Brief Report: Can a Composite Heart Rate Variability Biomarker Shed New Insights About Autism Spectrum Disorder in School-Aged Children?
Several studies show altered heart rate variability (HRV) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but findings are neither universal nor specific to ASD. We apply a set of linear and nonlinear HRV measures-including phase rectified signal averaging-to segments of resting ECG data collected from school-age children with ASD, age-matched typically developing controls, and children with other psychiatric conditions characterized by altered HRV (conduct disorder, depression). We use machine learning to identify time, frequency, and geometric signal-analytical domains that are specific to ASD (receiver operating curve area = 0.89). This is the first study to differentiate children with ASD from other disorders characterized by altered HRV. Despite a small cohort and lack of external validation, results warrant larger prospective studies.
Frasch, MG; Shen, C; Wu, H-T; Mueller, A; Neuhaus, E; Bernier, RA; Kamara, D; Beauchaine, TP
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