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:12/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... "I have ... "I used this old family recipe, which is meant to relieve gout and pain ... gave me a 12-hour energy boost every time. It relieved what VA doctors called ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... An inventor from Cana, Va., wanted ... all types of amusement park rides. , The patent-pending SAFETY STRAP FOR AMPUTEES improves ... use and could be set up in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Smithsburg, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 ... ... intelligent digital whiteboard display solutions, proudly announced today that a new solution for ... package to fit in the tight space in Emergency Department examination rooms, and ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The West Virginia Medical Institute (WVMI) announced ... name change aligns the entire company with its existing Quality Insights branded projects ... are very proud of the achievements associated with the West Virginia Medical Institute ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... LLC, announced the first national #QuackGivesBack campaign which supported local breast cancer ... our first franchise-wide Quack Gives Back initiative, and we’re very pleased ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... , Dec. 9, 2016 Department of Health ... regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries under Act 16 are ... , and are now available online . ... in the plan for operation; process for dispensing medical ... well as where the dispensary facilities can be located," ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Forge Therapeutics, Inc. today announced ... Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) to advance its ... treatment of bacterial infections including those caused by ... an attractive antibacterial target for more than the ... chemical starting points has hampered its progress. Forge ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Australia Ophthalmic Lasers Market Outlook ... Ophthalmic Lasers Market Outlook to 2022", provides key market ... provides value, in millions of US dollars, volume (in ... Excimer Lasers, Femtosecond Lasers and YAG Lasers. The ... for each of these market segements, and global corporate-level ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: