Article thumbnail

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Correlation between aberrant behaviors, EEG abnormalities and seizures

By Michelle Hartley-McAndrew and Arie Weinstock


The relationship between epilepsy, epileptiform discharges, cognitive, language and behavioral symptoms is not clearly understood. Since difficulties with socialization and maladaptive behaviors are found in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), we inquired whether epileptiform activity and seizures are associated with adverse behavioral manifestations in this population. We reviewed our EEG database between 1999–2006, and identified 123 children with ASD. EEG abnormalities were found in 39 children (31%). A control group of age and gender matched ASD children with normal EEG’s was obtained. Packets of questionnaires including the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale II (VABS), Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) and the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) were sent by mail. Out of 21 packets received, 11 had normal and 10 had abnormal EEG’s. There were no statistically significant differences in behavior between the two groups. Statistical analysis of discharge location and frequency did not reveal a significant trend. However, children with ASD and seizures had statistically significant lower scores in VABS daily living (P=0.009) and socialization (P=0.007) as compared to those without seizures. ASD children with seizures had higher ABC levels of hyperactivity and irritability. Differences in irritability scores nearly reached statistical significance (P=0.058). There was no significant difference in the degree of CARS autism rating between the groups. Our study did not reveal statistically significant differences in behaviors between ASD children with and without EEG abnormalities. However, ASD children with seizures revealed significantly worse behaviors as compared to counterparts without seizures

Topics: Article
Publisher: PAGEPress Publications
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.

Suggested articles


  1. Absence of seizures despite high prevalence of epileptiform EEG abnormalities in children with autism monitored in a tertiary care center.
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children With Disabilities. Management of children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics 2007;120:1162-82. Article [Neurology International 2010; 2:e10] [page 47]
  3. (2006). Autistic spectrum disorder: evaluating a possible contributing or causal role of epilepsy. Epilepsia
  4. Correlation between cognition and behavior in epilepsy.
  5. electroencephalographic abnormalities and regression in children with autism.
  6. Epilepsy in adolescents and young adults with autistic disorder.
  7. Epilepsy in autism.
  8. (2006). Frequency of epileptiform EEG abnormalities in a sequential screening of autistic patients with no known clinical epilepsy from 1996-2005. Epilepsy Behav
  9. Genetics of Childhood disorders: XLIII. Autism, part 2: neural foundations.
  10. language and behavior: clinical models in childhood.
  11. (2010). Multi-site study of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) in five clinical groups of young children.
  12. Not EEG abnormalities but epilepsy is associated with autistic regression and mental functioning in childhood autism. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2004;13:209-
  13. (1998). Postictal violence and epilepsy.
  14. (2002). Research units on pediatric psychopharmacology autism network. Risperidone
  15. Snead OC 3rd. Screening electroencephalograms in autism spectrum disorders: evidencebased guideline.
  16. (1993). The criterion-related validity of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale and the Autism Behavior Checklist.
  17. Treatment of seizure disorders and EEG abnormalities in children with autism spectrum disorders.