Improvements in Processing Speed, Reaction Time Performance and Primitive Reflexes Following Neurological Rehabilitation for a 16-year-old Male Patient with Autism

Matthew M. Antonucci1, Emily R. Kalambaheti1, Mia D. Cozart2 and Derek A. Barton1*

1Plasticity Brain Centers, United States

2University of Central Florida, United States

Presentation: A 16-year-old male patient presented to Plasticity Brain Centers for evaluation and treatment of persistent symptoms of Autism and Asperger’s syndrome. His symptoms included anxiety, impulsivity, and difficulty with social awareness.

Findings: During neurocognitive testing on the C3 Logix program, upon intake, his Trails B time was 36.8 seconds. His simple reaction time was 321 milliseconds and his choice reaction time was 455 milliseconds. When testing on the Dynavision D2 (Wells 2014), upon intake, he had an average reaction time of 0.56 milliseconds.

Methods: A 5-day, multi-modal program of neurological exercises was administered in 10 one-hour treatment sessions (Carrick 2017). Each session consisted of repetitive peripheral somatosensory stimuli, cognitive exercises, neuromuscular reeducation exercises, vestibular rehabilitation exercises, orthoptic exercises, and off-vertical axis rotation (Gdowski 1999) utilizing a multi-axis rotational chair (MARC).

Outcome: Upon exit, Trails A time stayed the same, but Trails B time decreased to 28.3 seconds (-23.10%). His simple and choice reaction times improved decreasing the simple reaction time to 305 (-4.98%) milliseconds and the choice reaction time to 405 (-10.99%) milliseconds. The Dynavision D2 average reaction time decreased to 0.46 milliseconds (-17.86%). Upon exit, improvements in optokinetic response was shown in the horizontal plane from left to right.

Conclusion: The authors suggest further investigation into multi-modal, intensive approaches to improve processing speed, reaction time performance and primitive reflexes in patients on the autism spectrum.


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  4. Wells A, Hoffman J, Beyer K, Jajtner A, Gonzalez A, Townsend J, Mangine G, Robinson E, McCormack W, Fragala M, Stout J. Reliability of the DynavisionTM D2 for Assesing Reaction Time Performance. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2014) 13, 145-150.

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