Conference Coverage

EEG abnormalities may indicate increased risk for epilepsy in patients with autism



Time for guideline updates?

“Statements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Neurology, and the Child Neurology Society do not currently recommend routine EEG screening for all children with ASD,” said Dr. Nadkarni. Investigators are suggesting that the guidelines should be reevaluated, however. “Research shows that EEG abnormalities, particularly epileptiform abnormalities, are associated with worse outcome, in terms of developmental and adaptive functioning. EEG endophenotypes in ASD are starting to be elucidated ... That’s one reason to consider EEG screening.” Furthermore, preliminary connectivity research suggests that EEG screening of high-risk siblings of children with ASD may predict the development of ASD.

The small cohort and retrospective design were among the study’s limitations, said Dr. Nadkarni. Some patients were lost to follow-up, and some data were missing from patients’ charts.

“In our opinion, further study – ideally, a prospective, observational cohort study – might be warranted to determine whether overnight continuous EEG monitoring might be useful as a screening tool for epilepsy in patients with ASD,” Dr. Nadkarni concluded.

The study was conducted without external funding, and the investigators had no disclosures.

SOURCE: Nadkarni D et al. AES 2019. Abstract 1.29.


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