Autism Frequently Missed in Children With Epilepsy

14 Dec

A recent study presented at the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting suggests that developmental delay in general and autism in specific might be undetected in a large fraction of children with epilepsy.

In Autism Frequently Missed in Children With Epilepsy, Allison Shelley of Medscape writes:

In a study presented here, the investigators tracked children younger than 5 years seen at an epilepsy monitoring unit and a ketogenic diet clinic for about half a year. They asked parents of the 44 children to complete the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, as well as an autism screening tool.

Most of the children (77%) screened positive for developmental delay; of these participants, a strong proportion (36%) had autism.

More than a third of patients had not been previously diagnosed as having developmental delay or autism and were referred for confirmatory evaluation.

Here is a video from the American Epilepsy Society discussing this:

The study is relatively small and is, to my knowledge, as yet unpublished. But it does present a potentially important idea that people with epilepsy should be screened for autism.

2 Responses to “Autism Frequently Missed in Children With Epilepsy”

  1. Kassiane December 14, 2011 at 09:57 #

    Anecdotally speaking, I wouldn’t be surprised if this goes both ways…a lot of partial complex & absence stuff can be mistaken for “being autistic”…I know I’ve had a lot of misunderstandings bc I looked like I was just on planet not-here, but planet not-here was “having a partial complex seizure”. Or the other way around, where I was spacing out/shutting down & someone was all “OMG SEIZURE”. It wouldn’t surprise me even a little if a lot of people w.epilepsy were undiagnosed autistic AND a lot of autistic people had undiagnosed seizure activity.

    There’s also The Difference Slot issue (you can only be 1 kind of different at a time!)

  2. Roland Stehlin November 12, 2012 at 09:45 #

    The great thing about Ketogenic Diet is that it helps the body burn down fats more easily. ”

    My very own blog

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