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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Brain Connectivity Changes in Autism as a Function of Motor Training: A Pilot Study

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Travers, Brittany Gail

Description

Description

Motor difficulties are common in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD), creating yet another burden for independent living in this population. Moreover, motor difficulties in ASD appear to be intertwined with core ASD features, as more severe motor difficulties have been found to be related to more severe social symptoms, repetitive behavior symptoms, and poorer daily living skills. Recent evidence suggests that the white matter microstructure a measure of circuit integrity) of the corticospinal tract predicts both motor symptoms and core ASD symptoms. The corticospinal tract is an early developing white matter tract known to be associated with motor function. Studies in typical development demonstrate that fitness levels and balance training are associated with improved corticospinal microstructure. Therefore, the current two-year study investigates an exploratory video-game-based motor intervention that trains balance and targets the corticospinal tract in ASD. Thirty individuals with ASD will be randomly assigned to either the video-game training group n=15) or the passive control group n=15). The training group will undergo intensive video-game-based training over the course of 6 weeks. The video game intervention will consist of both an in-lab developed game that uses a Kinect camera and Wii balance board to take fine-tuned measurements of postural stability and also an off-the-shelf balance game Wii fit). Participants in the control condition will come to the lab to do motor measurements, but they will not engage in the video game training. Brain scans of all participants will be taken both before and after the 6-week training. These scans will include diffusion tensor imaging DTI) and multicomponent relaxometry mcDESPOT) to examine pre- and post-training changes in white matter microstructure and myelination of the corticospinal tract. Furthermore, we will be collecting pre- and post-training data on social symptoms, repetitive behavior symptoms, and daily living skills to examine if there are training-related changes in core ASD symptomatology. We hypothesize that the training group will have greater pre-post training changes in their corticospinal white matter microstructure and myelination compared to the control group. Further, we predict that these changes in corticospinal white matter will be associated with improvements in postural stability, core ASD symptomatology, and daily living skills in the treatment group.

Funder

Funder

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

0

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2015-2017

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 4SF. Launch randomized controlled trials of interventions including biological signatures and other measures to predict response, and monitor quality of life and functional outcomes in each of the following groups: o Five trials in infants and toddlers by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $30,000,000 over 5 years. o Three trials in school-aged children and/or adolescents by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years. o Three trials in adults by 2014. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

No link available.

Institution

Institution

University of Wisconsin

State/Country

State/Country

Wisconsin

Project Number

Project Number

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Brain Connectivity Changes in Autism as a Function of Motor Training: A Pilot Study | 29999 | 2015 |

 
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