Impact of Auditory Integration Therapy (AIT) on the Plasma Levels of Human Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF) in Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, 17 Asem Abd El-Hamid Street off Makram Ebaid, Nasr City, Cairo, 11511, Egypt. [Email]


Neurotrophic factors, including the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), are of importance for synaptic plasticity regulation, intended as the synapses' ability to strengthen or weaken their responses to differences in neuronal activity. Such plasticity is essential for sensory processing, which has been shown to be impaired in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study is the first to investigate the impact of auditory integration therapy (AIT) of sensory processing abnormalities in autism on plasma GDNF levels. Fifteen ASD children, aged between 5 and 12 years, were enrolled and underwent the present research study. AIT was performed throughout 10 days with a 30-min session twice a day. Before and after AIT, Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), and Short Sensory Profile (SSP) scores were calculated, and plasma GDNF levels were assayed by an EIA test. A substantial decline in autistic behavior was observed after AIT in the scaling parameters used. Median plasma GDNF level was 52.142 pg/ml before AIT. This level greatly increased immediately after AIT to 242.05 pg/ml (P < 0.001). The levels were depressed to 154.00 pg/ml and 125.594 pg/ml 1 month and 3 months later, respectively, but they were still significantly higher compared with the levels before the treatment (P = 0.001, P = 0.01, respectively). There was an improvement in the measures of autism severity as an effect of AIT which induced the up-regulation of GDNF in plasma. Further research, on a large scale, is needed to evaluate if the cognitive improvement of ASD children after AIT is related or not connected to the up-regulation of GDNF.


Auditory integration training,Autism,Childhood Autism Rating Scale,Glial cell line–derived neurotrophic factor,Short Sensory Profile,Social Responsiveness Scale,