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Magnetoencephalographic Patterns of Epileptiform Activity in Children With Regressive Autism Spectrum Disorders.

by J D Lewine et Al.

Pediatrics Vol 104 No 3 September 1999, pp 405-418.

This is one of the best articles I have read in many years. The authors from Utah, Nebraska, Illinois, New York, and New Mexico compare the MSI (Magnetic Source Imaging) findings of children with regressive ASD (Autistic spectrum Disorders) with the ones of children with LKS (Landau-Kleffner Syndrome). They hypothesize that LKF could be viewed as a sub form of ASD. Indeed in ASD there is a high incidence of epileptiform activity (they show it to be as high as 80%), associated with language as

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well as other socialization skills, while in LKF there is a 100% epileptiform activity associated with pure language regression.

The authors beautifully demonstrate that there initial hypothesis is valid. Children with regressive ASD do show the same MSI pattern than children with LKF but more florid.

This study is full of impressive pictures of the brain of children with ASD, LKF and even Rolandic epilepsy.

This article is very well written and I believe easily understandable by non-medical people in spite of its very technical descriptions. It ends by a chapter that the reader is waiting for: treatment strategies. Unfortunately these strategies seem to have been restricted to surgical

treatment option. It is clearly stated that the children who underwent surgery for autism had all exhausted the "behavioral interventions", as well as "extensive anticonvulsant and pharmacological manipulations."

I would have liked to know more about these extensive medical interventions. Has there been any success in treating children with ASD with anticonvulsive medications (particularly in children with no clinical seizure reported)?

If your child has ASD or LKF you should read this article.