Targeting Gamma-Related Pathophysiology

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Targeting Gamma-Related Pathophysiology in Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Transcranial Electrical Stimulation: Opportunities and Challenges.

A range of scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) abnormalities correlates with the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Among these are alterations of brain oscillations in the gamma-frequency EEG band in adults and children with ASD, whose origin has been linked to dysfunctions of inhibitory interneuron signaling. While therapeutic interventions aimed to modulate gamma oscillations are being tested for neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and frontotemporal dementia, the prospects for therapeutic gamma modulation in ASD have not been extensively studied. Accordingly, we discuss gamma-related alterations in the setting of ASD pathophysiology, as well as potential interventions that can enhance gamma oscillations in patients with ASD. Ultimately, we argue that transcranial electrical stimulation modalities capable of entraining gamma oscillations, and thereby potentially modulating inhibitory interneuron circuitry, are promising methods to study and mitigate gamma alterations in ASD. LAY SUMMARY: Brain functions are mediated by various oscillatory waves of neuronal activity, ranging in amplitude and frequency. In certain neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, reduced high-frequency oscillations in the “gamma” band have been observed, and therapeutic interventions to enhance such activity are being explored. Here, we review and comment on evidence of reduced gamma activity in ASD, arguing that modalities used in other disorders may benefit individuals with ASD as well.

PMID: 32468731 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Autism Res. 2020 May 28;:

Authors: Kayarian FB, Jannati A, Rotenberg A, Santarnecchi E