Children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often are evaluated with electroencephalogram (EEG) studies to assess their risk for seizures or other underlying abnormalities. Their risk is estimated at 7%-42%. EEG studies were conducted on a subgroup of children while following established practice parameters for evaluating children for ASD. Abnormal EEG results were obtained in 85 (27%) of the 316 children evaluated for ASD. Within the subset of abnormal results, 64 children had autism, 10 had an ASD or milder presentation, 6 had another developmental disorder, 3 had Rett syndrome, 1 had Down syndrome, and 1 had Wolf-Hirshhorn syndrome. The abnormal EEG findings included epileptiform abnormalities in 55 patients (65%), and slowing in only 13 patients (15%). The focality of the epileptiform findings included 26 (30%) in the temporal areas, 24 (28%) in the central area, 20 (23%) in the frontal area, and 7 (8%) in the occipital area. These findings confirm the importance of ongoing medical follow-up for children with ASDs, especially for those with abnormal EEG results.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Judy A. Reinhold, MSN RN CPNP, at The Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Division of Developmental Disorders at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, ML 4002, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner at The Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Division of Developmental Disorders, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.
Cynthia A. Molloy, MD MS, is a research instructor at the Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
Patricia Manning-Courtney, MD, is an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, a Pediatric Developmental Specialist, and the Medical Director at the Kelly O'Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Division of Developmental Disabilities at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
© 2005 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses