Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy

Churl Su Kwon, Elaine C. Wirrell, Nathalie Jetté

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), was first described in 1943 as a disorder consisting of a triad of qualitative impairments of social interaction, communication and restricted repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. The relationship between ASD and epilepsy is well documented. Patients with ASD have an increased risk of epilepsy, while those with epilepsy have a higher risk of ASD, as compared with the general population. Diagnosing epilepsy in those with ASD can be challenging. For example, stereotyped behaviors could be mistaken as ASD stereotypies, when in fact, they may be due to seizures. Fortunately, in recent years, we have gained a better understanding of the best antiseizure medications (ASMs) to use in this vulnerable population. However, more studies are needed to understand how best to screen for ASD in epilepsy, what the various ASD phenotypes are in people with epilepsy, especially those due to de novo genes/mutations, as well as factors influencing the fluctuating nature of ASD symptoms (eg, seizure type, frequency, syndromes, ASMs)..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-847
Number of pages17
JournalNeurologic Clinics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • ASD
  • Antiseizure medications
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Genetic
  • Neuromodulation
  • Seizures


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