Objectives: Aim of the study was to determine the prevalence and the longitudinal outcome of epilepsy in a group of children with Autism (ASD) and to describe the clinical course over time
Methods: A 10 years follow up study of epilepsy in ASD is herein presented. Patients: 129 children and adolescents with ASD, 103 Males; 26 Females; 15.5 ys mean age, SD +/- 3.9 (mean Age at baseline =7.8). DSM-IV diagnosis: Autistic Disorder n=113, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS n=15; Asperger disorder n=1
Results: Epilepsy at baseline n=18/129 (14%); 12 Males and 6 Females. Epi and Epileptiform abnormalities(EA) were detected in n=11/18 (8.5%) Epileptiform abnormalities without seizures in n=40/129 (31%); 25 Males and 15 Females. At follow up epilepsy was still present in n=14/129 with a decrease from 14% to 11% (p<0.01) males and 4 females with a ratio of 2.2:1. Epileptiform abnormalities were observed n=20/129 from 31% to 15.5% (p<0.001); 10 males and 10 females 1:1. Epilepsy with EA n=7 from 8.5% to 3.5%
Conclusions: The course of seizures over time in this group of patients with ASD was characterized bur a mild decrease of prevalence of epilepsy and a more significant reduction of EA without seizures. AED treatmenht is possibly implicated in such an outcome. The influence of epilepsy on ASD core symptoms was of secondary importance as to the overall evolution.
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