epilepsy / a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
Helio Pediatric Annals
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy (click for full article)
Autism and Epilepsy
Figure 1. Relationship between incidence of idiopathic autism and epilepsy. EEG = electroencephalogram. Image courtesy of Amy Francis, DO. Note two peaks of seizure onset.
Epidemiology of ASD
The lifetime co-occurrence of epilepsy and ASD is extremely variable and ranges from 5% to 46%.4 The prevalence of epilepsy in children with ASD is between 7% to 14%, and the cumulative prevalence by adulthood ranges from 20% to 35%7 (Figure 1).
Even with conservative estimates, these prevalence rates are substantially higher than in the general population, and are the basis for confirming that ASD is a risk factor for the development of epilepsy.4 There appears to be a bimodal incidence of epilepsy, although not clearly defined, with one peak occurring in the preschool years (younger than 5 years) and a second peak in adolescence (older than 10 years).5 (Figure 1)
For individuals with ASD and intellectual disability, prevalence rates of epilepsy of up to 21% have been reported and are 2.6 times more likely than for those children with ASD but without intellectual disability.8 Among children with ASD and severe intellectual disability (IQ < 55), the average age of seizure onset is 3.5 years. For those with mild intellectual disability (IQ 55–69), the average age of seizure onset is 7.2 years.8 Prevalence is related to both etiology and severity, and epilepsy is more prevalent in children with autism combined with cerebral palsy (27%) and cerebral palsy plus severe mental retardation (67%) than in those without.9 Syndromic autism and severe intellectual disability also occurred more often in individuals with epilepsy.10
Much, much more including MRI and EEG info: Please read full article….
Note that the “Conclusion” boils down to SEE A PEDIATRICIAN who can establish a PHYSICAL BASELINE for your specific child. If your pediatrician doesn’t understand or deal with “brain issues” get a different doctor or see a specialist: the money you spend now is likely MINISCULE compared to what you will spend if you seek diagnosis from a psychologist first (psychologists are not medical doctors, psychiatrists are). Psychologists do not deal with the “physical reality” that all behavior arises from our PHYSICAL BRAIN-BODY; they work from “theories” that are not proven, nor can be proven by use of the scientific method.
Epilepsy is common in children and young adults with autism, but the relationship is complicated and controversial. (Hint: Turf wars) Though epilepsy is considered to be a negative prognostic factor (poor outcome) for children with autism, advances in understanding specific genetic pathways underlying seizures and autism hold the promise of new treatments and improved long-term outcomes. Concurrent epilepsy and autism are strongly associated with lower cognitive and adaptive behavior levels. Remission rate of epilepsy in children with autism and intellectual disability is only 16%.8 Adults with epilepsy, autism, and intellectual disability experience lower adaptive functioning and encounter more barriers as they transition from pediatric to adult medical care.
Children with autism and seizures represent a unique group of children with special health care needs, and it is important for the general pediatrician to establish a medical home for this population. Early diagnosis and ongoing care coordination is necessary. Ensuring early intervention services, coordinating pediatric subspecialty referrals, managing medications, encouraging an appropriate educational experience, supporting parents, and planning for transition are key elements in providing a medical home for children with autism and seizures.