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 --想象一下,当你拿起一支玫瑰放在鼻前,你肯定会深深地吸气,将那种淡淡的香甜味道吸入鼻中。而当你走入一间公共休息室,你会做出相反的行为--限制气流通过你的鼻腔。
 
最近,以色列的研究人员进行了一项研究,他们发现患有自闭症谱系障碍的人不能对气味做出与正常人类似的自然调整,自闭症儿童无论是对好的还是坏的气味都会以相同的方式进行嗅闻。利用这一发现可以开发一些无需语言交流的方法用于自闭症谱系障碍的早期检测。相关研究结果发表在国际学术期刊current biology。
 
研究人员指出,正常发育的儿童与自闭症儿童在对气味的嗅闻方式上显然存在很大区别,早期研究表明自闭症人群在"内在行为模式"上存在损伤,他们的大脑不能将触感与相对应的行为进行无缝连接,但这种损伤是否会表现在嗅闻方式上仍不清楚。
 
为解决这一问题,研究人员选取了18名自闭症儿童和18名正常发育的儿童进行了嗅闻方式检测,这些儿童的平均年龄为7岁。正常儿童会在闻到气味之后的305毫秒内做出嗅闻方式的调整,而自闭症儿童并不能完成这一应答。两组儿童嗅闻方式的差别已经可以在多数情况下正确区分儿童是否患有自闭症谱系障碍。
 
这项研究结果表明通过嗅闻检测可能对于临床诊断自闭症谱系障碍具有重要帮助,但仍需进一步研究进行验证。
 
 
 
A Mechanistic Link between Olfaction and Autism Spectrum Disorder
 
Liron Rozenkrantzcorrespondenceemail, Ditza Zachor, Iris Heller, Anton Plotkin, Aharon Weissbrod, Kobi Snitz, Lavi Secundo, Noam Sobe
 
Internal action models (IAMs) are brain templates for sensory-motor coordination underlying diverse behaviors [ 1 ]. An emerging theory suggests that impaired IAMs are a common theme in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) [ 2-4 ]. However, whether impaired IAMs occur across sensory systems and how they relate to the major phenotype of ASD, namely impaired social communication [ 5 ], remains unclear. Olfaction relies on an IAM known as the sniff response, where sniff magnitude is automatically modulated to account for odor valence [ 6-12 ]. To test the failed IAM theory in olfaction, we precisely measured the non-verbal non-task-dependent sniff response concurrent with pleasant and unpleasant odors in 36 children-18 with ASD and 18 matched typically developing (TD) controls. We found that whereas TD children generated a typical adult-like sniff response within 305 ms of odor onset, ASD children had a profoundly altered sniff response, sniffing equally regardless of odor valance. This difference persisted despite equal reported odor perception and allowed for 81% correct ASD classification based on the sniff response alone (binomial, p < 0.001). Moreover, increasingly aberrant sniffing was associated with increasingly severe ASD (r = ?0.75, p < 0.001), specifically with social (r = ?0.72, p < 0.001), but not motor (r < ?0.38, p > 0.18), impairment. These results uncover a novel ASD marker implying a mechanistic link between the underpinnings of olfaction and ASD and directly linking an impaired IAM with impaired social abilities.\
(来源:生物谷)