Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Seizure Disorder of Epilepsy

National Seizure Disorders Foundation logo National Seizure Disorders Foundation continues to honor Autism Awareness month exploring the connection between Autism and seizures. Statistics show 30% of people living with Autism also experience seizures. Because NSDF believes this statistic to be outdated( from 2009), education brought to our readers is crucial. Are you aware children developing Autism can go on to develop the seizure disorder Epilepsy?

Read the facts from TACA and NCBI:

Seizures in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Seizures are a significant concern and are relatively common in individuals with ASD. In fact seizures are the most prevalent neurological disorder associated with ASD. While 1-2% of children in the general population develop epilepsy, the prevalence of epilepsy in ASD is much higher with estimates varying widely from 5% to 38%. Some individuals with ASD develop seizures in childhood, some at puberty, and some at adulthood. Although the prevalence of seizures by age is not well studied, recent studies suggest the risk of seizure remains high into adulthood. Seizures are associated with increased mortality and morbidity in individuals with ASD and are the leading cause of mortality in adults with ASD. Certain subgroups of individuals with ASD have a higher risk for developing seizures and epilepsy; these subgroups include individuals with comorbid intellectual disabilities, genetic abnormalities and/or brain malformations. Diagnosis of seizures in children with autism spectrum disorder Sometimes it is clear that a person experienced a seizure. However, in children with ASD subtle symptoms of seizures are very difficult to differentiate from abnormal behaviors commonly associated with ASD and in other children with ASD behaviors that appear to be seizure-like are not seizures. For example, it is common for children with ASD to have staring episodes, motor tics and stereotyped movements which are not seizures. It is important to determine if these abnormalities are seizures or another neurological abnormality since they are treated very differently. Thus, in many cases where it is unclear whether the observed behavior is a seizure or not, an extended overnight electroencephalogram should be strongly considered in order to obtain a clear and accurate diagnosis and to capture the suspicious behavior. Read the entire article HERE (1) Autism and Epilepsy: What Has Regression Got to Do with It? The relationship among epilepsy, autism, and regression is a poorly understood and controversial subject. In this brief review, examples of epileptic encephalopathies associated with regression of language and behavior and their overlap with autistic regression are discussed. Epilepsy and autism are both heterogeneous clinical disorders associated with an array of etiologies and pathologies, many of which are common to both groups of disorders. There is a paucity of data on how many children with epilepsy have autism. Recent studies suggest that as many as one third of children with epilepsy are at risk of having an autism spectrum disorder and that this risk is highest in those children who have seizure onset at a younger age(2) There are several epilepsy syndromes in which regression of language, cognition, and behavior may lead to clinical manifestations that overlap with the behavioral syndrome of autism. In addition, for a subgroup of children with autism who have a history of regression in language and social behavior, the role of epilepsy has been a source of controversy, challenging both researchers and clinicians. Furthermore, there are many case reports demonstrating that epilepsy can directly affect cognition and behavior, and there are several epileptic disorders that may cause behavioral and language regression, with a behavioral phenotype similar to autism (3). Despite the importance of the relationship among autism, epilepsy, and regression, the subject remains poorly understood and controversial. Read the entire article HERE National Seizure Disorders Foundation invites you to comment: After reading this information and the articles mention, what is your view of the connection between Autism Spectrum Disorder and seizure disorder/Epilepsy? Your thoughts are important to National Seizure Disorders Foundation and your words matter to millions. Take a moment to speak up in the comment section below. Our mission is to provide the highest quality resources for your empowerment, enlightenment, inspiration and entertainment. tonya-signature1
    References (1)Richard E. Frye, M.D., Ph.D., Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Little Rock, AR And TACA Physician Advisory Member (2,3)
  • Steffenburg S, Gillberg C, Steffenburg U. Psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents with mental retardation and active epilepsy. Arch Neurol. 1996;53:904–912. [PubMed]
  • Clarke DF, Roberts W, Daraksan M, Dupuis A, McCabe J, Wood H, Snead OC, 3rd, Weiss SK. The prevalence of autistic spectrum disorder in children surveyed in a tertiary care epilepsy clinic. Epilepsia. 2005;46:1970–1977. [PubMed]
  • Deonna T, Roulet-Perez E. Cognitive and Behavioral Disorders of Epileptic Origin in Children. London, UK: Mac Keith Press, Cambridge University Press; 2005.

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