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Nat Commun. 2018 May 7;9(1):1678. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03985-4.

Enhanced pupillary light reflex in infancy is associated with autism diagnosis in toddlerhood.

Author information

1
Uppsala Child & Babylab, Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, SE-75142, Uppsala, Sweden.
2
Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London, London, WC1E 7HX, UK.
3
Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, SE5 8AF, UK.
4
Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EB, UK.
5
Pediatric Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska Institutet (KIND), Karolinska Institutet, SE-171, Stockholm, Sweden.
6
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Psychiatry Research, Stockholm County Council, SE-11330, Stockholm, Sweden.
7
Uppsala Child & Babylab, Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, SE-75142, Uppsala, Sweden. terje.falck-ytter@psyk.uu.se.
8
Pediatric Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska Institutet (KIND), Karolinska Institutet, SE-171, Stockholm, Sweden. terje.falck-ytter@psyk.uu.se.
9
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Psychiatry Research, Stockholm County Council, SE-11330, Stockholm, Sweden. terje.falck-ytter@psyk.uu.se.
10
Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS), SE-752, Uppsala, Sweden. terje.falck-ytter@psyk.uu.se.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition affecting around 1% of the population. We previously discovered that infant siblings of children with ASD had stronger pupillary light reflexes compared to low-risk infants, a result which contrasts sharply with the weak pupillary light reflex typically seen in both children and adults with ASD. Here, we show that on average the relative constriction of the pupillary light reflex is larger in 9-10-month-old high risk infant siblings who receive an ASD diagnosis at 36 months, compared both to those who do not and to low-risk controls. We also found that the magnitude of the pupillary light reflex in infancy is associated with symptom severity at follow-up. This study indicates an important role of sensory atypicalities in the etiology of ASD, and suggests that pupillometry, if further developed and refined, could facilitate risk assessment in infants.

PMID:
29735992
PMCID:
PMC5938234
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-03985-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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