Early Biomarkers and Endophenotypes of ASD: From Processes to Prognosis

Biomarker discovery in medicine is foundational to advancing knowledge and developing beneficial clinical applications. Autism is a strongly genetic disorder, and as such, research on endophenotypes, a special case of biomarkers, is an especially important avenue to identification of genetic factors underlying neural and clinical manifestations. However, biomarker discovery is at an early stage because of the challenges in studying the disorder in the first years of life, its changing phenotypic nature as early development progresses, and its multidimensional genomic, biological and behavioral character. Nonetheless, as presented and discussed in this panel, new research studies using innovative systems biology, imaging and clinical methodologies, have been successful in illuminating genomic and neural developmental bases of the disorder, explicating the neurofunctional bases of important aspects of clinical heterogeneity, identifying endophenotypes and uncovering potential diagnostic and prognostic signatures in at risk infants and toddlers. Discussion will address the pivotal role played by early biomarkers in general and endophenotypes in particular in clarifying mechanisms and processes, phenotypic heterogeneity, neural and clinical developmental trajectories. Discussion will consider early biomarkers as standing at a crucial crossroad pointing backward to earlier developmental processes, states or events, including potential etiological ones, and forward insofar as they explain unfolding development and serve as diagnostic and prognostic risk predictors.
Thursday, May 15, 2014: 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
Imperial B (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
1:30 PM
Abnormal Visual Attention As Revealed By Eyetracking As an Early Biomarker of ASD
K. Pierce, S. A. Marinero, R. Hazin, C. Carter and A. Malige
1:55 PM
Language-related functional neuroimaging biomarkers in autism infants and toddlers with differing language outcome and developmental trajectory
M. V. Lombardo, K. Pierce, L. T. Eyler, C. Carter, C. Ahrens-Barbeau, S. Solso, K. Campbell and E. Courchesne
2:20 PM
The use of high density EEG to investigate circuit miswiring in infants at risk for autism
C. A. Nelson, A. R. Levin, M. F. Shi and H. Tager-Flusberg
2:45 PM
Cross-Tissue Gene Networks Distinguish Normal from Abnormal Brain Development in ASD Toddlers
T. Pramparo, K. Campbell, C. Carter Barnes, S. A. Marinero, S. Solso, J. Young, M. Mayo, R. Zablocki, A. Dale, C. Ahrens-Barbeau, S. Murray, L. Lopez, R. Xu, K. Pierce and E. Courchesne