Epilepsy & Autism

Developmental and Age Related Issues

23 February 2009
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One of the more complicated developmental implications of a child or adult with autism having epilepsy is that for some cases (but by no means all) developmental regression may be associated with onset of seizures. There is some evidence to suggest that the incidence of epilepsy may increase around puberty in persons with autism. The exact reason for this is unclear but hormonal changes have been postulated as a possible reason.

Most autistic persons however are not subject to seizures at puberty and can make marked improvements during adolescence. The having of epilepsy in itself does not make deterioration in overall performance inevitable. However, untreated seizures, in addition to being potentially dangerous, can lead to deleterious effects on levels of functioning.

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