Effect of hydrotherapy on brain-derived neurotrophic factor in children with an Autism Spectrum disorders

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran

2 Institute of Nursing and Health Research, Ulster University, N. Ireland

3 Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Humanities, Islamic Azad University, Rasht Branch, Rasht, Iran


Hydrotherapy has positive effects on the behavior of people with autism. Studies have shown that BDNF plays an important role in autism neurobiology. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of hydrotherapy on the BDNF level in children with autism spectrum disorders. In this semi-experimental study, a pretest-posttest, control-group design was applied. A total of 32 participants were randomly assigned to the control (n, 16) and experimental (n, 16) groups. The Halliwick intervention continued for eight weeks, three sessions per week for 60 minutes. Blood samples were collected to measure the BDNF level before and after eight weeks of intervention. There was no significant difference between BDNF in pre-test and post-test in control group and experimental groups. There was no significant difference between BDNF levels the control and experimental groups in the pre-test and post-test. (P≤0.05) According to the results, Hydrotherapy on serum BDNF level does not have a significant effect on children with autism spectrum disorders.


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