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Papers of the Week

2020 Sep 09


Neurological disorders in autism: A systematic review and meta-analysis.


Pan P-Y, Bölte S, Kaur P, Jamil S, Jonsson U
Autism. 2020 Sep 09:1362361320951370.
PMID: 32907344.


Neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy, have been reported to occur among individuals with autism beyond chance and may have an impact on daily living across the lifespan. Although there has been research investigating neurological disorders in autism, the findings are not always conclusive. Previous summaries of existing studies have not evaluated the full range of neurological disorders. This study aimed to comprehensively explore the neurological problems appearing in autism to provide updated information that is needed for better healthcare and support in this population. We looked at already published studies focusing on risk or frequency of neurological disorders in autism. Our results suggest that individuals with autism are more likely than the general population to have a range of neurological disorders, including epilepsy, macrocephaly, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, migraine/headache, and inborn abnormalities of the nervous system. In order to provide individualized healthcare and support of high quality to individuals diagnosed with autism, health care professionals and other support providers need to be attentive to neurological complications. To further improve our understanding about the link between autism and neurological disorders, future research should follow the neurological health of children who are diagnosed with or are at increased likelihood of autism.