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Altered GABA Concentration in Brain Motor Area Is Associated with the Severity of Motor Disabilities in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors
  • Umesawa, Yumi1
  • Matsushima, Kanae2, 3
  • Atsumi, Takeshi1, 4, 5
  • Kato, Toshihiro2
  • Fukatsu, Reiko1
  • Wada, Makoto1
  • Ide, Masakazu1
  • 1 Department of Rehabilitation for Brain Functions, Research Institute of National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, 4-1, Namiki, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama, 359-8555 Japan
  • 2 Kyoto University,
  • 3 Present Address: Kansai Medical University,
  • 4 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science,
  • 5 Kyorin University,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jan 30, 2020
Volume
50
Issue
8
Pages
2710–2722
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-020-04382-x
PMID: 31997060
PMCID: PMC7374467
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Several motor disabilities accompanied with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are widely known despite limited reports of underlying neural mechanisms. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the motor-related cortical areas modulate several motor performances in healthy participants. We hypothesized that abnormal GABA concentrations in the primary motor area (M1) and supplementary motor area (SMA) associate with different motor difficulties for ASD adolescents/adults. We found that increased GABA concentrations in M1 measured using 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy exhibited lower motor performance in tasks requiring increased muscle strength while lower GABA concentrations in SMA were associated with lower scores in tests measuring body coordination. The degrees of neural inhibition in the M1 and SMA regions would contribute to different dimensions of motor disabilities in autism. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1007/s10803-020-04382-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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