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Abnormal modulation of corticospinal excitability in adults with Asperger's syndrome.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Eur J Neurosci, Volume 36, Issue 6, p.2782-8 (2012)

Keywords:

Adolescent, Adult, Asperger Syndrome, Case-Control Studies, Evoked Potentials, Motor, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motor Cortex, Neuronal Plasticity, Spinal Cord, Theta Rhythm, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Young Adult

Abstract:

<p>Most candidate genes and genetic abnormalities linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are thought to play a role in developmental and experience-dependent plasticity. As a possible index of plasticity, we assessed the modulation of motor corticospinal excitability in individuals with Asperger's syndrome (AS) using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We measured the modulatory effects of theta-burst stimulation (TBS) on motor evoked potentials (MEPs) induced by single-pulse TMS in individuals with AS as compared with age-, gender- and IQ-matched neurotypical controls. The effect of TBS lasted significantly longer in the AS group. The duration of the TBS-induced modulation alone enabled the reliable classification of a second study cohort of subjects as AS or neurotypical. The alteration in the modulation of corticospinal excitability in AS is thought to reflect aberrant mechanisms of plasticity, and might provide a valuable future diagnostic biomarker for the disease and ultimately offer a target for novel therapeutic interventions.</p>

Funding / Support / Partners

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