Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Posted on Wednesday, October 27 @ 17:15:58 EDT by
In this 18 minute episode of Autism Talk TV I sit down with Lindsay Oberman at Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to talk about TMS, a technology that allows researchers to use magnets to affect the brains of individuals with Autism. First we have an interview with Lindsay and then you can watch me undergoing TMS.
Lindsay discusses the details of TMS and how it relates to Autism. She has been interested in Autism since she was a graduate student and clearly has a passion for finding out how autistic brains differ from neurotypical ones.
I was surprised that the TMS researchers were able to use a magnet to move my hand and individual fingers. The region they affected on me was the motor cortex which governs movement. The idea that you can use a magnet to make changes to the brain sounds like science fiction, but it isn't fiction at all.
Lindsay is close to conclusively figuring out exactly how autistic brains differ from neurotypical brains. There is great potential for TMS being used as a diagnostic tool as well as a theraputic tool.
I think the technology is cool but it will never replace conventional interventions such as PECS, speech and occupational therapy, sensory integration therapy, special education with small class size, special college and residential programs, social skills training, etc.
WOAH! I am sorry, but please correct me if I have this wrong?
This is the initial development of a technology that REPROGRAMMES HUMAN BRAINS? Am I right. It makes them function better? Or does it make a brain work the way the programmer wants to?
It changes the connections? Am I wrong? This is the re-hardwiring of how brains have developed? Non-invasive brain stimulation? Brain plasticity? ABERRANT PLASTICITY. She says around 4:30 minutes in that they want to use this to pre empt and change aberrant plasticities that are identified as Autism symptoms. Sounds perfectly safe does it not?
This is beyond curing. This is programming.
Has no one else realized what this technology will lead to? Cureby parents want customized, designer children. High-functioning Neurotypicals. The pure and acceptable. EASY MADAM! WE JUST ZAP JUNIOR IN THE RIGHT PARTS OF THEIR BRAIN. ER...FANCY A BIAS TOWARDS THE ARTS, OR FINANCE OR SCIENCE? HOMOSEXUAL? SURE, WE CAN CHANGE THAT TOO. Think about it. Where does the designing of people end?
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by rondeau Thursday, November 04 @ 18:45:47 EDT (User Info | Send a Message)
When I was younger I commented on improvement for better communication involved re-wiring of the brain; that brought the house down. My methods for re-wiring required such an enormous amount of effort that the process could hardly ever become main stream as it were. So I am quite elated to discover that an easier method is in development. This re-wiring as I see it will not make anyone less autistic in terms of operations, it will simply enhance those abilities such as in communication that are not as efficiently wired, and in so doing will delete out of that child’s life all that comes with poor communication skills. Quite frankly, the baggage that came with not having adequate social skills, I could have happily done without.
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by KissOfMarmaladeSky Sunday, December 05 @ 16:34:36 EST (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
I know I sound close-minded when I say this, but I feel that you want to cure us instead us help us be understood. Why would you want to rewire our minds?
I'm not getting this...I thought WP was Aspie-friendly...
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by swiftlorain Monday, November 15 @ 08:02:51 EST (User Info | Send a Message)
My son (21 yrs old) received a series (27 sessions) of rtms from a facility in Irvine last summer. Dh and I think that was a waste of time and money because we did not detect any change in our son's behavior, or his level of ability to communicate. I'm not sure what we were expecting, but in the least, we thought he would be able to demonstrate a better ability to express himself after receiving the amount of treatments he did over the course of 8-10 weeks. He did not. I wonder if the technique was done correctly? Is there a way to ask Dr Lindsay Oberman on her opinion on this?
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by swiftlorain Monday, November 15 @ 08:04:11 EST (User Info | Send a Message)
My son (21 yrs old) received a series (27 sessions) of rtms in a facility in Irvine, CA last summer. Dh and I think that was a waste of time and money because we did not detect any change in our son's behavior, or his level of ability to communicate. I'm not sure what we were expecting, but in the least, we thought he would be able to demonstrate a better ability to express himself after receiving the amount of treatments he did over the course of 8-10 weeks. He did not. I wonder if the technique was done correctly? Is there a way to ask Dr Lindsay Oberman on her opinion on this?
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by techstepgenr8tion Saturday, November 20 @ 15:42:27 EST (User Info | Send a Message)
Am I right in understanding that they've pinned the mechanism of AS/autism down to hyper-plasticity in the brain? If so that discovery alone is profound.
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by bjcirceleb Friday, December 31 @ 06:37:21 EST (User Info | Send a Message)
TMS was first advocated as a more humane form of ECT for people with mental illnesses, like anything the placebo affect is amazing. It is not safe to put electricity through peoples brains and nor is it safe to put magnetic stimulation on people's brains.
