Clinical features of epilepsy in autism spectrum disorders | Clínica de la epilepsia en los trastornos del espectro autista.

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Author list: Muñoz-Yunta, J.A., Salvadó, B., Ortiz-Alonso, T., Amo, C., Fernández-Lucas, A., Maestú, F., Palau-Baduell, M.
Publisher: Cesar Viguera
Publication year: 2003
Journal: Revista de Neurologia (0210-0010)
Volume number: 36 Suppl 1
Start page: S61
End page: 67
ISSN: 0210-0010
Languages: Spanish-Spain (ES-ES)


Autism is a rare disease, but is currently in vogue. An incidence of 1/1,000 has been estimated for early childhood autism, but in autism spectrum the incidence can reach 30/1,000. The clinical characteristics of autism are cognitive language disorders, lack of social interaction, obsessive behaviours with stereotypic movements and epilepsy. For some authors it is an associated symptom while for others it is a cardinal symptom of the disease. Epilepsy in autism, as an association, was reported as early as 1944 by Leo Kanner, in describing his initial work involving 11 cases and how one of them suffered from epilepsy. In 1960, the prevalence of epilepsy among autistic patients was evaluated and found to be much higher than in the normal population. The figures differ from author to author, but really they depend on age: the higher the age, the greater the prevalence of epilepsy. It was in fact this detail that drew our attention to this issue, and triggered the first questions in our research into autism and epilepsy. The series vary from 4 to 86%, depending on the methodology used to confirm the epilepsy. In our casuistics, between the ages of 1 and 18 years, 20% of these children with autism spectrum disorders suffer some kind of epileptic seizures, and 80% suffer what other researchers call subclinical seizures . In this paper, the symptomatology of the most important subclinical seizures that have been observed in these children is presented; the diseases associated with autism are commented on; the concept of primary and secondary autism is discussed; we explain why seizures occur in autism and their consequences as a neurodevelopmental disorder, and we put forward an interesting hypothesis within our general theory of autism. We also comment on the importance that the use of functional magnetic images in the study of autism has in our research.


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Last updated on 2019-10-08 at 00:30