July 2, 2019

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often presents a treatment challenge due to the variety of symptoms that make each case unique. Medication prescribed to manage ASD associated symptoms such as anxiety, depression, attention issues, and behavioral problems often fail to alleviate symptoms and can produce undesirable side effects. This medication failure could be related to the increased prevalence of isolated epileptiform discharges (IEDs) in psychiatric patients, that go undetected without the use of an electroencephalogram (EEG). The purpose of this study was to reveal the prevalence of IEDs in the ASD population, and to demonstrate the usefulness of the EEG for providing data to treating physicians. The study was comprised of 140 nonepileptic patients with ASD under the age of 25. Of the 140 patients, 36.4% were found to have IEDs after an EEG screening. The results show that compared to a healthy population, many patients with ASD have IEDs despite never having a seizure. These findings support the use of EEG in patients with ASD, to allow for more individualized and precise medication selection.

Read Article