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Rapid and objective assessment of neural function in autism spectrum disorder using transient visual evoked potentials

Siper, P., Zemon, V., Gordon, J., George-Jones, J., Lurie, S., Zweifach, J., Tavassoli, T., Wang, T., Jamison, J., Buxbaum, J. D. and Kolevzon, A. (2016) Rapid and objective assessment of neural function in autism spectrum disorder using transient visual evoked potentials. PLoS ONE, 11 (10). e0164422. ISSN 1932-6203

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164422

Abstract/Summary

OBJECTIVE: There is a critical need to identify biomarkers and objective outcome measures that can be used to understand underlying neural mechanisms in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) offer a noninvasive technique to evaluate the functional integrity of neural mechanisms, specifically visual pathways, while probing for disease pathophysiology. METHODS: Transient VEPs (tVEPs) were obtained from 96 unmedicated children, including 37 children with ASD, 36 typically developing (TD) children, and 23 unaffected siblings (SIBS). A conventional contrast-reversing checkerboard condition was compared to a novel short-duration condition, which was developed to enable objective data collection from severely affected populations who are often excluded from electroencephalographic (EEG) studies. RESULTS: Children with ASD showed significantly smaller amplitudes compared to TD children at two of the earliest critical VEP components, P60-N75 and N75-P100. SIBS showed intermediate responses relative to ASD and TD groups. There were no group differences in response latency. Frequency band analyses indicated significantly weaker responses for the ASD group in bands encompassing gamma-wave activity. Ninety-two percent of children with ASD were able to complete the short-duration condition compared to 68% for the standard condition. CONCLUSIONS: The current study establishes the utility of a short-duration tVEP test for use in children at varying levels of functioning and describes neural abnormalities in children with idiopathic ASD. Implications for excitatory/inhibitory balance as well as the potential application of VEP for use in clinical trials are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) Research Network
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
ID Code:81922
Publisher:Public Library of Science

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