Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) is the conclusive name of a range of neurodevelopmental symptoms related to autism. The diagnosis depends on the severity of the symptoms patients exhibits. Currently, Asperger’s Syndrome, generalized developmental disorder (PDD-NOS) and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder are relatively common disorders included in the autism spectrum.
Common Symptoms of Autism are:
- Making little or inconsistent eye contact
- Tending not to look at or listen to people
- Rarely sharing enjoyment of objects or activities by pointing or showing things to others
- Repeating certain behaviors or having unusual behaviors. For example, repeating words or phrases, a behavior called echolalia
- Having a lasting intense interest in certain topics, such as numbers, details, or facts
- Having overly focused interests, such as with moving objects or parts of objects
- Getting upset by slight changes in a routine
Clinical studies have pointed out that autism is associated with abnormal brain development and genetic factors. Although the exact cause remains unclear, clinical data suggested that autism may be related to excitability and plasticity of the cerebral cortex. Therefore, TMS can be used to regulate the function of the cerebral cortex in a non-invasive manner.
In recent years, many clinical treatment centers around the world have begun to understand the etiology of autism through TMS. The research result has suggested that TMS has the potential to be the clinical treatment of ASD.
Markram, H., Rinaldi, T., &Markram, K. (2007). The intense world syndrome–an alternative hypothesis for autism. Frontiers in Neuroscience,1(1),77–96.
Obeman, L.M., Rotenberg, A., & Pascual-Leone, A. (2015). Use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord, 45(2), 524-536.
Rubenstein, J.L., & Merzenich, M.M. (2003). Model of autism: increased ratio of excitation/inhibition in key neural systems. Genes, Brain, and Behavior,2(5),255–267.
*Declaration: The application of TMS to Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) is still experimental. Although some clinical studies have achieved positive results, this clinical application has not yet obtained FDA approval and CE mark.