Susan E. Folstein's research while affiliated with University of Miami and other places

Publications (169)

Article
Full-text available
Background: Over the past decade genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been applied to aid in the understanding of the biology of traits. The success of this approach is governed by the underlying effect sizes carried by the true risk variants and the corresponding statistical power to observe such effects given the study design and sample s...
Article
Full-text available
Rare copy-number variation (CNV) is an important source of risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). We analyzed 2,446 ASD-affected families and confirmed an excess of genic deletions and duplications in affected versus control groups (1.41-fold, p = 1.0 × 10(-5)) and an increase in affected subjects carrying exonic pathogenic CNVs overlapping kno...
Article
The field has been uncertain about how to think about anxiety as it occurs in persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Kerns and Kendall (2012) review the relevant empirical literature and conclude that the preponderance of evidence suggests that anxiety is a co‐occurring condition with ASD. I agree with this conclusion. However, my agreement i...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable disorder of complex and heterogeneous aetiology. It is primarily characterized by altered cognitive ability including impaired language and communication skills and fundamental deficits in social reciprocity. Despite some notable successes in neuropsychiatric genetics, overall, the high heritabil...
Article
Full-text available
Although autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have a substantial genetic basis, most of the known genetic risk has been traced to rare variants, principally copy number variants (CNVs). To identify common risk variation, the Autism Genome Project (AGP) Consortium genotyped 1558 rigorously defined ASD families for 1 million single-nucleotide polymorphis...
Article
Full-text available
The autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of conditions characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction and communication, and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviours. Individuals with an ASD vary greatly in cognitive development, which can range from above average to intellectual disability. Although ASDs are know...
Article
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and specific language impairment (SLI) are developmental disorders exhibiting language deficits, but it is unclear whether they arise from similar etiologies. Language impairments have been described in family members of children with ASD and SLI, but few studies have quantified them. In this study, we examined IQ, la...
Article
Autism and specific language impairment (SLI) are developmental disorders that, although distinct by definition, have in common some features of both language and social behavior. The goal of this study was to further explore the extent to which specific clinical features of autism are seen in SLI. The children with the two disorders, matched for n...
Article
Research indicates that relatives of individuals with autism have higher rates of affective disorders than both the general population and families of children with other developmental disabilities. In addition, individuals with autism have high rates of co-morbid mood and anxiety disorders. This study sought to identify possible reasons for these...
Conference Paper
Background: Autism and specific language impairment (SLI) are developmental disorders that share language as a deficit. Past research suggests that there is an increased incidence of language difficulties in families of children with autism and SLI. Few studies have directly compared autism to SLI, and the exact relationship between the two disorde...
Article
An abstract is unavailable. This article is available as HTML full text and PDF.
Article
Full-text available
While the primary language deficit in autism has been thought to be pragmatic, and in specific language impairment (SLI) structural, recent research suggests phenomenological and possibly genetic overlap between the two syndromes. To compare communicative competence in parents of children with autism, SLI, and down syndrome (DS), we used a modified...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
The frequency, course, and inter-relationships of atypical eating, sleeping, self-injurious behavior, aggression and temper tantrums in children with autism and children with a history of language impairment (HLI), was investigated using a parent interview that was created to examine these problem behaviors. The relationships between these behavior...
Article
Most autism has a genetic cause although post-encephalitis cases are reported. In a case-series (N = 20) from Tanzania, 14 met research criteria for autism. Three (M:F = 1:2) had normal development to age 22, 35, and 42 months, with onset of autism upon recovery from severe malaria, attended by prolonged high fever, convulsions, and in one case pro...
Article
Data from 10 sites of the NICHD/NIDCD Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism were combined to study the distribution of head circumference and relationship to demographic and clinical variables. Three hundred thirty-eight probands with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) including 208 probands with autism were studied along with 147 parents, 149...
Article
Full-text available
The Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia was modified for use in children and adolescents with autism by developing additional screening questions and coding options that reflect the presentation of psychiatric disorders in autism spectrum disorders. The modified instrument, the Autism Comorbidity Interview-Present and Lifetime...
Article
Autism, as defined by Kanner in 1943, required two features: the abnormal development of social relationships and the obsessive desire for the maintenance of sameness. This definition was applied only to children without dysmorphic features (except macrocephaly) and without profound mental retardation. This definition resulted in a strongly familia...
