Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental conditions characterised by early-onset difficulties in social communication and unusually restricted repetitive behaviour and interests. Multiple lines of evidence directly or indirectly suggest an involvement in autism of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays a pivotal role in the development and plasticity of the brain. Recent studies have demonstrated the neuroprotective effect of acupuncture-induced activation of BDNF in many neurological disorders. In view of these findings, we hypothesise the potential therapeutic effect of acupuncture-induced activation of BDNF in the treatment of ASD.
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