Autism linked to treatment-resistant epilepsy

Posted on 19 April 2011

People with idiopathic autism, who may be paying for care, are at a higher risk of developing treatment-resistant epilepsy, research has found.

Earlier onset of seizures and delayed global development were linked to a higher frequency of resistance to antiepileptic drugs, research published online in journal Epilepsia has found.

According to study authors, more than one-third of participants with autism were found to have treatment-resistent autism.

Dr Orrin Devinsky concluded: "Further studies are needed to explore the association between chronic epilepsy and autism."

This follows research that revealed a common genetic cause of autism and epilepsy, further linking the two conditions.

The study, published online in journal Human Molecular Genetics, found that a severe mutation of the synapsin gene (SYN1) was present in all members of a large family with epilepsy, some of who also had autism.

Scientists believe that almost one-third of people with autism also have epilepsy, although the reason for this is as of yet unclear.

Posted by Toby Mynott

 

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