Kids With Epilepsy Should Get Screened for Autism, Developmental Delays

The conditions often occur in the same child, experts say

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MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- Children seen in epilepsy clinics should be screened for development delay and autism because the conditions often occur together, new research suggests.

Researchers at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago asked parents of children under age 5 who had epilepsy to fill out screening questionnaires. The results showed that 75 percent of children also had a developmental delay, while 41 percent had autism.

More than one-third of the children had not been previously diagnosed with either autism or developmental delay, the researchers noted.

The results "support routine screening of both new onset and established cases of pediatric epilepsy," according to the researchers in a news release.

The study is slated to be presented on Monday at the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting in Baltimore. Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides more information on epilepsy.

SOURCE: American Epilepsy Society, news release, Dec. 5, 2011

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