Strong Link between Autism and Epilepsy

Research has shown that Autism has always had a significant link to epilepsy, with nearly one-third of those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), also suffering from epilepsy. Recently, research has established more reasoning behind the connection between the two.

Both Autism and epilepsy affect individuals at varying degrees. Epilepsy is a brain disorder marked by recurring convulsions and seizures, while Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder which affects social interaction and behavior. Until recently, many individuals with epilepsy were not properly diagnosed or treated for Autism disorders.

A recent study showed that epileptic seizures short-circuit the neurological function that affects socialization in the brain, which involves the same traits seen in Autism. These traits include impairments in social interaction, such as eye contact, or making conversation, as well as repetitive behaviors.

This new evidence explains the misfiring of the brain during a seizure, which may explain certain Autism conditions. The more frequent the seizures, the more severe one’s issues with socialization may be. The new findings mean that adults with epilepsy can now benefit from the wide range of Autism treatments available to address socialization issues many patients with epilepsy have experienced throughout their lives. Without diagnosis, there is no treatment plan. But with this research, doctors have further reason to focus on treating the symptoms of Autism in those with epilepsy.

The ICare4Autism International Conference will be discussing additional medical research, scientific advances, and drug development efforts on July 1st in NYC. Speakers include Dr. Paulo Fontoura, Global Head/VP Translational Medicine Neuroscience & Ophthalmology at Roche Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Fontoura will be discussing recent advances in translational medicine. To hear Dr. Fontoura speak, please select tickets here. Early bird specials are still available, so now is the best time to register! This is an Autism conference you will not want to miss!

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