A just published research study presented in BMC Pediatrics by Dr. Richard E. Frye from the University of Texas in Houston, and Dr. James B. Adams at Arizona State University in Tempe, provides new findings as to the benefits of traditional vs. non-traditional medical treatments for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and seizures. Approximately 25-35% of individuals with autism eventually develop seizures. Many of the other 65-75% have subclinical seizure-like brain activity. In the study, 733 parents of children with autism spectrum disorder and seizures, epilepsy, and/or subclinical seizure-like brain activity were surveyed. They were to rate the effectiveness of 25 traditional and 20 non-traditional medical treatments on seizures. Other symptoms such as communication, behavior, sleep habits, attentiveness and mood shifts were also studied.
The findings suggested that non-epileptic drugs were more effective on the other symptoms, but not as effective at improving seizure activity as the anti-epileptic drugs. The researchers also found that the anti-epileptic drugs tested provided lessened seizure activity, but negatively impacted the other symptoms. They also discovered that certain traditional non-epileptic drug treatments, specifically the ketogenic diet, were perceived to improve both seizure activity and other symptoms as well.
"The information gained from this study will help physicians more effectively manage children with autism spectrum disorder and seizures," says Dr Frye.
Prof. Adams states that, "This study suggests that several non-traditional treatments, such as special diets (ketogenic, Atkins, and gluten-free, casein-free), are worth further investigation as adjunctive treatments for treating seizures."
The full study is published in BMC pediatrics, and is now available at http://www.BiomedCentral.com/1471-2431/11/37/abstract