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Rastam M.,Lund University | Taljemark J.,Lund University | Tajnia A.,Gothenburg University | Lundstrom S.,Gothenburg University | And 7 more authors.
The Scientific World Journal | Year: 2013

Aim. To establish the prevalence of restrictive eating problems, the overlap and association with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and to estimate the heritability of eating problems in a general population sample of twins aged 9 and 12. Methods. Parents of all Swedish 9- and 12-year-old twin pairs born between 1993 and 1998 (n = 12,366) were interviewed regarding symptoms of ADHD, ASD, and eating problems (EAT-P). Intraclass correlations and structural equation modelling were used for evaluating the influence of genetic and environmental factors. Cross-twin, cross-trait correlations were used to indicate a possible overlap between conditions. Results. The prevalence of eating problems was 0.6% in the study population and was significantly higher in children with ADHD and/or ASD. Among children with eating problems, 40% were screened positive for ADHD and/or ASD. Social interaction problems were strongly associated with EAT-P in girls, and impulsivity and activity problems with EAT-P in boys. The cross-twin, cross-trait correlations suggested low correlations between EAT-P and ADHD or EAT-P and ASD. Genetic effects accounted for 44% of the variation in liability for eating problems. Conclusions. In the group with eating problems, there was a clear overrepresentation of individuals with ADHD and/or ASD symptoms. © 2013 Maria Råstam et al.


Lundstrom S.,Gothenburg University | Lundstrom S.,RandD Unit | Reichenberg A.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Melke J.,Gothenburg University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines | Year: 2015

Background Evidence from twin and molecular genetic studies is accumulating that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) shares substantial etiological factors with other disorders. This is mirrored in clinical practice where ASD without coexisting disorders is rare. The present study aims to examine the range of coexisting disorders in ASD in a genetically informative cohort. Methods Parents of all Swedish 9-year-old twins born between 1992 and 2001 (n = 19,130) underwent a telephone interview designed to screen for child psychiatric disorders, including ASD. To ensure full coverage of child psychiatric disorders, data were also retrieved from population-based health registers. We investigated the coexistence of eight psychiatric disorders known to coexist with ASDs in probands and their co-twins. Results Half of the individuals with ASDs (50.3%) had four or more coexisting disorders and only 4% did not have any concomitant disorder. The 'healthy co-twin' in ASD discordant monozygotic twin pairs was very often (79% of boys and 50% of girls) affected by at least one non-ASD disorder. The corresponding figures for ASD discordant dizygotic twin pairs were significantly lower (46% of males and 30% of females). Conclusions Detailed phenotypic descriptions including symptoms of problems associated with a wide range of child psychiatric disorders may aid in unraveling the genetic architecture of ASD and should guide the development of intervention strategies addressing each problem type specifically. © 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.


Garcia D.,Gothenburg University | Anckarsater H.,Gothenburg University | Anckarsater H.,Lund University | Lundstrom S.,Gothenburg University | Lundstrom S.,RandD Unit
The Scientific World Journal | Year: 2013

Background. The acronym ESSENCE (Early Symptomatic Syndromes Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examinations) highlights that children seeking clinical treatment are often multiply impaired, thus requiring treatment from several specialties. The aim was to map and relate, on a population level, ESSENCE to two salient predictors of health and adaptation to adversities, namely, Self-Directedness and Cooperativeness and also to dysfunction and suffering. Methods. Participants were twins (N = 1892) aged 9 or 12 whose parents were interviewed with the Autism-Tics, ADHD and other Comorbidities inventory (A-TAC), and the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory (J-TCI). The A-TAC was first used to discern four ESSENCE-related screening diagnoses: autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and developmental coordination disorder; second, to quantify dysfunction and suffering in important social areas. Results. ESSENCE symptoms were continuously and categorically associated with deficiency in Self-Directedness and Cooperativeness and higher ratings of dysfunction and suffering. The impact of ESSENCE symptoms on these measures of mental health was found in a milder form in about 16% of all children and in a severe form in about 2%. Conclusion. Therapeutic interventions focusing on Self-Directedness and Cooperativeness might provide a novel method for child psychiatry in its approach to ESSENCE. © 2013 Danilo Garcia et al.


Jonsson L.,Gothenburg University | Anckarsater H.,Sahlgrenska Academy | Zettergren A.,Gothenburg University | Westberg L.,Gothenburg University | And 7 more authors.
Psychiatric Genetics | Year: 2014

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders often show low levels of melatonin, and it has been suggested that this decrease may be because of the low activity of the acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT), the last enzyme in the melatonin-synthesis pathway. Also, genetic variants in ASMT have been associated with autism, as well as with low ASMT activity and melatonin levels, suggesting that the low ASMT activity observed in autism may partly be because of variations within the ASMT gene. In this study, we present a symptom-based approach to investigate possible associations between ASMT and autistic-like traits in the general population. To this end, continuous measures of autistic-like traits were assessed in a nationally representative twin cohort (n=1771) from Sweden and six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and a duplication of exons 2-8 in ASMT were genotyped. Our results show a nominally significant association, in girls, between one single nucleotide polymorphism (rs5949028) in the last intron of ASMT and social interaction impairments. No significant association, however, was observed with traits related to language impairment or restricted and repetitive behavior. In conclusion, our results support the possible involvement of the ASMT gene in autism spectrum disorders, and our finding that only one of the three traits shows association suggests that genetic research may benefit from adopting a symptom-specific approach to identify genes involved in autism psychopathology. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Lindwall M.,Gothenburg University | Ljung T.,Mid Sweden University | Ljung T.,RandD Unit | Hadzibajramovic E.,Institute of Stress Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Mental Health and Physical Activity | Year: 2012

Background: A relevant, but overlooked question is if self-reported physical activity and aerobic fitness are differently related to mental health. Purpose: To examine the relation between mental health and level of self-reported physical activity (SRPA) and aerobic fitness (AF), and whether AF mediates the relation between SRPA and mental health. Methods: Participating in the study were 177 voluntary subjects (49% men, 51% women) with a mean age of 39 years. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were measured through the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale, and the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire (SMBQ) was used to evaluate self-reported symptoms of burnout. Leisure time SRPA during the last three months were measured using a single item. AF was measured by using the Åstrand bicycle test. Results: Self-reported physical activity, but not AF, was significantly related to self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, and burnout. Light to moderate physical activity that is performed regularly seems to be associated with more favorable mental health pattern compared with physical inactivity. No support was found for the mediating effect of AF of the physical activity-mental health relationship. Conclusions: Self-reported behavior of regular physical activity seems to be more important to monitor than measures of AF when considering the potential preventive effects of physical activity on mental health. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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