Characteristics of late-onset epilepsy and EEG findings in children with autism spectrum disorders

Haneul Lee, Hoon Chul Kang, Seung Woo Kim, Young Key Kim, Hee Jung Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To investigate the clinical characteristics of late-onset epilepsy combined with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the relationship between certain types of electroencephalography (EEG) abnormalities in ASD and associated neuropsychological problems. Methods: Thirty patients diagnosed with ASD in early childhood and later developed clinical seizures were reviewed retrospectively. First, the clinical characteristics, language and behavioral regression, and EEG findings of these late-onset epilepsy patients with ASD were investigated. The patients were then classified into 2 groups according to the severity of the EEG abnormalities in the background rhythm and paroxysmal discharges. In the severe group, EEG showed persistent asymmetry, slow and disorganized background rhythms, and continuous sharp and slow waves during slow sleep (CSWS). Results: Between the 2 groups, there was no statistically significant difference in mean age (P=.259), age of epilepsy diagnosis (P=.237), associated family history (P=.074), and positive abnormal magnetic resonance image (MRI) findings (P=.084). The severe EEG group tended to have more neuropsychological problems (P=.074). The severe group statistically showed more electrographic seizures in EEG (P=.000). Rett syndrome was correlated with more severe EEG abnormalities (P=.002). Although formal cognitive function tests were not performed, the parents reported an improvement in neuropsychological function on the follow-up checkup according to a parent questionnaire. Conclusion: Although some ASD patients with late-onset epilepsy showed severe EEG abnormalities, including CSWS, they generally showed an improvement in EEG and clinical symptoms in the longterm follow up. In addition, severe EEG abnormalities tended to be related to the neuropsychological function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
JournalKorean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pediatrics


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