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15-02-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 5/2020 Open Access

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 5/2020

A Quantitative Sensory Testing Approach to Pain in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 5/2020
Auteurs:
Sarah Vaughan, Francis McGlone, Helen Poole, David J. Moore
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10803-019-03918-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Abstract

Sensory abnormalities in autism has been noted clinically, with pain insensitivity as a specified diagnostic criterion. However, there is limited research using psychophysically robust techniques. Thirteen adults with ASD and 13 matched controls completed an established quantitative sensory testing (QST) battery, supplemented with measures of pain tolerance and central modulation. The ASD group showed higher thresholds for light touch detection and mechanical pain. Notably, the ASD group had a greater range of extreme scores (the number of z-scores outside of the 95% CI > 2), dynamic mechanical allodynia and paradoxical heat sensation; phenomena not typically seen in neurotypical individuals. These data support the need for research examining central mechanisms for pain in ASD and greater consideration of individual difference.

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