Special Issue "Exercise for Brain Health in Autism: A Promising Direction"

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Adam Kawczynski
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Guest Editor
Department of Paralympics Sports, University School of Physical Education, Wrocław, Poland
Interests: skeletal muscle physiology; sensorimotor properties; flexible skeletal muscles; brain cognitive functions
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This research topic, “Exercise for Brain Health in Autism: A Promising Direction”, determines the link between recreational activity, rehabilitation, brain activity, and cognitive training in the population with autism spectrum disorders.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

Recreational activity as a benefit for brain health in the population with autism spectrum disorders;

Optimization of rehabilitation process by:

  • Investigating cognitive functions and brain activity;
  • Investigating muscle and tendon mechanical (viscoelastic), morphological, and architectonic properties.

Dr. Adam Kawczynski
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)
  • Brain activity in ASD population
  • Cognitive functions in ASD population
  • Muscle and tendons in ASD population

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Effects of Mini-Basketball Training Program on Social Communication Impairment and Executive Control Network in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5132; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18105132 - 12 May 2021
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This study evaluated the effect of a 12-week mini-basketball training program (MBTP) on social communication (SC) and the executive control network (ECN) in preschool children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We finally assigned 30 preschool children with ASD to an experiment group ( [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the effect of a 12-week mini-basketball training program (MBTP) on social communication (SC) and the executive control network (ECN) in preschool children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We finally assigned 30 preschool children with ASD to an experiment group (n = 15, 12 males, 3 females) or a control group (n = 15, 13 males, 2 females). The experiment group participated in a 12-week MBTP (40-min sessions per day, 5 days a week), while the control group only received the institutional routine behavioral rehabilitation intervention. The SC of preschool children with ASD was measured using the Social Responsiveness Scale, Second Edition (SRS-2), whereas functional connectivity (FC) of the ECN was assessed using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) at pre-and post-test. Our results showed that SC exhibited significant improvement in the intervention group, especially in SRS-2 total score, social cognition, and social communication. We found significantly enhanced functional connectivity between the right cerebellum and left inferior frontal gyrus in the experimental group, while functional connectivity between the left middle temporal gyrus and right cerebellum were decreased in the control group. Furthermore, there were no significant correlations between the change in SC scores and FC of the ECN. Altogether, this study provides valuable insights that a 12-week MBTP improves SC and functional connectivity of the ECN in preschool children with ASD. We further inferred that neural mechanisms might be associated with changing the ECN of preschool ASD children caused by the 12-week MBTP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise for Brain Health in Autism: A Promising Direction)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Working memory improvements as the effect of transcranial direct stimulation in children with autism spectrum disorder
Authors: Małgorzata Smoter 1; Anna Wiatrowska 2; Sebastian Klich 3; Martyna Kumorek 3; Jun Yan 4; Biye Wang 4,5; Wei Guo 4,5; Aiguo Chen 4,6
Affiliation: 1 Gdańsk Academy of Physical Education and Sport, 80-001 Gdańsk, Poland; [email protected] 2 Wrocław University, Faculty of Psychology, Wrocław, Poland; [email protected] 3 Department of Paralympic Sport, University School of Physical Education in Wrocław, 51-617 Wrocław, Poland; [email protected]; [email protected] 4 College of Physical Education, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China; [email protected] (W.G.); [email protected] (B.W.); [email protected] (A.C) 5 Institute of Sports, Exercise and Brain, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225000, China 6 Chinese—Polish Laboratory on Sport and Brain Science, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
Abstract: Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the working memory improvements in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods: Fifteen (12 males and 3 females) children with low-function autism were enrolled, (age: 7.8 ± 2.1 years) from Diagnostic and Rehabilitation center Promyk Słońca in Wrocław (Poland) received 10 days tDCS treatment. Results: The analysis of the working memory test have shown a significant increase of points after 10 days following tDCS intervention. Furthermore, the visual working memory test increased significant after 5 days following tDCS. Conclusions: Our study using tDCS therapy provides important information about the influence of tDCS on working memory. Presented results has implications for design of the rehabilitation process.

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