Epilepsy is a brain disorder that is marked by recurring seizures or convulsions. It includes impaired social interaction and language development, which often leads to repetitive behaviors. The connection between these two neurological disorders came after another study that explored the mechanisms in the brain that are responsible for each and how they contribute to each disorder. For example, both disorders show patterns of impaired socialization.
A new study now examines the connection between the long-term outcome of epilepsy in autism and the epilepsy characteristics of adults with autism. The results estimate that nearly one third of people on the autism spectrum also have epilepsy. Before these studies, many issues with behavior management and socialization for people with epilepsy remained largely under diagnosed, meaning these people did not have proper access to treatment they may have really needed.
This new research could mean that adults with epilepsy would be able to benefit from a wide range of autism treatment services and improving their overall quality of life. The highest epilepsy incidences actually happen within a child’s first year after being born. Each year, approximately 150,000 children and young adults in the U.S have a single seizure and 30,000 end up being diagnosed after they experience more seizures.
Some epileptic symptoms that are commonly overlooked by parents include:
- Prolonged staring
- Uncontrolled jerking of the arms and legs
- Lack of response from verbal stimulation
- Shaking or loss of balance
- Smacking of the lips
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