There is no convincing scientific evidence that the core symptoms of ASD can be cured with non-invasive brain therapy. A large-scale, multicenter, and controlled clinical trial is currently funded to test how effective this brain stimulation approach can be in managing comorbid ASD symptoms in patients who are already taking pharmaceuticals to treat their ASD symptoms. This randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of 24 to 49 participants (in their early-30s with ASD) who received a 3-week 'intervention' or 'control' period on an as-needed (i.e.'real') basis will be followed for 2 years. The intervention is currently being conducted in Boston, Massachusetts and is being led by Dr. John H.
Data from a recent study of this study reveal that 1 in 17 children with a reported ASD diagnosis met the DSM-IV criteria for ASD, which suggests that ASDs are underdiagnosed in the United States. A larger, prospective study of diagnostic rates of ASD must be conducted to clarify these findings.
Results from a recent clinical trial helps to identify risk factors which may be involved in the pathogenesis of ASD. Such factors may be the focus of interventions intended to reduce the risk of ASD in subsequent generations.
Cognitive behavioral therapy and special education have been shown to improve the symptoms and quality of life of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder hyperactivity and oppositional defiant disorder appear to benefit with medication.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is thought to be caused by genetic factors. It is a disorder of the communication, cognition, and social interaction among individuals. It is a brain disorder that impacts on functioning throughout life. It is thought to affect between 1 in 200 and 1 in 300 people in the USA.\n
Signs of ASD may include delay or absence of development, unusual social interaction and communication, or repetitive behavior. Other signs include problems with sensory processing and motor functioning, and in autism may include developmental disorder of coordination (DDC) and other behavioral and cognitive impairments.\n
The present study is the first to demonstrate that cTBS leads to robust improvements in ASD symptoms. Additional work is required to confirm our finding and assess the effects of cTBS in patients with ASD.
Theoretically, the treatment is safe. However, the present study was performed at the time of a sudden, unexpected move from two weeks of regular stimulation (that was safe) to a new, potentially dangerous, regimen. It was reported that this trial was originally planned to last for 10 weeks but had been canceled after only two. It is therefore possible that some safety issues may remain when the treatment is continued, because it is possible for subjects to move away from, or disengage from, the electrical current when the frequency is increased from 25 to 100 Hz, or from 2 to 7 Hz. This does not affect the overall number of days that would have to have been spent under continuous TBS.
The effects of cTBS can't be explained purely by the effects of the anodal electrode stimulation. One explanation for the effectiveness of cTBS is given by the "nocebo effect" of TBS. This finding emphasizes the need for further research in this promising and emerging therapy for neurological conditions.
Autistic symptoms in the child are often a result of a complex interaction between genetic predispositions and environmental factors. Most children with autism have at least one other medical problem that may be the cause of most of the core symptoms of the syndrome.
The following are the new findings that have been published between 2003 and 2006 that may relate to ASD:\n- New evidence indicates early brain dysfunction in children with ASD.\n- Several genetic variants associated with ASD are associated with alterations in the central nervous system (CNS), including the cerebellum.\n- Several genes are found for ASD by sequencing methods, and can be found in one database. Findings from a recent study indicate that there are more genes or mutations than previously thought accountable for this disorder.\n- A study involving multiple participants indicates that the onset of ASD may be linked to genetic predispositions and possibly a single, common environmental factor.
Contrary to expectations, the present exploratory study of children with autism and epilepsy did not provide evidence for a stronger TBS effect on autism than on epilepsy in this pediatric population. A more thorough investigation in patients with more severe symptoms is warranted.