Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Impact of epilepsy and antiepileptic medications on the metabolic profile in adults with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities

Moses, Lilacha,b,*; Katz, Nachumc,*; Weizman, Abrahamc,d

International Clinical Psychopharmacology: November 2015 - Volume 30 - Issue 6 - p 351–355
doi: 10.1097/YIC.0000000000000089

Epilepsy is common in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disabilities (ID). Antiepileptic medications, such as valproic acid (VPA), were associated with changes in BMI, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, and hyperinsulinemia. This study aimed to investigate how epilepsy and antiepileptic treatments affect BMI, fasting blood glucose (FBG), and total cholesterol of individuals with ASD or ID. Data on epilepsy diagnoses, treatment with VPA, carbamazepine or other antiepileptics, BMI, FBG, and total cholesterol levels were obtained from the medical charts of 80 adults with ASD and 77 adults with ID and analyzed using appropriate statistical tools. Participants with epilepsy had lower BMI and FBG than participants without epilepsy (BMI: 23.18±5.43 vs. 25.61±5.74 kg/m2, respectively, F=6.64, d.f.=1.140; P=0.011, FBG: 72.53±11.26 vs. 79.98±14.64 mg/dl, respectively, F=10.46, d.f.=1.135 P=0.002). Those treated with VPA had lower total cholesterol levels compared with those untreated (156.56±26.13 vs. 172.42±33.82 mg/dl, respectively, F=7.44, d.f.=1.150; P=0.007), but did not differ in BMI and FBG. Individuals with ASD or ID, and epilepsy were leaner and had lower FBG than those without epilepsy. In addition, total cholesterol levels were lower in VPA-treated participants than in untreated ones, but BMI and FBG levels were similar.

aHealth Services, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Jerusalem

bMaccabi Health Services, South District

cGeha Mental Health Center, Petah Tikva and Department of Psychiatry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University

dLaboratory of Biological Psychiatry, Felsenstein Medical Research Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

* Lilach Moses and Nachum Katz contributed equally to the writing of this article.

Correspondence to Lilach Moses, MSc, Moshav Nir-Hen 4, Postal Code 7933000, Israel Tel: +972 52 3774206; fax: +972 153 8 6848854; e-mail:

Received April 6, 2015

Accepted June 15, 2015

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.