platforms to remotely collect anamnestic and behavioral information. In the present proof-of-concept study, we aimed to understand to what extent information provided by parents and teachers through online questionnaires overlaps with cli...
Article
Full-text available
Background/Objective Emotional dysregulation (ED) is a dimensional psychological domain, previously operationalized by instruments of the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) for children and adolescents; however, its cross-cultural and bottom-up characteristics among adult populations are still unknown. Method We examined scor...
Article
We investigated online early comprehension in Italian children aged 12 and 20 months, focusing on the role of morphosyntactic features (i.e., gender) carried by determiners in facilitating comprehension and anticipating upcoming words. A naturalistic eye-tracking procedure was employed, recording looking behaviours during a classical Looking-While-...
Article
Audiovisual (AV) integration plays a crucial role in supporting social functions and communication in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, behavioral findings remain mixed and, importantly, little is known about the underlying neurophysiological bases. Studies in neurotypical adults indicate that oscillatory brain activity in different frequenc...
Article
Lay abstract: This study adds to a growing body of research documenting feeding problems in autistic children. Our results indicate that children aged 1.5-5 years with feeding problems may present with elevated internalizing difficulties and alterations in sensory processing when compared to same-age children without feeding problems. Our study al...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Digital data collection is an emerging trend in various domains, including the medical and psychological field. The rapid extent of Digital innovation for the collection of data has transformed the way in which health professionals collect, share, and analyse health information for better clinical decision-making and health care. It is a...
Article
Background: The rapid extent of digital innovation for the collection of data has transformed the way in which health professionals collect, share, and analyze health information for better clinical decision-making and health care. In the last decade, there has been an increased interest in telemedicine by mental health agencies; the gap between t...
Article
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous condition characterized by deficits in social communication and a repetitive pattern of behavior, with recent Italian prevalence estimates of 1 in 77. Although the core behavioral features of ASD appear to emerge within the first two years of life, clinical diagnosis is often not received before the...
Article
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The ability of infants to track transitional probabilities (Statistical Learning—SL) and to extract and generalize high-order rules (Rule Learning—RL) from sequences of items have been proposed as being pivotal for the acquisition of language and reading skills. Although there is ample evidence of specific associations between SL and RL abilities a...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether there are associations between polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) blood levels, reading/writing performance and performance in neuropsychological tasks. Moderate to strong correlations were found between PUFA levels (specific omega-6/omega-3 ratios) and reading/writing abilities, and the fo...
Article
Atypical sensory responses are included in the diagnostic criteria of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autistic individuals perform poorly during conditions that require integration across multiple sensory modalities such as audiovisual (AV) integration. Previous research investigated neural processing of AV integration in infancy. Yet, this has nev...
Article
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Tachidino is a web-platform for remote treatment of reading and writing disorders. A total of 91 children with developmental dyslexia and/or dysorthographia participated in the present study and received Tachidino treatment. The purpose of the study was to compare results obtained after four weeks treatment and a six-month follow-up in older versus...
Preprint
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Background: In recent decades some studies described the frequent co-occurrence of celiac disease autoimmunity and/or overt celiac disease in patients with autism. Therefore, it was suggested that celiac disease could play a possible role in the etiopathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder. However, several other studies have not confirmed this ass...
Article
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Statistical learning refers to the ability to extract the statistical relations embedded in a sequence, and it plays a crucial role in the development of communicative and social skills that are impacted in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Here, we investigated the relationship between infants’ SL ability and autistic traits in their parents. Us...
Article
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Previous evidence has shown that early auditory processing impacts later linguistic development, and targeted training implemented at early ages can enhance auditory processing skills, with better expected language development outcomes. This study focuses on typically developing infants and aims to test the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of m...
Article
Background. Emerging evidence suggests that antenatal exposure to maternal stress signals affects the development of the infant stress response systems. Animal studies indicate that maternal sensitive caregiving can reverse some of these effects. However, the generalizability of these findings to humans is unknown. This study investigated the role...
Article
Full-text available
Individual responses to methylphenidate (MPH) can significantly differ in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in terms of the extent of clinical amelioration, optimal dosage needed, possible side effects, and short- and long-term duration of the benefits. In the present repeated-measures observational study, we undertook a...
Article
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a high-cost/high-burden problem. Early intervention may prevent development of the disorder, improving child outcomes and reducing long-term consequences. However, few studies have investigated the role of early intervention in children younger than two years. This study aims to examine the effect of early interven...
Article
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This study aims to investigate the genetic and neural determinants of attention and hyperactivity problems. Using a proof-of-concept imaging genetics mediation design, we explore the relationship between the glutamatergic GRIN2B gene variants and inattention/hyperactivity with neuroanatomical measures as intermediates. Fifty-eight children and adol...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition with a heterogeneous phenotype. The role of biomarkers in ASD diagnosis has been highlighted; cortical thickness has proved to be involved in the etiopathogenesis of ASD core symptoms. We apply support vector machine, a supervised machine learning method, in order to identif...
Article
Objective: This study examined the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Italy by specifically looking at the psychosocial response of children/adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD) and their parents, and explored which factors could potentially contribute to increasing or mitigating stress-related behavior...
Article
Delays in early expressive vocabulary can reflect a specific delay in language acquisition or more general impairments in social communication. The neural mechanisms underlying the (dis)ability to establish the first lexical–semantic representations remain relatively unknown. Here, we investigate the electrophysiological underpinnings of these mech...
Article
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The effects of COVID-19 containment measures on the emotional and behavioral development of preschoolers are not clear. We investigated them within an ongoing longitudinal project including typically developing children (TD) and children at high familial risk for neurodevelopmental disorders (HR-NDD) who were potentially more vulnerable. The study...
Article
Introduction Epigenetics hypothesizes a crucial link between postnatal risk factors, individual response to stress, DNA methylation and psychiatric symptomatology changes during life. Objectives We analyzed methylation within two gene exons: NR3C1 and SLC6A4, which are involved in responses to environmental stressors. We investigated the relations...
Article
Introduction Our 15-years follow-up ReMIND project aims to re-assess an epidemiological and a clinical sample of adults (Wave 3), who were assessed in preadolescence (Wave 1) and adolescence (Wave 2), to evaluate symptoms trajectories and their relationship with genetic/epigenetic data, environmental risk factors and neuroimaging measures. Objecti...
Article
Lay abstract: Motor peculiarities are often reported in children with autism spectrum disorder and may predict subsequent adaptive functioning and quality of life. Although the sex bias in the prevalence of the disorder is well documented, little is known about differences in motor profile in males and females with autism spectrum disorder. Our go...
Article
Background PTSD in youth is more common and debilitating than it was previously thought. This untreated condition is highly correlated to critical mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety disruptive-behaviours, and substance use disorders. Despite the growing number of studies investigating Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing...
Article
Delays in language are a hallmark feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, little is known about the predictive role of language developmental trajectories on ASD. The present study aimed at identifying early different language developmental profiles of infants at high familial risk for ASD (HR‐ASD) and testing their predictive role on A...
Article
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Background-Several studies have investigated the use of digital media in developmental age, mainly focusing on Internet or video games addiction in adolescence. However , few studies have investigated the time spent by children and young people on different types of digital media and their impact on adaptive behaviour. Objectives-On the base of par...
Article
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Organophosphate compounds (OPs) interfere with neurodevelopment and are neurotoxic for humans and animals. They are first biotransformed to the more toxic oxon form, and then hydrolyzed to specific metabolites by the enzyme paraoxonase/arylesterase, encoded by the gene PON1 located on human chr. 7q21.3. In autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and in atte...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this study we sought to determine whether auditory repetition suppression dysfunctions are related to higher risk for language impairment across different disorders or they are a specific deficit characterizing infants at higher risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), possibly associated to their sensory and socio-communicative impairments (Kol...
Article
Il disturbo dello spettro autistico (ASD) è caratterizzato da difficoltà nella comunicazione e nell’interazione sociale e da comportamenti ripetitivi e ristretti. Sebbene le caratteristiche comportamentali dell’ASD sembrano emergere entro i primi 2 anni di vita, l’età media per ricevere una diagnosi clinica spesso supera i 4 anni. Questo studio pre...
Article
Full-text available
In the past decade, converging evidence has suggested that motor impairment is one of the most consistent markers, alongside sociocommunicative difficulties, for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Indeed, widespread anomalies of movement have been described in the ASD context. These motor abnormalities could have critical implications for subsequent c...
Article
Full-text available
Sensory and perceptual anomalies may have a major impact on basic cognitive and social skills in humans. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) represents a special perspective to explore this relationship, being characterized by both these features. The present study employed electroencephalography (EEG) to test whether detail-oriented visual perception,...
Article
Full-text available
Any defects of sociality in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are standardly explained in terms of those individuals’ putative impairments in a variety of cognitive functions. Recently, however, the need for a bidirectional approach to social interaction has been emphasized. Such an approach highlights differences in basic w...
Article
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The notion of “vitality form” has been coined by Daniel Stern to describe the basic features of action, which may reflect the mood or affective state of an agent. There is general consensus that vitality forms substantiate social interactions in children as well in adults. Previous studies have explored children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)’...
Article
Background Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit behavioral inhibition deficits, which often lead to emotional dysregulation (ED) affecting individual ability to control emotions and behavioral responses. In ADHD, ED is associated with poor outcomes and comorbidities, with both externalizing and internalizing disorde...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Increasing evidence suggests a complex role of family influences, such as the exposure to parent psychopathology through parenting behavior, in parent-to-child psychopathology transmission. Parenting behaviour could represent a relevant target of psychoeducative intervention. Given these premises, we aimed to evaluate homotypic and het...
Article
Full-text available
Background Living with a progressive disease as muscular dystrophy (MD) can be challenging for the patient and the entire family from both emotional and practical point of view. We aimed to extend our previously published data about mental health in patients with MDs, also investigating coping profiles of both themselves and their parents. Furtherm...
Article
Full-text available
Developmental dyslexia is a very common learning disorder causing an impairment in reading ability. Although the core deficit underlying dyslexia is still under debate, significant agreement is reached in the literature that dyslexia is related to a specific deficit in the phonological representation of speech sounds. Many studies also reported an...
Article
Depression and anxiety symptoms are highly prevalent among women during pregnancy and post-partum. Previous studies suggest that one of the pathophysiological underpinnings could be an enhanced metabolism of tryptophan (Trp) into kynurenine (Kyn) due to increased inflammation. However, the longitudinal changes in the Kyn pathway and the complex int...
Article
Full-text available
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder in children and adolescents, with environmental and biological causal influences. Pharmacological medication is the first choice in ADHD treatment; recently, many studies have concentrated on dietary supplementation approaches to address nutritional deficiencies...
Article
Purpose This paper aims to present the application and critical reflection on the effects of a intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD): the Soundbeam Imitation Intervention (SII). The intervention is based on the imitation of meaningless body gestures supported by a musical feedback. The rationale underlying SII is that mirror...
Article
This single-arm, open-label study aimed to investigate the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioural group training based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) on cognition in drug-naïve children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Thirty-six children with ADHD aged 8-13 were invited to participate in the 9-month ACT training progr...
Article
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Objective The aim of the present study is evaluate the effectiveness of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)-based training protocol, in adjunct to token economy and previous parent training, in a sample of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). By promoting the reduction of immediate responses to thoughts and feelings...
Article
Antenatal exposure to maternal stress is a factor that may impact on offspring cognitive development. While some evidence exists of an association between maternal antenatal depressive or anxiety symptoms and infants' cognitive outcomes, less is known about the role of biological indices of maternal antenatal stress in relation to infant cognitive...
Article
Full-text available
Although anatomical brain hemispheric asymmetries have been clearly documented in the infant brain, findings concerning functional hemispheric specialization have been inconsistent. The present report aims to assess whether bilaterally symmetric synchronous activity between the two hemispheres is a characteristic of the infant brain. To asses corti...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to learn and generalize abstract rules from sensory input – i.e., Rule Learning (RL) – is seen as pivotal to language development, and specifically to the acquisition of the grammatical structure of language. Although many studies have shown that RL in infancy is operating across different perceptual domains, including vision, no studie...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sensory and perceptual anomalies have been increasingly recognized as core phenotypic markers for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A neurophysiological characterization of these anomalies is of utmost importance to understand more complex behavioural manifestations within the spectrum. The present study employed electroencephalography (EEG) to test...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research found that the parental autism phenotype is associated with child autism spectrum disorder (ASD), even if the pathway between autistic traits in parents and child ASD is still largely unknown. Several studies investigated frontal asymmetry in alpha oscillation (FAA) as an early marker for ASD. However, no study has examined the me...
Article
Full-text available
Despite various advances in the study of the neurobiological underpinnings of personality traits, the specific neural correlates associated with character and temperament traits are not yet fully understood. Therefore, this study aims to fill this gap by exploring the biochemical basis of personality, which is explored with the temperament and char...
Article
Full-text available
ORCA.IT, a new online test of online research and comprehension was developed for the Italian population. A group of 183 students attending various types of upper secondary schools in Northern Italy were tested with the new tool and underwent further cognitive and neuropsychological assessment. The different school types involved in the study are r...
Article
Full-text available
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) biostatus has been proposed as possible attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis biomarker. The present exploratory study aimed to investigate the association between PUFAs biostatus and cerebral cortex metabolism measured by functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) in a sample of children w...
Article
Background: The predictable path to child language acquisition is largely constrained by both brain maturation and environmental experience. The synchronized activity of large numbers of neurons gives rise to macroscopic brain oscillations on an electroencephalogram (EEG). It has been found that neural oscillations at rest in the gamma frequency b...
Poster
Over the past 20 years, retrospective coding of home videos by experienced examiners has proved useful for assessing qualitative aspects of sensorimotor behavior early in the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the specific sensorimotor features detected by experienced examiners are unknown. Are examiners with extensive experien...
Article
In a community-based sample of 104 infants and their mothers, we hypothesized a pathway from postnatal maternal symptoms of depression to child emotion dysregulation, and tested at 6 months of age the mediation role of alpha asymmetry at frontal and parietal sites. We recorded infant resting-state EEG at 6 months of age. Child emotion dysregulation...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) dietary supplementation on behavior and cognition in school-aged, drug-naïve children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A total of 50 participants with ADHD aged 7 to 14 were enrolled in a 6-month randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial and received...
Article
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The ability to rapidly discriminate successive auditory stimuli within tens-of-milliseconds is crucial for speech and language development, particularly in the first year of life. This skill, called Rapid Auditory Processing (RAP), is altered in infants at familial risk for language and learning impairment (LLI) and is a robust predictor of later l...
Article
Full-text available
Quantitative evaluation of gait has been considered a useful tool with which to identify subtle signs of motor system peculiarities