Article
Autism is a spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders with a primarily genetic etiology exhibiting deficits in (1) development of language and (2) social relationships and (3) patterns of repetitive, restricted behaviors or interests and resistance to change. Elevated platelet serotonin (5-HT) in 20%-25% of cases and efficacy of selective 5-HT reupt...
Article
Full-text available
Several genome-wide screens have indicated the presence of an autism susceptibility locus within the distal long arm of chromosome 7 (7q). Mapping at 7q22 within this region is the candidate gene reelin (RELN). RELN encodes a signaling protein that plays a pivotal role in the migration of several neuronal cell types and in the development of neural...
Article
Full-text available
Autism is a neurobehavioral spectrum of phenotypes characterized by deficits in the development of language and social relationships and patterns of repetitive, rigid and compulsive behaviors. Twin and family studies point to a significant genetic etiology, and several groups have performed genomic linkage screens to identify susceptibility loci. W...
Article
The chromosome 7q region continues to be the focus of much interest to those searching for autism susceptibility genes. The combined evidence from genome screens, naturally occurring chromosome anomalies in patients with autism, and findings from association studies to date indicates that this region may contain one or several of the genes related...
Article
Autism is a complex genetic neuropsychiatric condition characterized by deficits in social interaction and language and patterns of repetitive or stereotyped behaviors and restricted interests. Chromosome 15q11.2-q13 is a candidate region for autism susceptibility based on observations of chromosomal duplications in a small percentage of affected i...
Article
Full-text available
Impaired reciprocal social interaction is one of the core features of autism. While its determinants are complex, one biomolecular pathway that clearly influences social behavior is the arginine-vasopressin (AVP) system. The behavioral effects of AVP are mediated through the AVP receptor 1a (AVPR1a), making the AVPR1a gene a reasonable candidate fo...
Article
Full-text available
A substantial body of research supports a genetic involvement in autism. Furthermore, results from various genomic screens implicate a region on chromosome 7q31 as harboring an autism susceptibility variant. We previously narrowed this 34 cM region to a 3 cM critical region (located between D7S496 and D7S2418) using the Collaborative Linkage Study...
Article
Autism is a complex genetic neurodevelopmental disorder in which affected individuals display deficits in language, social relationships, and patterns of compulsive and stereotyped behaviors and rigidity. Linkage analysis in our dataset of 57 New England and 80 AGRE multiplex autism families reveals a multipoint heterogeneity LOD (HLOD) score of 2....
Article
Autism displays a remarkably high heritability but a complex genetic etiology. One approach to identifying susceptibility loci under these conditions is to define more homogeneous subsets of families on the basis of genetically relevant phenotypic or biological characteristics that vary from case to case. The authors performed a principal component...
Article
To develop factors based on the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) that index separate components of the autism phenotype that are genetically relevant and validated against standard measures of the constructs. ADIs and ADI-Rs of 292 individuals with autism were subjected to a principal components analysis using VARCLUS. The resulting vari...
Article
Full-text available
Autism [MIM 209850] is a neurodevelopmental disorder exhibiting a complex genetic etiology with clinical and locus heterogeneity. Chromosome 15q11-q13 has been proposed to harbor a gene for autism susceptibility based on (1) maternal-specific chromosomal duplications seen in autism and (2) positive evidence for linkage disequilibrium (LD) at 15q ma...
Article
Reports of a relatively high prevalence of absolute pitch (AP) in autistic disorder suggest that AP is associated with some of the distinctive cognitive and social characteristics seen in autism spectrum disorders. Accordingly we examined cognition, personality, social behavior, and language in 13 musicians with strictly defined AP (APS) and 33 mus...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to assess 65 pedigrees ascertained through a Bipolar I (BPI) proband for evidence of linkage, using nonparametric methods in a genome-wide scan and for possible parent of origin effect using several analytical methods. We identified 15 loci with nominally significant evidence for increased allele sharing among affected...
Article
Previous genetic and cytogenetic studies provide evidence that points to one or more autism susceptibility genes residing on chromosome 7q (AUTS1, 115-149 cM on the Marshfield map). However, further localization using linkage analysis has proven difficult. To overcome this problem, we examined the Collaborative Linkage Study of Autism (CLSA) data-s...
