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1.  Examining the Relationship between Parental Anxiety and Treatment Response in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Anxiety 
In response to the high co-occurrence of anxiety symptoms in youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), several interventions have been developed for this population. In spite of promising findings, some youth with ASD respond only minimally to anxiety interventions. The current study explores the role of parental anxiety in youth treatment outcome. Thirty-one youth with ASD, ages 7–18, and their parents participated in the study. Parents completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory pre- and post-treatment. Contrary to previous research, there was no correlation between parental anxiety and youth anxiety at baseline or post-treatment. However, parental trait anxiety significantly decreased from pre- to post-treatment for parents of treatment responders. The findings are consistent with previous research and suggest youth-to-parent influence.
PMCID: PMC4515159  PMID: 25778837
autism; treatment; parent; state anxiety; trait anxiety
2.  Diagnosing Autism in Individuals with Known Genetic Syndromes: Clinical Considerations and Implications for Intervention 
Assessing symptoms of autism in persons with known genetic syndromes associated with intellectual and/or developmental disability is a complex clinical endeavor. We suggest that a developmental approach to evaluation is essential to reliably teasing apart global impairments from autism-specific symptomology. In this chapter, we discuss our assumptions about autism spectrum disorders, the process of conducting a family-focused, comprehensive evaluation with behaviorally complex children and some implications for intervention in persons with co-occurring autism and known genetic syndromes.
PMCID: PMC4530973  PMID: 26269783
3.  Using Standardized Diagnostic Instruments to Classify Children with Autism in the Study to Explore Early Development 
The Study to Explore Early Development (SEED) is a multi-site case–control study designed to explore the relationship between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) phenotypes and etiologies. The goals of this paper are to (1) describe the SEED algorithm that uses the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) to classify children with ASD, (2) examine psychometric properties of different ASD classification methods, including the SEED method that incorporates rules for resolving ADI-R and ADOS discordance, and (3) determine whether restricted interests and repetitive behaviors were noted for children who had instrument discordance resolved using ADI-R social and communication scores. Results support the utility of SEED criteria when well-defined groups of children are an important clinical or research outcome.
PMCID: PMC4486213  PMID: 25348175
ADI-R; ADOS; Autism; Classification; Phenotypes; Study methods
4.  Improving Transportability of a CBT Intervention for Anxiety in Youth with ASD: Results from a US-Canada Collaboration 
Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur in youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In addition to developing efficacious treatments for anxiety in children with ASD, it is important to examine the transportability of these treatments to real-world settings. Study aims were to: a) train clinicians to deliver Facing Your Fears: Group Therapy for Managing Anxiety in Children with High-Functioning ASD (FYF) to fidelity; and b) examine feasibility of the program for novel settings. A secondary aim was to examine preliminary youth treatment outcome. Results indicated that clinicians obtained excellent fidelity following a workshop and ongoing consultation. Acceptability ratings indicated that FYF was viewed favorably, and critiques were incorporated into program revisions. Meaningful reductions in anxiety were reported post-treatment for 54% of children. Results support the initial effectiveness and transportability of FYF in new clinical settings.
PMCID: PMC4392044  PMID: 24463434
autism; anxiety; CBT; transportability; treatment dissemination
5.  Stable Isotope Turnover and Half-Life in Animal Tissues: A Literature Synthesis 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116182.
Stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur are used as ecological tracers for a variety of applications, such as studies of animal migrations, energy sources, and food web pathways. Yet uncertainty relating to the time period integrated by isotopic measurement of animal tissues can confound the interpretation of isotopic data. There have been a large number of experimental isotopic diet shift studies aimed at quantifying animal tissue isotopic turnover rate λ (%·day-1, often expressed as isotopic half-life, ln(2)/λ, days). Yet no studies have evaluated or summarized the many individual half-life estimates in an effort to both seek broad-scale patterns and characterize the degree of variability. Here, we collect previously published half-life estimates, examine how half-life is related to body size, and test for tissue- and taxa-varying allometric relationships. Half-life generally increases with animal body mass, and is longer in muscle and blood compared to plasma and internal organs. Half-life was longest in ecotherms, followed by mammals, and finally birds. For ectotherms, different taxa-tissue combinations had similar allometric slopes that generally matched predictions of metabolic theory. Half-life for ectotherms can be approximated as: ln (half-life) = 0.22*ln (body mass) + group-specific intercept; n = 261, p<0.0001, r2 = 0.63. For endothermic groups, relationships with body mass were weak and model slopes and intercepts were heterogeneous. While isotopic half-life can be approximated using simple allometric relationships for some taxa and tissue types, there is also a high degree of unexplained variation in our models. Our study highlights several strong and general patterns, though accurate prediction of isotopic half-life from readily available variables such as animal body mass remains elusive.
