Background: Motor impairments are common in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Electrophysiologic studies reveal abnormalities in the preparation of movement; repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to key motor cortical sites may therefore be a useful technique for improving motor function in ASD.
Objective: To examine whether rTMS can improve electrophysiologic and behavioral indices of motor activity.
Methods: Eleven participants with ASD completed three sessions in which they were administered one of three rTMS conditions (left M1, supplementary motor area [SMA], sham) at 1 Hz for 15 minutes. Movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) were assessed before and after rTMS.
Results: rTMS to the SMA was associated with a gradient increase to the early component of MRCPs, whereas rTMS to left M1 produced a stronger gradient in the late component.
Conclusions: rTMS appears to improve movement-related electrophysiologic activity in ASD, perhaps through an influence on cortical inhibitory processes.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.