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Epileptic Encephalopathy and Autism: A Complex Interplay.

J Pediatr Neurosci. 2018 Apr-Jun;13(2):273-275

Authors: Chepure AH, Somaiya MP, Subramanyam AA, Kamath RK

Drug-resistant epileptic encephalopathy such as Dravet syndrome presents with autistic symptoms. Three cases with autism spectrum disorder with comorbid Dravet syndrome were assessed. All the cases presented with onset of seizures before a year and with autistic features. The patients responded to a combination of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), resulting in reduced frequency of seizures and behavioral issues. Contrary to the belief that both epilepsy and use of AEDs have adverse impact on the cognition of children with an early onset of epilepsy, we found improvement in the symptoms of our patients who presented with autism and epilepsy. Primary treatment approaches such as occupational therapy, special education, speech therapy, and behavioral therapy; effective diagnosis of comorbidities such as epilepsy; and aggressive treatment might help with behavioral improvement. Early diagnosis followed by treatment with AEDs can improve seizures, electroencephalography abnormalities, and behavioral problems.

PMID: 30090156 [PubMed]

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