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Association between rare copy number variation and response to social skills training in autism spectrum disorder
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2018 (English)In: bioRxivArticle in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Challenges in social communication and interaction are core symptoms in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for which social skills group training (SSGT) is a commonly used intervention. SSGT has shown modest but heterogeneous effects in clinical trials, and therefore identification of effect moderators could enable more precise intervention decisions. One of the major genetic risk factors in ASD are rare copy number variation (CNV). However, limited information exists whether rare CNVs profiles can be used to aid in intervention decisions. Therefore, we conducted the first study to date analyzing rare CNVs as genetic moderators in the outcome of SSGT in ASD. For this, we analyzed rare genic CNV carrier status of 207 children of which 105 received SSGT and 102 standard care as part of a recent randomized clinical trial for 12-weeks SSGT. We used mixed linear models to assess the association of being a CNV carrier, grouped by the effect and size of the CNVs and the primary response to SSGT, the parent-report Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) measured at post-intervention and 3-months follow-up. Additionally, we analyzed the secondary outcome assessments included parent-rated adaptive behaviors (ABAS-II) and trainer-rated clinical global impression (CGI). We show that being a carrier of any size rare genic CNV did not impact on the SSGT outcome. However, when stratifying the groups by size of the CNVs, we identified that carriers of large CNVs (>500 kb) showed inferior SRS outcomes at post-intervention (β = 15.35, 95% CI 2.86-27.84, P=0.017) and follow-up (β = 14.19, 95% CI 1.68-26.70, P=0.028). Similar results were shown for the parent-rated secondary outcome. In contrast, the carriers of small CNVs had better outcome at post-intervention (β = -1.20, 95 % CI -2.0 - -0.4 P = 0.003) but not at follow-up for the trainer-rated secondary outcome CGI. These results remained when we tested the specificity of the effect by including the standard care group and adjusting for IQ levels. While our study suggests that being a carrier of any size rare genic CNV did not impact the outcome, it provides preliminary evidence that carriers of high-risk CNVs might not benefit on SSGT as much as non-carriers. Our results indicate that genetic information eventually might help guide personalized intervention planning in ASD. We additionally highlight that more research is needed to understand the intervention needs of autistic individuals with specified molecular alterations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory , 2018.
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Neurology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-42319DOI: 10.1101/380147OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-42319DiVA, id: diva2:1271404
Available from: 2018-12-17 Created: 2018-12-17 Last updated: 2018-12-17Bibliographically approved

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Falkmer, Torbjörn

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