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Oxford University Press makes no representation, express or implied, that the drug dosages in this book are correct. Readers must therefore always check the product information and clinical procedures with the most up to date published product information and data sheets provided by the manufacturers and the most recent codes of conduct and safety regulations. The authors and the publishers do not accept responsibility or legal liability for any errors in the text or for the misuse or misapplication of material in this work. Except where otherwise stated, drug dosages and recommendations are for the non-pregnant adult who is not breastfeeding.

Epilepsy and Electroencephalography in Autism Spectrum Disorders 

Epilepsy and Electroencephalography in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Roberto Tuchman


This chapter reviews studies on the prevalence of epilepsy and epileptiform activity in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The wide range of co-occurrence of seizures and epileptic activity is dependent on multiple variables that include age, presence of genetic syndrome or underlying brain pathology, and degree of intellectual disability. The best estimate of the prevalence on epilepsy in ASD is 8% in ASD without significant intellectual disability and 20% in ASD with intellectual disability. The prevalence of epileptiform activity in individuals with ASD and no clinical history of seizures is approximately 6% to 30% and is dependent on the type of electroencephalography (EEG) study done, the length of the EEG recording, methodology specific to collecting and interpretation of EEGs, and the specific population of children with ASD being studied. The prevalence of epilepsy and of epileptiform activity is significantly higher—greater than 50%—in those with severe intellectual disability, genetic syndromes, and other associated brain pathology. An emerging consensus is that shared genetic and molecular mechanisms account for the common co-occurrence of ASD and epilepsy.

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