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Autism Research at the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation

We are recruiting individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for a research study supported by the National Institutes of Health. Specifically we are using a form of brain stimulation called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate brain plasticity, or the brain’s ability to change and learn through experience. While this study may in the future have implications for the treatment of individuals with ASD, at this time we are not offering brain stimulation for treatment of ASD. Our goal is to advance the understanding of how the brain works in individuals with ASD in the hope that our findings may in the future help to develop, guide and measure therapeutic interventions.

For many years we have been conducting studies examining the function and organization of the brain in individuals diagnosed with ASD. While some individuals have derived personal benefit from participating in these studies, we want to stress that our past and current studies are not clinical trials aimed at providing treatment.

For our current study adults, ages 21-65, or children, ages 6-16, may be eligible if they have a clinical diagnosis of ASD. If you would like to learn more or have any questions, please contact the study coordinator, Gabrielle Block by phone at 617-667-0206, or by email at gblock@bidmc.harvard.edu.

We are happy to provide information about our previously published studies. Please see the links below to view our papers.

Previous Publications

“Isolating Visual and Proprioceptive Components of Motor Sequence Learning in ASD” [PDF]

“TMS in ASD Consensus Group. Transcranial magnetic stimulation in autism spectrum disorder: Challenges, promise, and roadmap for future research” [PDF]

“Use of transcranial magnetic stimulation in autism spectrum disorders” [PDF]

“Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy for autism: an international consensus conference held in conjunction with the international meeting for autism research on May 13th and 14th, 2014” [PDF]

“Modulation of corticospinal excitability by transcranial magnetic stimulation in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder” [PDF]

“Hyperplasticity in Autism Spectrum Disorder confers protection from Alzheimer's disease” [PDF]

Use of transcranial magnetic stimulation in autism spectrum disorders.” [PDF]

“Abnormal modulation of corticospinal excitability in adults with Asperger’s syndrome” [PDF]

“Brain stimulation over Broca’s area differentially modulates naming skills in neurotypical adults and individuals with Asperger’s syndrome” [PDF]

“Transcranial magnetic stimulation provides means to assess cortical plasticity and excitability in humans with fragile x syndrome and autism spectrum disorder” [PDF]

“TMS: Using the Theta-Burst Protocol to Explore Mechasnism of Plasticity in Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome and Autism” [PDF]

“Cortical plasticity: A proposed mechanism by which genomic factors lead to the behavioral and neurological phenotype of autism spectrum and psychotic-spectrum disorders” [PDF]