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Clinical Trial Summary

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by disturbances in communication, poor social skills, and aberrant behaviors. Particularly detrimental are the presence of restricted and repetitive stereotyped behaviors and uncontrollable temper outbursts over trivial changes in the environment, which often cause emotional stress for the children, their families, schools and neighborhood communities. Fundamental to these cognitive and behavioral problems is the disordered cortical connectivity and resultant executive dysfunction that underpin the use of effective strategies to integrate information across contexts. Brain connectivity problems affect the rate at which information travels across the brain. Slow processing speed relates to a reduced capacity of executive function to recall and formulate thoughts and actions automatically, with the result that autistic children with poor processing speed have great difficulty learning or perceiving relationships across multiple experiences. In consequence, these children compensate for the impaired ability to integrate information from the environment by memorizing visual details or individual rules from each situation. This explains why children with autism tend to follow routines in precise detail and show great distress over seemingly trivial changes in the environment. To date, there is no known cure for ASD, and the disorder remains a highly disabling condition. Recently, a non-invasive brain stimulation technique, transcranial direct current Stimulation (tDCS) has shown great promise as a potentially effective and costeffective tool for reducing core symptoms such as anxiety, aggression, impulsivity, and inattention in patients with autism. This technique has been shown to modify behavior by inducing changes in cortical excitability and enhancing connectivity between the targeted brain areas. However, not all ASD patients respond to this intervention the same way and predicting the behavioral impact of tDCS in patients with ASD remains a clinical challenge. This proposed study thus aims to address these challenges by determining whether resting-state EEG and clinical data at baseline can be used to differentiate responders from non-responders to tDCS treatment. Findings from the study will provide new guidance for designing intervention programs for individuals with ASD.

Clinical Trial Description


Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT05035511
Study type Interventional
Source The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Contact Yvonne Han, PhD
Phone 2766 7578
Email [email protected]
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date September 2021
Completion date December 2024

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