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.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)