A Bibliometric Analysis of Global Research Status and Trends in Neuromodulation Techniques in the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder

SOURCE: BMC Psychiatry. 23(1):183, 2023 Mar 20.

AUTHORS: Xiao L; Huo X; Wang Y; Li W; Li M; Wang C; Wang F; Sun T

BACKGROUND: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disease which has risen to become the main cause of childhood disability, placing a heavy burden on families and society. To date, the treatment of patients with ASD remains a complicated problem, for which neuromodulation techniques are a promising solution. This study analyzed the global research situation of neuromodulation techniques in the treatment of ASD from 1992 to 2022, aiming to explore the global research status and frontier trends in this field.

METHODS: The Web of Science (WoS) was searched for literature related to neuromodulation techniques for ASD from 1992 to October 2022. A knowledge atlas to analyze collaboration among countries, institutions, authors, publishing journals, reference co-citation patterns, keyword co-occurrence, keyword clustering, and burst keywords was constructed using Rstudio software, CiteSpace, and VOSviewer.

RESULTS: In total, 392 publications related to the treatment of ASD using neuromodulation techniques were included. Despite some fluctuations, the number of publications in this field has shown a growing trend in recent years. The United States and Deakin University are the leading country and institution in this field, respectively. The greatest contributing authors are Peter G Enticott, Manuel F Casanova, and Paul B Fitzgerald et al. The most prolific and cited journal is Brain Stimulation and the most commonly co-cited journal is The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The most frequently cited article was that of Simone Rossi (Safety, ethical considerations, and application guidelines for the use of transverse magnetic stimulation in clinical practice and research, 2009). “Obsessive-compulsive disorder,” “transcranial direct current stimulation,” “working memory,” “double blind” and “adolescent” were identified as hotspots and frontier trends of neuromodulation techniques in the treatment of ASD.

CONCLUSION: The application of neuromodulation techniques for ASD has attracted the attention of researchers worldwide. Restoring the social ability and improving the comorbid symptoms in autistic children and adults have always been the focus of research. Neuromodulation techniques have demonstrated significant advantages and effects on these issues. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are new therapeutic methods introduced in recent years, and are also directions for further exploration.

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE: https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-023-04666-3