ABSTRACT Parents, please let your psychiatrists and pediatricians see this research.
INTRODUCTION: Data from an EEG is not commonly used by psychiatrists to plan treatment
and medication. However, EEG abnormalities such as isolated epileptiform discharges (IEDs)
are found to be more prevalent in psychiatric patients, particularly those diagnosed with Autism
Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Most medications prescribed for ASD lower seizure threshold and
increase side-effects. Therefore, it may be prudent to order an EEG for ASD cases, especially
those categorized as refractory. The objective of this study was to explore integrating EEG into a
psychiatric practice that treats patients with ASD.
METHODS: The dataset was obtained from a multidisciplinary practice that treats a wide
variety of neuroatypical children and adolescent refractory patients. This study investigated 140
non-epileptic subjects diagnosed with ASD, ages 4 to 25. Visual inspection of the EEG was
performed in order to search for paroxysmal, focal, or lateralizing patterns.
RESULTS: Of the 140 subjects, the EEG data identified 36 percent with IEDs. The Chi-square
analysis found no significant difference between genders among the three age groups. Findings
indicated a high prevalence of IEDs among individuals with ASD.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results find that compared to the healthy population, a large number of
patients with ASD have IEDs despite never having a seizure. Our findings support the use of
EEG in children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD, regardless of gender or age. This is
particularly true for those who exhibit aggressive behaviors or those who have failed prior
medication attempts with stimulants, antidepressants, and/or antipsychotics.
As professionals working with children with autism, it is wonderful to have conclusive research on why medications fail in a third of those with autism.
Professionals have known for years that medications react differently in those with ASD. I am thankful my colleague and friend Dr. Ron Swatzyna and his research team,
here in Houston, TX, focused their time, energy and resources in this area. Parents, please let your psychiatrists and pediatricians see this research.
Swatzyna RJ1, Tarnow JD, Turner RP, Roark AJ, MacInerney EK, Kozlowski GP.
11Director Electro-Neuro Analysis Research, Tarnow Center for Self-Management, TX,
USA, 2Medical Director, Tarnow Center for Self-Management, TX, USA 3Medical
Director, Network Neurology LLC, SC, USA 4Research Assistant, Tarnow Center for
Self-Management, TX, USA 5Research Assistant, Tarnow Center for Self-Management,
TX, USA 6Adjunct Professor, Saybrook University, CA, USA.
Journal Clinical Neurophysiology. 2016 Nov 22. [Epub ahead of print]
DOI: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000365 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]