Delayed prefrontal hemodynamic response associated with suicide risk in autism spectrum disorder

Toyosaku Ota, Junzo Iida, Kosuke Okazaki, Rio Ishida, Masato Takahashi, Kazuya Okamura, Kazuhiko Yamamuro, Naoko Kishimoto, Sohei Kimoto, Yuka Yasuda, Ryota Hashimoto, Manabu Makinodan, Toshifumi Kishimoto

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4 Scopus citations


Adults diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are at high risk of experiencing suicidality compared with other clinical groups. Recently, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) studies have investigated the association between frontotemporal functional abnormalities and suicidality in patients with mood disorders. However, whether these prefrontal hemodynamic responses are associated with suicide vulnerability in individuals with ASD remains unclear. Here, we used 24-channel NIRS to examine the characteristics of prefrontal hemodynamic responses during a verbal fluency task in 20 adults with ASD and in age-, sex-, and intelligence quotient-matched healthy controls. In addition, we used Spearman's correlation analysis to identify the relationship between the time-course of prefrontal hemodynamic activation and the current suicide risk in patients with ASD. We found no significant differences between the verbal fluency task-induced prefrontal hemodynamic responses in the ASD vs. control group. However, we found a significant positive correlation between the current suicide risk score and the time-course of prefrontal hemodynamic activation in the ASD group. Thus, the 24-channel NIRS system appears to be useful in assessing suicide risk in individuals with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112971
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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