Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and interaction as well as stereotypical and repetitive behavior. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been proposed as a new intervention method in ASD with the potential to improve cognitive, motor and social communication abilities by targeting specific underlying neuronal alterations. Here, we report results of a systematic literature review on tDCS effects on EEG and behavioral outcomes, and discuss tDCS as treatment option for ASD. PsychInfo, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, https://clinicaltrials.gov and the German Clinical Trials Register (Deutsches Register Klinischer Studien) were searched systematically for randomized, sham-controlled clinical trials of tDCS in individuals with ASD, and information regarding study designs and relevant results was extracted. Six eligible studies were identified. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was targeted in four trials, with core ASD symptoms and working memory as outcome measures. One study targeted the primary motor cortex (M1) with motor skills as outcome, and one study targeted the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) with social communication skills as outcome measure. Comparison of the implemented study designs showed high methodological variability between studies regarding stimulation parameters, trial design and outcome measures. Study results indicate initial support for improved cognitive and social communication skills in ASD following tDCS stimulation. However, systematic and comparison studies on the best combination of stimulation intensity, duration, location as well as task related stimulation are necessary, before results can be translated into routine clinical application. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
Oversett med Google Translate