Austism Seizures can occur in upto 25% of autism patients during the onset of puberty.

Seizures in Autism

Approximately 25% of autism patients may experience seizures during the onset of puberty. While some individuals will experience convulsions and other visually noticeable seizure activity, many will experience subclinical seizures which are at high risk of going untreated. While it is not known why some children begin experiencing seizures at puberty, many suspect it may be related to the effect of hormones on the brain.

One may think that 'minor' or subclinical seizures must not be serious enough to warrant treatment, any untreated seizure activity can have serious, long-term effects on an autistic patient. Some autistic children who were defined as "high functioning" prior to puberty had degraded to low functioning status by their late teens, due to untreated subclinical seizures.

Signs of subclinical seizure activity may include sudden onset of tantruming, aggression or self-injury; unexplained losses of previous behavioral or cognitive gains; and reduction or loss of academic gains after good progress in the pre-teen years. If subclinical seizures are suspected, an EEG scan can confirm seizure activity in the brain, but if no seizure occurs during a regular test, arranging for the child to remain attached to the EEG machine for 24 hours may be needed to definitely rule out seizures as a cause of behavioral/developmental changes.

When a child is confirmed as suffering seizures, either convulsive or subclinical, there are prescription anti-spasmodic medications which may help reduce or eliminate the problem. Even in cases where traditional seizure drugs are ineffective, some individuals have shown improvement with vitamin B6 with magnesium or dimethylglycine (DMG).

While adolescent onset seizures occur in a small percentage of autistic children, the potential side effects of untreated seizure activity is severe enough to warrant taking any measure possible to properly diagnose and treat the problem.



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