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J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Apr;47(4):1183-1192. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3041-4.

Quantitative Sensory Testing in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. o.fruendt@uke.de.
2
Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
4
Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
5
Department of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
6
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.
7
Department of Pediatric and Adult Movement Disorders and Neuropsychiatry, Institute of Neurogenetics, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.

Abstract

Altered sensory perception has been found in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and might be related to aberrant sensory perception thresholds. We used the well-established, standardized Quantitative sensory testing (QST) protocol of the German Research Network on Neuropathic Pain to investigate 13 somatosensory parameters including thermal and tactile detection and pain thresholds in 13 ASD adults and 13 matched healthy controls with normal IQ values. There were no group differences between somatosensory detection and pain thresholds. Two ASD patients showed paradoxical heat sensations and another two ASD subjects presented dynamic mechanical allodynia; somatosensory features that were absent in controls. These findings suggest that central mechanisms during complex stimulus integration rather than peripheral dysfunctions probably determine somatosensory alterations in ASD.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; Hypersensitivity; Hyposensitivity; Quantitative sensory testing; Sensory thresholds

PMID:
28160223
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-017-3041-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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