PMCID: PMC4321325  PMID: 25635686
6.  Crayfish Impact Desert River Ecosystem Function and Litter-Dwelling Invertebrate Communities through Association with Novel Detrital Resources 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63274.
Shifts in plant species distributions due to global change are increasing the availability of novel resources in a variety of ecosystems worldwide. In semiarid riparian areas, hydric pioneer tree species are being replaced by drought-tolerant plant species as water availability decreases. Additionally, introduced omnivorous crayfish, which feed upon primary producers, allochthonous detritus, and benthic invertebrates, can impact communities at multiple levels through both direct and indirect effects mediated by drought-tolerant plants. We tested the impact of both virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis) and litter type on benthic invertebrates and the effect of crayfish on detrital resources across a gradient of riparian vegetation drought-tolerance using field cages with leaf litter bags in the San Pedro River in Southeastern Arizona. Virile crayfish increased breakdown rate of novel drought-tolerant saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima), but did not impact breakdown of drought-tolerant seepwillow (Baccharis salicifolia) or hydric Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii) and Gooding's willow (Salix goodingii). Effects on invertebrate diversity were observed at the litter bag scale, but no effects were found at the cage scale. Crayfish decreased alpha diversity of colonizing macroinvertebrates, but did not affect beta diversity. In contrast, the drought-tolerant litter treatment decreased beta diversity relative to hydric litter. As drought-tolerant species become more abundant in riparian zones, their litter will become a larger component of the organic matter budget of desert streams which may serve to homogenize the litter-dwelling community and support elevated populations of virile crayfish. Through impacts at multiple trophic levels, crayfish have a significant effect on desert stream ecosystems.
PMCID: PMC3647000  PMID: 23667600
7.  Facing Your Fears in Adolescence: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders and Anxiety 
Autism Research and Treatment  2012;2012:423905.
Adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are at high risk for developing psychiatric symptoms, with anxiety disorders among the most commonly cooccurring. Cognitive behavior therapies (CBTs) are considered the best practice for treating anxiety in the general population. Modified CBT approaches for youth with high-functioning ASD and anxiety have resulted in significant reductions in anxiety following intervention. The purpose of the present study was to develop an intervention for treating anxiety in adolescents with ASD based on a CBT program designed for school-aged children. The Facing Your Fears-Adolescent Version (FYF-A) program was developed; feasibility and acceptability data were obtained, along with initial efficacy of the intervention. Twenty-four adolescents, aged 13–18, completed the FYF-A intervention. Results indicated significant reductions in anxiety severity and interference posttreatment, with low rates of anxiety maintained at 3-month follow-up. In addition, nearly 46% of teen participants met criteria for a positive treatment response on primary diagnosis following the intervention. Initial findings from the current study are encouraging and suggest that modified group CBT for adolescents with high-functioning ASD may be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. Limitations include small sample size and lack of control group. Future directions are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3471403  PMID: 23091719
8.  Chromosome Transfer by Autonomous Transmissible Plasmids: the Role of the Bacterial Recombination (rec) System 
Journal of Bacteriology  1972;111(1):80-85.
The ability of autonomous transmissible plasmids or sex factors to transfer chromosomal genes to F− recipient bacteria has been investigated by using a series of rec+ and recA− donor strains. It is concluded that chromosome transfer by most sex factors is virtually dependent upon the functional integrity of the bacterial recombination system. However, evidence is presented that suggests the existence of plasmid-specified mechanisms of interaction with the chromosome which are independent of the bacterial recombination system.
PMCID: PMC251242  PMID: 4591486

Results 1-8 (8)