Article
Twin and family studies provide strong evidence that autism has a largely genetic aetiology. The pattern of familial aggregation suggests that in individual families, a small number of genes act together to cause the phenotype. However, it is unlikely that the same genes act in all families. Thus, the total number of genes involved could be large....
Article
Although the diagnostic reliability of major depression and mania has been well established, that of hypomania and bipolar II (BPII) disorder has not. This remains an important issue for clinicians, especially for those undertaking genetic studies of BP disorder since bipolar I (BPI) and BPII disorders often cluster in the same families. We have as...
Article
A mutation in the gene FOXP2 was recently identified as being responsible for a complicated speech and language phenotype in a single large extended pedigree. This gene is of interest to autism because it lies in one of the most consistently linked autism chromosomal regions of interest. We therefore tested this gene for its involvement in autism i...
Article
Full-text available
Since autism was first recognized as a disorder in 1943, speculation about its aetiology has ranged from biological to psychological and back again. After twin studies during the 1970s and 1980s yielded unequivocal evidence for a genetic component, aetiological research in autism began to focus primarily on uncovering the genetic mechanisms involve...
Article
Autistic disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a complex genetic etiology. Observations of maternal duplications affecting chromosome 15q11–q13 in patients with autism and evidence for linkage and linkage disequilibrium to markers in this region in chromosomally normal autism families indicate the existence of a susceptibility locus. We ha...
Article
We investigated the effect of incorporating information about proband and parental structural language phenotypes into linkage analyses in the two regions for which we found the highest signals in our first-stage affected sibling pair genome screen: chromosomes 13q and 7q. We were particularly interested in following up on our chromosome 7q finding...
Article
We examined WNT2 as a candidate disease gene for autism for the following reasons. First, the WNT family of genes influences the development of numerous organs and systems, including the central nervous system. Second, WNT2 is located in the region of chromosome 7q31–33 linked to autism and is adjacent to a chromosomal breakpoint in an individual w...
Article
One of the most active areas of current research in the field of developmental disorders is autism. Since the NIH State of the Science conference, held in 1995 (Bristol et al. [1996] J. Autism Dev. Disorders 26:121-154), funding opportunities for comprehensive research programs addressing genetic, neurobiological, and behavioral aspects of this com...
Article
Guidelines for submitting commentsPolicy: Comments that contribute to the discussion of the article will be posted within approximately three business days. We do not accept anonymous comments. Please include your email address; the address will not be displayed in the posted comment. Cell Press Editors will screen the comments to ensure that they...
Article
A genome scan of ∼12-cM initial resolution was done on 50 of a set of 51 carefully ascertained unilineal multiplex families segregating the bipolar affective disorder phenotype. In addition to standard multipoint linkage analysis methods, a simultaneous-search algorithm was applied in an attempt to surmount the problem of genetic heterogeneity. The...
Article
Autism is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder defined by social and communication deficits and ritualistic-repetitive behaviors that are detectable in early childhood. The etiology of idiopathic autism is strongly genetic, and oligogenic transmission is likely. The first stage of a two-stage genomic screen for autism was carried out by the Collabo...
Article
Autism is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder defined by social and communication deficits and ritualistic-repetitive behaviors that are detectable in early childhood. The etiology of idiopathic autism is strongly genetic, and oligogenic transmission is likely. The first stage of a two- stage genomic screen for autism was carried out by the Collab...
Article
In a case-control study of cognitive performance, tests of intelligence, reading, spelling, and pragmatic language were administered to the parents and siblings of 90 community-ascertained probands with autism (AU group) and to the parents and siblings of 40 similarly ascertained probands with trisomy 21 Down syndrome (DS group). The two samples we...
Article
Although autism is clearly inherited, it may be challenging to find the genes involved: The mechanism of inheritance is unknown, families with an autistic child are usually small, parent–child pairs are rare, and a fairly large number of genes may be involved, some or all of which may have a small effect on the phenotype. We discuss several strateg...
Article
Full-text available
Results from ROC curves of items from two scales, the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), operationalizing DSM-IV criteria for autism are presented for 319 autistic and 113 other subjects from 8 international autism centers. Analyses indicate that multiple items were necessary to attain adequate sensit...
Article
To explore the frequency and onset of macrocephaly in autism and its relationship to clinical features. Head circumferences at birth, during early childhood, and at the time of examination were studied in a community-based sample of autistic children and adults. The authors investigated whether head circumference at the time of examination was asso...
Article
One hundred patients with clinically diagnosed Huntington's disease (HD) were randomized to either idebenone, an antioxidant and enhancer of oxidative metabolism, or placebo, in a 1-year, double-blind, parallel-group study aimed at slowing the rate of progression of the disease. Ninety-one patients completed the study. There were no significant dif...
Article
Abnormal CAG expansions in the IT-15 gene are associated with Huntington disease (HD). In the diagnostic setting it is necessary to define the limits of the CAG size ranges on normal and HD-associated chromosomes. Most large analyses that defined the limits of the normal and pathological size ranges employed PCR assays, which included the CAG repea...
Article
To examine basal ganglia dysfunction and atrophy in patients with mild to moderate Huntington's disease, with correlation of imaging measures with clinical and neuropsychological measures. Survey study in patients with Huntington's disease and matched controls, with imaging measures being evaluated by investigators unaware of the diagnosis. Baltimo...
Article
A susceptibility gene on chromosome 18 and a parent-of-origin effect have been suggested for bipolar affective disorder (BPAD). We have studied 28 nuclear families selected for apparent unilineal transmission of the BPAD phenotype, by using 31 polymorphic markers spanning chromosome 18. Evidence for linkage was tested with affected-sib-pair and LOD...
Article
Evidence suggests that the neuropathology of Huntington's disease, a neuropsychiatric disorder due to a mutation on chromosome 4, results from excessive activation of glutamate-gated ion channels, which kills neurons by oxidative stress. Therefore, the authors hypothesized that alpha-tocopherol, which reduces oxyradical damage to cell membranes, mi...
Article
We assessed the influence of the neurological and cognitive impairments of Huntington's disease (HD) on automobile driving. In a group of 73 HD outpatients, 53 (72%) continued to drive after illness onset. Those no longer driving had more severe symptoms than those still driving. Twenty-nine HD patients who were still driving and 16 healthy control...
Article
During the first years of symptomatic Huntington's disease (HD), no readily apparent pathology is seen in the neostriatum at autopsy. To investigate the pathological correlates of chorea and other early clinical signs, we examined the evolution of neuronal loss and accompanying astrocytosis in neostriatal tissue from autopsy cases of early HD. We f...
Article
The presentation of affective disorders in people with autism and autistic-like disorders is discussed based upon a review of 17 published cases. Half of the patients were female and almost all of the patients had IQs in the mentally retarded range. 35% of the patients had the onset of affective disorder in childhood. Of the cases mentioning family...
Article
Synopsis Personality characteristics of 87 parents of autistic probands and 38 parents of Down's syndrome probands were examined using a standardized personality interview. Using best-estimate ratings derived from subject and informant interviews, parents of autistic individuals were rated significantly higher than controls on three characteristics...
Article
Excitatory amino acid neurotoxicity has been proposed to cause the neostriatal neuronal degeneration of Huntington's disease (HD); N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA), and kainate receptors have been hypothesized to play important roles in this process. We have recently reported a loss of ne...
Article
Quantitative power spectral analysis (PSA) was applied to frontal (F3, F4, F7, F8), temporal (T5, T6), and occipital (O1, O2) EEGs of 16 Huntington's disease (HD) patients and eight healthy control subjects. PSA revealed HD patients' EEGs to be abnormal: (i) raw and percent Alpha power were reduced; (ii) raw and percent Theta power were reduced at...
Article
This study assessed the frequency and type of sexual disorders associated with Huntington's disease (HD) in an unbiased sample. Of 39 HD patients and 32 of their partners, 82% and 66%, respectively, had one or more sexual disorders by DSM-III-R criteria. The most frequent for both groups was hypoactive sexual disorder. Significantly more patients w...
Article
The authors review the records of 6 patients with Huntington's disease (HD) who received electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression. Five patients met criteria for major depression and 1 for bipolar disorder, depressed. None of the patients had responded to pharmacologic intervention, and 5 improved after ECT treatment. The 2 patients who had p...
Article
To examine pre-, peri-, and neonatal factors in autism using composite optimality scores. Pre-, peri-, and neonatal composite optimality scores were examined in 39 autistic subjects and 39 randomly matched sibling controls using a modification of the Gillberg Optimality Scale (Modified-GOS). Scores were based on best-estimate ratings of maternal in...