New Study Focuses on Treatments for Seizures in Autism

In a study published in Frontiers in Child Health and Human Development, Richard E. Frye, MD, PhD, Director of Autism Research and the Autism Multispecialty Clinic at Arkansas Children's Hospital, and colleagues performed a systematic review of the medical literature for seizure treatments in patients with autism. In addition, an expert panel was asked to suggest treatments used in clinical practice. 

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Over 30 treatments were evaluated on efficacy for seizure treatment in epilepsy, for seizure treatment in autism, and their effect on the symptoms of autism. Some estimates suggest that up to 1/3 of children with autism may eventually develop seizures. Currently, effective seizure disorder treatments have not been well defined in patients with autism.

Results of the study showed that certain traditional treatments were found to be potentially effective for both seizures and autism-related symptoms. Treatments included certain antiepileptics such as valproate, lamotrigine, and levetiracetam. Non-pharmacologic treatments included ketogenic and modified Atkins diet, and immunomodulation and neurofeedback treatments.

Regarding specific syndromes related to autism, agents such as L-carnitine, multivitamins, and N-acetyl-L-cysteine were also considered to be of potential use in mitochondrial disease and dysfunction, and folinic acid in cerebral folate abnormalities. 

Magnesium, pyridoxine, omega-3 fatty acids, the gluten-free casein-free diet, and transcranial magnetic stimulation were found to improve both seizures and autism-related symptoms.

For more information call (866) 366-3361 or read the article in Frontiers in Child Health and Human Development.

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