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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 171-176

Auditory brainstem responses in children with autistic spectrum disorder

1 Department of Psychiatry, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
2 Department of Audiology, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Heba E.A El Wafa
Department of Psychiatry, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Zip Code 002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejpsy.ejpsy_25_20

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Background The assessment and management of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is complex and therefore requires continuous efforts for developing evidence-based guidelines for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of ASD. This research aims to study auditory brainstem response (ABR) in autistic children as a potential biomarker that could detect autism early during infancy as well as to study its relation to repetitive behavior. Patients and methods It included 60 children diagnosed with ASD according to DSM-5 among those attending the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic at Elhadara University Hospital and Mamoura Psychiatric Hospital. Those with hearing or visual impairment, epileptic syndromes, psychotic illness, or other affective disorder were excluded from the study. In all, 53 (88.3%) boys and seven (11.7%) girls participated in this study. Their mean±SD age was 6.41±1.99 years. Childhood Autism Rating Scale, 2nd ed., Repetitive Behavior Scale–Revised, and audiological studies were performed with emphasis on ABR by a consultant of audiology. Results Statistical analysis was done on the results and the study showed that absolute latency of waves III and V on the right ear and those of waves I and III on the left ear and interpeak latencies I–III and I–V of both the right and left ears were significantly away from norms in the ASD group and latency of wave I from the left side shows a significant positive correlation with total Repetitive Behavior Scale–Revised score. This denotes that a longer duration of wave I corresponds to severity of repetitive and restricted behaviors. Conclusion During initial assessment of a suspected ASD case, click ABR at an intensity of 80 dB (not the usual one at an intensity of 30 dB for screening of hearing impairment) to be requested and examination of the full parameters for assessment of auditory processing and not only for excluding a hearing problem.

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