Having a relative with epilepsy may increase your risk of being diagnosed with autism
News Jun 16, 2016
Having a first-degree relative with epilepsy may increase a person's risk of being diagnosed with autism, according to a study published online in the journal Neurology.
"Other studies have linked the two conditions, however, our study looks specifically at the brothers and sisters and sons and daughters of people with epilepsy to determine a possible autism risk in these relatives," said study author Heléne Sundelin, MD, with University Hospital in Linköping, Sweden.
For the study, researchers looked at a data registry and identified 85,201 people with epilepsy, as well as all of their siblings (80,511 people) and offspring (98,534 people). Each person with epilepsy was compared with five people without epilepsy of similar age, sex and from the same county during the same period. The siblings and offspring of those with epilepsy were also compared with siblings and offspring of people without epilepsy. Siblings and offspring who had epilepsy were excluded from the research.
During the average six-year follow-up period of the study, 1,381 of participants with epilepsy and 700 of the people without epilepsy were diagnosed with autism. People with epilepsy were therefore at increased risk of being diagnosed with autism (1.6 percent compared to 0.2 percent), with the highest risk seen in those diagnosed with epilepsy in childhood (5.2 percent).
Learn More: Paternal DNA may hold clues to autism
The study found a 63 percent increased risk of developing autism for siblings and offspring even when the person with epilepsy was excluded. Offspring of mothers had a 91 percent increased risk and offspring of fathers had a 38 percent increased risk.
"The goal is to find out more about how these two diseases may be linked so that treatments may be developed that will target both conditions," said Sundelin.
Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Sundelin HEK et al. Autism and epilepsy: A population-based nationwide cohort study. Neurology, Published Online June 15 2016. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002836
Food craving, the intense desire to eat certain foods, can sabotage efforts to maintain healthy eating habits and body weight, no matter the time of year. However, an examination of 28 current peer-reviewed scientific studies largely substantiates findings that changes in diet, prescription medications, physical activity and bariatric surgery reduce craving.READ MORE