Navigation Links
Many With Autism Also Have Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy: Study
Date:4/20/2011

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Many people with autism also have epilepsy that doesn't respond to treatment, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at the medical records of 127 children and adults aged 3 to 49 with autism who had had one or more seizures. The patients had been referred to the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in New York City over a 20-year period because they had also been diagnosed with epilepsy or it was suspected they might have epilepsy, said study lead author Dr. Orrin Devinsky.

About 34 percent of the patients were found to have treatment-resistant epilepsy, meaning their seizures continued despite medications. A few also underwent surgery -- vagus nerve stimulation, in which an electrical device is implanted to stimulate a nerve that runs near the carotid artery of the neck.

Another 28 percent were seizure-free after treatment.

For the other 39 percent of patients, researchers didn't have enough information to determine if their seizures were treatment-resistant or not.

"This highlights that epilepsy is common in autism, and in a large percentage of cases, the epilepsy is treatment-resistant," said Devinksy, a professor of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry at NYU Langone School of Medicine and director of the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.

"Epilepsy is a bad disorder. Recurrent seizures can injure the brain, can cause structural damage to the brain and can be deadly over time," he added.

The findings are published in the May issue of the journal Epilepsia.

The researchers found other differences between those who had treatment-resistant epilepsy and others with autism who'd experienced seizures.

Overall, the average age of the first seizure was 8, according to the study. But the medical records suggest that patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy tended to have their seizures start earlier in childhood (about age 6) than those whose epilepsy responded to treatment (about age 11).

Autistic children with epilepsy also tended to be more impaired than those without epilepsy. About 54 percent of those with treatment-resistant epilepsy had motor skills delays, compared to 35 percent of those with treatable epilepsy. Also, those with treatment-resistant epilepsy had more language delays (72 percent versus 65 percent), and were somewhat more likely to experience development regression, the study suggested.

Autism experts have long known that many people with autism also suffer from epilepsy, said Clara Lajonchere, vice president of clinical programs for Autism Speaks. Prior research suggests about 30 percent of people with autism also have epilepsy, while new research suggests the prevalence may even be higher.

A study published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Child Neurology found that 39 percent of those with autism who'd donated brain tissue had epilepsy. "There seems to be increased mortality in people with autism and epilepsy as compared to those with autism alone," said Lajonchere, senior author of that study.

People with autism are more likely than those in the general population to experience "sudden, unexplained death," she said, adding that some of those deaths are likely from seizures.

It's not fully understood why seizures can be deadly, Devinksy said, but it's believed that seizures can interfere with breathing, brain function and heart rhythms.

Both experts agree that much more needs to be learned about epilepsy and autism, including possibly screening children diagnosed with autism for epilepsy.

"They are already dealing with cognitive, social and emotional problems," Devinksy said. "And now you add to it epilepsy. It adds to the overall problem of autism."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on autism.

SOURCES: Orrin Devinsky, M.D., professor, neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry, NYU Langone School of Medicine, and director, NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, New York City; Clara Lajonchere, Ph.D., vice president, clinical programs, Autism Speaks, New York City; May 1, 2011, Epilepsia


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Toys"R"Us, Inc. Expands its Support of Autism Speaks Throughout North America
2. Local Carrollton Center Hosting More than 50 Autism Experts from Coast-to-Coast
3. Autism-Related Hypersensitivity Better Understood
4. Autism Science Foundation Offers IMFAR Grants to Autism Stakeholders
5. Another Study Refutes Vaccination-Autism Link
6. Bonding Hormone Might Help Some With Autism
7. Autisms earliest symptoms not evident in children under 6 months
8. True Signs of Autism May Not Appear Until 1st Birthday
9. Court Orders Reinstatement of Vital, Cost-Saving Treatment for Children With Autism
10. Sumner Redstone Donates $1 Million to Autism Speaks to Support Autism Research and Programs
11. A mothers sensitivity may help language growth in children with autism spectrum disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... and Android devices. VisualDx is the first point of care diagnostic support ... general medicine. The system speeds diagnosis, therapy decisions and patient education for ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... ... is just around the corner. Summer means a lot of different things to people. ... all day and night. Parents often lament the coming of summer as they will have ... trips to the beach, backyard cookouts, fireworks on the Fourth of July, and even perhaps ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... , ... Dermatologic surgeons performed nearly 10 million medically necessary and cosmetic procedures ... , The results of the 2015 ASDS Survey on Dermatologic Procedures released today reveal ... the growing popularity of soft-tissue fillers and body sculpting procedures. , For the ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... , The Medical Society of Northern Virginia, Announces DoctorsTelemed?, A telehealth ... Medical Society of Northern Virginia (MSNVA) launches DoctorsTelemed?, a telemedicine solution that ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... , ... May 05, 2016 , ... Nepenthe Laboratory Services ... Elementary School last week to raise non-perishable food item donations for Food for Lane ... Day” hosted on NBC. , “The goal of the assembly was to create an ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... May 4, 2016  It,s time for an upgrade. There are many medical recorders ... 3.5 inch LCD, the illustrious DVMAXX HD  offers unparalleled connectivity and functionality.  Ampronix ... a world class manufacturer of innovative technology.  Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160503/363416 ... ... ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... New Jersey , May 4, 2016 ... its successful completion of an alternative public offering (APO). ... wholly owned operating company, Valeritas, Inc. and a private ... common stock at $5.00 per share. Under ... on May 3, 2016, Valeritas Holdings, Inc. will trade ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... 4, 2016 Research ... "Global Acute lymphocytic Leukemia Market and Competitive ... offering.       (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ... Leukemia Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, ... pipeline products, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia epidemiology, Acute ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: