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US Autism & Asperger Association
May 16, 2011

Welcome to USAAA WeeklyNews, an email newsletter that addresses a range of topics
on Autism Spectrum Disorders including Asperger's Syndrome.


Special Edition - Autism and Seizures

Characterization of childhood-onset complex partial seizures associated with autism spectrum disorder

The Neuropharmacology of the Ketogenic Diet

Overlap of Autism and Seizures: Understanding Cognitive Comorbidity

Upcoming Conferences

—July 22-24
The American Medical Autism Board 3rd Annual Conference, July 22-24 in Independence, Ohio

—October 27-30
USAAA Annual World Conference and Expo October 27-30 in Seattle, Washington



Autism and Seizures


Characterization of childhood-onset complex partial seizures associated with autism spectrum disorder

Pubmed.com

seizuresMatsuo M, Maeda T, Ishii K, Tajima D, Koga M, Hamasaki Y. Source Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Saga University, Saga, Japan. matsuo@cc.saga-u.ac.jp

pilepsy Behav. 2011 Mar;20(3):524-7. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has a close relationship with epilepsy. A previous study showed complex partial seizures (CPS) to be the most frequent type of epileptic seizures in cases of ASD. Patients with childhood-onset CPS were retrospectively studied to investigate the prevalence of ASD and to characterize the association between CPS and ASD. The study cohort comprised 86 patients with CPS manifesting at 1 to 9 years of age. Symptomatic CPS and Panayiotopoulos syndrome were excluded. Patients with ASD (ASD group) were compared with those without ASD (non-ASD group).

In the non-ASD group, 82% of cases had been seizure free for 2 or more years, in comparison to 50% in the ASD group.

Of the 86 patients with childhood-onset CPS, 36 (42%) also had ASD. This ASD group was predominantly male (68.6%), with higher rates of intellectual disability (69%), and reported frequent seizures (60% had monthly or more frequent seizures). CPS without secondary generalization were more common in the ASD group (69%) than in the non-ASD group (36%), as were frontal paroxysms on EEG (54.5% vs 30%, respectively). In the non-ASD group, 82% of cases had been seizure free for 2 or more years, in comparison to 50% in the ASD group. ASD is frequently associated with childhood-onset CPS. Male gender, cognitive deficits, frequent seizures, and frontal paroxysms are risk factors for the association of ASD with CPS.

Click here for more information on Characterization of childhood-onset complex partial seizures associated with autism spectrum disorder.


The Neuropharmacology of the Ketogenic Diet

PubMed.com

ketogernic dietAdam L. Hartman, MD,*† Maciej Gasior, MD, PhD,† Eileen P. G. Vining, MD,* and Michael A. Rogawski, MD, PhD†‡
* John M. Freeman Pediatric Epilepsy Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
† Epilepsy Research Section, Porter Neuroscience Research Center, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, Maryland
‡ Department of Neurology, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, California Communications should be addressed to: Dr. Hartman; The John M. Freeman Pediatric Epilepsy Center; Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions; 600 N. Wolfe St., Meyer 2-147; Baltimore, MD 21287. E-mail: ahartma2@jhmi.edu

Abstract

The ketogenic diet is a valuable therapeutic approach for epilepsy, one in which most clinical experience has been with children. Although the mechanism by which the diet protects against seizures is unknown, there is evidence that it causes effects on intermediary metabolism that influence the dynamics of the major inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitter systems in brain. The pattern of protection of the ketogenic diet in animal models of seizures is distinct from that of other anticonvulsants, suggesting that it has a unique mechanism of action.

It has been known since the time of Hippocrates that fasting is an effective treatment for seizures, and the ketogenic diet was designed to mimic the fasting state [2]. However, despite intensive research in recent years, the mechanism by which the diet protects against seizures remains obscure.

During consumption of the ketogenic diet, marked alterations in brain energy metabolism occur, with ketone bodies partly replacing glucose as fuel. Whether these metabolic changes contribute to acute seizure protection is unclear; however, the ketone body acetone has anticonvulsant activity and could play a role in the seizure protection afforded by the diet. In addition to acute seizure protection, the ketogenic diet provides protection against the development of spontaneous recurrent seizures in models of chronic epilepsy, and it has neuroprotective properties in diverse models of neurodegenerative disease.

Click here for entire article on The Neuropharmacology of the Ketogenic Diet.


Overlap of Autism and Seizures: Understanding Cognitive Comorbidity

PubMed.com

comorbidityNeha Khetrapal* *[M.A. Cognitive Science] Centre of Excellence “Cognitive Interaction Technology” (CITEC) And Faculty of Psychology & Sport Sciences, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany 33615 Address correspondence to: Neha Khetrapal, M.A. Cognitive Science] Centre of Excellence “Cognitive Interaction Technology” (CITEC) And Faculty of Psychology & Sport Sciences, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany 33615. Email: nehakhetrapal@gmail.com

Abstract

This article introduces the concept of ‘cognitive comorbidity,’ which lays emphasis on common cognitive deficits that cut across different disorders. The concept is illustrated with the help of two commonly reported overlapping conditions (autism and epilepsy). It is further explained by concentrating on two important cognitive processes of facial emotional recognition and emotional memory, shown to be compromised in both conditions; and their underlying neural substrates. Cognitive comorbidity is then contrasted with ‘comorbidity,’ a term which is more commonly used for describing cognitive disorders. The paper closes by providing directions for rehabilitative and theoretical efforts that could be inspired by the newly introduced concept.

The neurobiology of autism and epilepsy, especially temporal lobe epilepsy, can be similar; that is, the integrity of the amygdala has been found to be compromised in both the disorders

Introduction

This article aims to introduce and understand the concept of ‘cognitive comorbidity’ and differentiate it from the more common usage of the term ‘comorbidity’. The current paper strives to achieve this aim by describing the overlapping symptoms of autism and epilepsy. These two disorders are chosen as examples because of the high rate of association between the two (Giovanardi-Rossi, Posar & Parmeggiani, 2000). This article is not an attempt to discuss the comorbidity between these two disorders in the technical sense of the word “comorbidity,” as it is described in scientific literature but to discuss and highlight the overlap of cognitive deficits. All through, the focus will be on cognitive processes and references to brain/neural structures are provided to advance understanding of the concept. This way of explanation is hoped to be a better method from the viewpoint of theoretical formulations and would also help to throw light on the issue of “comorbidity,” the way it is described in the scientific literature. Therefore, first the description of comorbidity is given, which is followed by a brief introduction to the disorders.

Click here for entire article on Overlap of Autism and Seizures: Understanding Cognitive Comorbidity.


Upcoming Conferences


The American Medical Autism Board 3rd Annual Conference, July 22-23 in Independence, Ohio
Special session, July 24: AMAB's 3rd Practitioner Overview Course for MD’s, DO’s, and other healthcare practitioners

parent teacher communicationThe Autism Spectrum Disorders (known as ASD’s) include autism, PDD/NOS, AD/HD, Asperger Syndrome, OCD, PANDAS, RAD, and other developmental disorders. They affect more than 1 in 100 young children in North America, and also are present in many teens & adults. The number of individuals & families touched by them is on an alarming rise.

The first and only entity to board-certify MD’s & DO’s in the specialty
of Biomedical Treatment of the Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Traditionally, ASD’s have been regarded as behavioral/ psychiatric disorders with little hope for improvement. In reality, they are the result of an underlying set of medical problems such as nutritional, immunologic, and toxic issues. This leads to effective biomedical treatments, that offers hope to persons and families affected by ASD’s. The American Medical Autism Board and Phillip C. DeMio, MD provide the Third International Conference on biomedical and other techniques to parents and healthcare providers, presented July 22-23, 2011, in Independence, OH, by world leaders in these treatments. Join us to learn the state-of-the-art of biomedical and other techniques. You do not want to miss this exciting conference!

Click here for more information on the AMAB conference.

Special session, Sunday, July 24, 2011: AMAB’s
third Practitioner Overview Course, for MD’s, DO’s,
and other healthcare practitioners


The American Medical Autism Board faculty will give a detailed
presentation of the practice of Biomedical Treatment of ASD’s
and other developmental disorders. This course will be taught
by Phillip DeMio, MD, and James Neubrander, MD, both of
whom are known throughout the world as major practitioners
in the field of Biomedical Treatment. Attending part or all of the conference will accumulate AMAB credits for eligible MD’s & DO’s
.

NOTE: The Practitioner Overview Course for MD’s, DO’s, and other healthcare practitioners will also be available at the USAAA World Conference in Seattle, Washington on Sunday, October 30th. The course in Seattle will be taught by Dr. Phillip C. DeMio, Dr. James Neubrander, and Dr. Jerry Kartzinel. Click here for more information.


USAAA World Conference and Expo Special Offer!

logo

Leading experts in the field of autism, Eustacia Cutler (Temple Grandin's mother), Dr. Stephen Shore, Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, Dr. Phillip C. DeMio, Dr. James Neubrander and over 30 speakers will present at the 2011 USAAA Annual World Conference October 27-30, 2011 in Seattle, Washington.

Some of the world’s most renowned autism and Asperger experts will present new interventions and new research in both education and medicine.

registration offer

Click here for more information on USAAA World Conference and Expo Special Offer!


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