BALTIMORE – All young children with epilepsy should also undergo screening for autism spectrum disorders and developmental delay, a study has shown.
In a pair of pediatric epilepsy units, 77% of children screened positive for development delay, and 36% screened positive for autism. About one-third of those children were previously undiagnosed.
Because the conditions often occur concurrently, a screening of children 5 years and younger can make a life-changing difference, Anne Berg, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society.
"Our hope is that we can begin catching these problems earlier to get beneficial interventions in place, which, hopefully, will lead to better long-term outcomes for these children," she said at a press briefing.