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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Epilepsy and ASD

In The Politics of AutismI discuss dangers facing autistic people, including co-occurring conditions such as epilepsy.

At The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, "Shiny Thomas, Mary E. Hovinga, Dheeraj Rai and Brian K. Lee have an article title "Brief Report: Prevalence of Co-occurring Epilepsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder: The U.S. National Survey of Children’s Health 2011–2012."

The abstract:
Epilepsy is reported to co-occur in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous studies across the world have found prevalence estimates ranging from 4 to 38 %. We examined parent-reported prevalence of co-occurring epilepsy and ASD in the most recent U.S. National Survey of Children’s Health, 2011–2012. All analyses accounted for survey weights to account for the complex sampling design. In the overall analytic sample of 85,248 children ages 2–17, there were 1604 children with ASD (prevalence of 1.8 %) and 1083 children with epilepsy (prevalence of 1.2 %). Epilepsy was reported to co-occur in 8.6 % of ASD cases. In children with ASD, the co-occurrence of epilepsy was associated with increasing child age, female gender, intellectual disability, speech problems and lower socioeconomic status.
From the article:
Finally, epilepsy was more common in ASD children with lower family income, consistent with what has been observed in the general, non-ASD population. The relationship between low socioeconomic status and incidence of epilepsy and ASD is not well-understood. However, low socioeconomic status is associated with adverse perinatal outcomes such as intrauterine growth restriction or preterm birth that may increase risk of epilepsy or neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD. The complex relationship between socioeconomic status, epilepsy, and ASD deserve further investigation.