Autism Research lectures bring together scientists and scholars to discuss diverse and important topics related to autism.
On 7 September 2016, Ruth O’Hara discussed the field’s current understanding of sleep in autism spectrum disorder.
Her talk was part of the Simons Foundation Autism Research lecture series.
Understanding sleep physiology in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) not only provides a window to the underlying etiology, it can also help characterize sub-phenotypes and offer a potent treatment approach for improving neuropsychiatric and neurocognitive function in ASD through improved sleep.
Ruth O’Hara discussed the field’s current understanding of sleep in ASD, including: a) describing how sleep physiology in ASD differs from sleep physiology in typically developing children; b) discussing the different potential ASD phenotypes suggested by her work; and c) describing the different sleep architecture, sleep disturbances, and sleep disorders that are more prevalent in ASD than in typically developing children and which can serve as treatment targets that may in turn improve the core symptoms of ASD.