Epilepsy Patients And Their Relatives More Likely To Be Diagnosed With Autism
Two neurological conditions known for wreaking havoc in childhood may have some shared roots, suggests new research published Wednesday in the journal Neurology.
Looking to settle an ongoing debate about the possible connection between epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder, the Swedish researchers extensively scoured the medical records of all patients admitted to a hospital within the country since 1987. From there, they identified just over 85,000 patients diagnosed with epilepsy. After cross-referencing with additional population data, they also tracked down some 80,000 siblings and 90,000 children of the epileptics, excluding any who had epilepsy themselves. Finally, they compared these families to the families of similarly matched individuals without epilepsy. Not only were patients with epilepsy more likely to later receive a diagnosis of autism than those without it, their siblings and children were also at greater risk.