In the more recent studies of ECT they have been able to create a real placebo affect which they have not been able to do in the past. In the past people either had the treatment or they did not and everyone knew who was getting it and who was not. Now they are giving them all the anithestic, and the muscle relaxant (which iteslf causes sore limbs when the person wakes) and then only half of them get the shocks. But the psychiatrists treating the person, the person themselves, and the nurses on the wards have absolutely no idea of who is getting the shocks and who is not, and now they are finding it be a very ineffective treatment. The fact is people need things to work, they want to believe in a million and one things and people themselves if they wanted ECT will say it worked, just because they want it to so badly.
These magnetics need to be turned on in some way . If in the research they really wanted to know the true extent of the effectiveness of it, they would only turn it on for half the people, but still hold it over the heads of the others and not let the treatment providers or families know who was recieving what. But they have never done that.
As for the assertions it can improve communication, how do they propose that will happen?? All they are doing is holding magnets near the parts of the brain they think are responsible for communication and apparently that alone is going to create better communication?? That is as flawed science as the assertion that ECT kills bad brain cells while leaving the good ones intake. Exactly how do they propose that the electricity going through someones brains knows which brain cells to attack and which ones not to???
If you want to try this on yourself, do it for cheap, simply get a couple of magnets and hold them together near certain parts of your head. Apparently it has magically cures and can cure everything under the sun, it can even make people talk better!!!!????
While I respect this program I have no respect for so called scientists who give people false hopes. Common sense should dictate that holding a magnet to someones head will not make them any more able to communicate than they already could!!!
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by Ble900 Tuesday, August 30 @ 16:23:32 EDT (User Info | Send a Message)
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Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by jeicoll Monday, November 01 @ 20:35:35 EDT (User Info | Send a Message)
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Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by momsparky Tuesday, November 02 @ 12:02:16 EDT (User Info | Send a Message)
Alex, I can't tell you how much I enjoy Autism Talk TV - especially you and Jack at the beginnings. You guys are awesome.
I am wondering about the science mentioned herein. Is the idea that the Autistic brain is plastic still theory, or is it a generally accepted idea? I can see where this might explain the differences with Autism...and the difference between the "degrees," e.g. Autism and Aspergers - maybe Aspergians have some neural pathways but not many, which is why I can see they are perceived to be rigid - they must guard those pathways carefully.
However, this also implies something else: Autistic people cannot learn, at least, not in the traditional brain-wiring sense of the word. I am not in any way implying that this means that they are static - just that traditional teaching methods are all geared towards creating neural shortcuts or pathways, and this may be why so many schools are styimed by kids on the spectrum.
It is possible also to surmise that Autistic people have more raw processing power, and might not need shortcuts if they can go through all the roundabout neurology quickly and efficiently - but this requires a whole new way of thinking about teaching these kids.
I wonder if anyone is working on this idea.
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by Thom_Fuleri Saturday, October 30 @ 18:26:17 EDT (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
I cannot help but remain highly skeptical - especially given that using magnets to "treat" illness was how mesmerism started out a century or so back! - but I hope this leads to something interesting in the future.
Curious question - could this technology also cause aspie tendencies (perhaps temporarily) in NTs?
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by Moog Thursday, October 28 @ 14:39:52 EDT (User Info | Send a Message | Journal)
Interesting video. The first Autism Talk video that 'stimulated' me into writing a comment.
I'd not heard of a reason for the autism/epilepsy link before. Also enjoyed Lindsay's description of the autistic brain as like a city without enough main roads.
The stuff about theta brainwaves caught my interest. Meditation is a 'technology' that can also put someone into a deep theta state, and can make fundamental changes in the way mind, brain and body operate.
The way Jack described his experience of TMS, I can imagine this technology being used for recreational use as well as therapeutic, putting people in altered states like certain psychoactive drugs do. Or even giving experiences to humans that have so far impossible, or difficult to create on demand.
Like most technologies, I can imagine this one both helping and harming. I hope it does more of the former.
So, how long 'til we get one of these units at home? :-D
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by sartresue Thursday, October 28 @ 17:24:19 EDT (User Info | Send a Message)
Personality magnet topic
I am all for the kind of plasticity that enhances AS.
I rather doubt that TMS would be developed as a cure, and I am thanking the Harvard researchers for this in advance!!
Re: Autism Talk TV - Ep. 10 - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Score: 1) by TB Thursday, October 28 @ 13:42:45 EDT (User Info | Send a Message)
haha i love the facial expressions on alex during that interview.
I found this episode to be well done and quite interesting, even thought-provoking. It bothers me a bit to think about how this kind of potential effect on the brain could possibly some day actually be mis-used with young children, but then I also wonder what effect it might have on some of my own "mis-fires" or mis-connections or whatever it is I occasionally experience.
Overall, my compliments to the doctor, Alex and everyone else involved here.