A Chan dietary intervention enhances executive functions and anterior cingulate activity in autism spectrum disorders: A randomized controlled trial

Agnes S. CHAN, Sophia L. SZE, Yvonne Ming Yee HAN, Mei Chun CHEUNG

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13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Executive dysfunctions have been found to be related to repetitive/disinhibited behaviors and social deficits in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This study aims to investigate the potential effect of a Shaolin-medicine-based dietary modification on improving executive functions and behavioral symptoms of ASD and exploring the possible underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. Twenty-four children with ASD were randomly assigned into the experimental (receiving dietary modification for one month) and the control (no modification) groups. Each child was assessed on his/her executive functions, behavioral problems based on parental ratings, and event-related electroencephalography (EEG) activity during a response-monitoring task before and after the one month. The experimental group demonstrated significantly improved mental flexibility and inhibitory control after the diet modification, which continued to have a large effect size within the low-functioning subgroup. Such improvements coincided with positive evaluations by their parents on social communication abilities and flexible inhibitory control of daily behaviors and significantly enhanced event-related EEG activity at the rostral and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, the control group did not show any significant improvements. These positive outcomes of a one-month dietary modification on children with ASD have implicated its potential clinical applicability for patients with executive function deficits. Copyright © 2012 Agnes S. Chan et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article number262136
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Citation

Chan, A. S., Sze, S. L., Han, Y. M. Y., & Cheung, M.-c. (2012). A Chan dietary intervention enhances executive functions and anterior cingulate activity in autism spectrum disorders: A randomized controlled trial. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, art no. 262136.

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