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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Type of registration
Retrospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Can repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) alter motor function in autism and Asperger's disorder?
Scientific title
The use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to improve movement-related cortical potentials in autism and Asperger's disorder
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Autism 252116 0
Asperger's disorder 252117 0
Condition category
Condition code
Mental Health 252321 252321 0 0
Autistic spectrum disorders

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). rTMS is a non-invasive procedure that involves the administration of magnetic pulses to the scalp, which are able to stimulate the underlying brain tissue (i.e., cause brain cells to become active). rTMS can be used to either increase or decrease activity in a certain part of the brain.
The application of TMS involves 15 minutes of 1 Hz rTMS (i.e., 1 pulse per second for 15 minutes) to (a) primary motor cortex and (b) supplementary motor area. These are done in separate sessions. All participants will receive both arms, plus the control treatment (Sham rTMS). The order of the three conditions (i.e., rTMS to primary motor cortex, rTMS to supplementary motor area, Sham rTMS) will be randomised. There is one week between each of the three conditions.
Intervention code [1] 241500 0
Treatment: Devices
Comparator / control treatment
Sham repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. This involves the administration of rTMS as described in the intervention, but the TMS coil is angled away from the scalp; thus, no magnetic pulses are delivered to the brain.
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 253186 0
Movement-related cortical potentials (electroencephalogram [EEG] measures of pre-movement brain activity)
Timepoint [1] 253186 0
Immediately before and after rTMS
Secondary outcome [1] 262122 0
Cortical excitability (measured via TMS)
Timepoint [1] 262122 0
Immediately before and after rTMS

Key inclusion criteria
Diagnosis of high-functionng autism or Asperger's disorder
Minimum age
14 Years
Maximum age
30 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
Metal in the head (outside of the mouth)
History of serious head injury
Comorbid psychiatric or neurological illness
Genetic disorder
Serious medical condition

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Masking / blinding
Blinded (masking used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

Intervention assignment
Other design features
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis

Recruitment status
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 243965 0
Name [1] 243965 0
Cure Autism Now Foundation
Address [1] 243965 0
2 Park Avenue
11th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Country [1] 243965 0
United States of America
Primary sponsor type
Monash University
Wellington Rd
Clayton VIC 3800
Secondary sponsor category [1] 251320 0
Name [1] 251320 0
Alfred Hospital
Address [1] 251320 0
Commercial Rd
Melbourne VIC 3004
Country [1] 251320 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 244081 0
Alfred Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [1] 244081 0
The Alfred
Commercial Rd
Melbourne VIC 3004
Ethics committee country [1] 244081 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 244081 0
Approval date [1] 244081 0
Ethics approval number [1] 244081 0

Brief summary
Impairments in motor functioning are well documented in autism and Asperger's disorder, and are associated with specific brain processes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can be used to improve motor function in autism and Asperger's disorder. rTMS involves the administration of magnetic pulses to the scalp, and can be used to alter brain activity. Participants will complete 3 separate sessions (one week apart) in which a different type of rTMS will be administered. They will complete motor tasks before and after each rTMS application, and brain activity will be recorded via electrodes placed on the scalp. It is expected that stimulation of a brain region called the "supplementary motor area," which is involved in preparing movement, will result in an improvement of motor function.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 30460 0
Address 30460 0
Country 30460 0
Phone 30460 0
Fax 30460 0
Email 30460 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 13707 0
Dr. Peter Enticott
Address 13707 0
Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre
Level 1, Old Baker Building
Commercial Rd
The Alfred
Melbourne VIC 3004
Country 13707 0
Phone 13707 0
+61 3 9076 6594
Fax 13707 0
Email 13707 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 4635 0
Dr. Peter Enticott
Address 4635 0
Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre
Level 1, Old Baker Building
Commercial Rd
The Alfred
Melbourne VIC 3004
Country 4635 0
Phone 4635 0
+61 3 9076 6594
Fax 4635 0
Email 4635 0

No information has been provided regarding IPD availability
Summary results
Have study results been published in a peer-reviewed journal?
Other publications
Have study results been made publicly available in another format?
Results – basic reporting
Results – plain English summary