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Autism and epilepsy: A population-based nationwide cohort study
Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden .
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6851-3297
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2016 (English)In: Neurology, ISSN 0028-3878, E-ISSN 1526-632X, Vol. 87, no 2, p. 192-197Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To investigate the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in individuals with epilepsy and in their first-degree relatives to determine shared etiology.

Methods: Through the Swedish Patient Register, we identified 85,201 individuals with epilepsy, as well as all their siblings (n = 80,511) and offspring (n = 98,534). Each individual with epilepsy was compared with 5 controls, matched for age, sex, calendar period, and county, while siblings and offspring were compared with siblings and offspring of controls. We excluded siblings and offspring with epilepsy. Using Cox regression, we calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for future diagnosis of ASD. Logistic regression was applied to calculate odds ratios (ORs) for prior diagnosis of ASD.

Results: During follow-up, 1,381 (1.6%) individuals with epilepsy and 700 (0.2%) controls were diagnosed with ASD. Individuals with epilepsy were therefore at increased risk of future ASD (HR 10.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] 9.55-11.53), with the highest risk seen in individuals diagnosed with epilepsy in childhood. Both siblings (HR 1.62, 95% CI 1.43-1.83) and offspring (HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.46-1.84) of epilepsy patients were at increased risk of ASD. The risk in the offspring was particularly high in mothers with epilepsy (HR 1.91; 95% CI 1.63-2.23). Epilepsy was also associated with a prior diagnosis of ASD (OR 4.56, 95% CI 4.02-5.18).

Conclusions: Individuals with epilepsy are at increased risk of ASD, especially if epilepsy appears in childhood. Further, ASD is more common in the siblings and offspring of individuals with epilepsy, suggesting shared etiology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Philadelphia, USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Vol. 87, no 2, p. 192-197
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-54630DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002836ISI: 000381470700039PubMedID: 27306624Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84979000396OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-54630DiVA, id: diva2:1064477
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

Funding Agencies:

Swedish Initiative for research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences (SIMSAM) 

Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare 

Available from: 2017-01-12 Created: 2017-01-12 Last updated: 2018-07-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Comorbidity and complications in neurological diseases
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Comorbidity and complications in neurological diseases
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Neurological diseases are complex and many share etiology as well as comorbidities. Epilepsy, a brain disorder characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are considered to be associated, but the connection is still not fully uncovered. Cerebral palsy (CP), a lifelong, nonspecific, non-progressive disorder of posture and movement control, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a connective tissue disorder, both have many consequences for health and wellbeing throughout life.

Aims: The aim of this thesis was to explore the impact of comorbidity and complications in neurological diseases and EDS. The objective was to gain information on the nature of the connection between epilepsy and ASD, if EDS, ASD and CP have consequences for pregnancy outcome, and the risk of traffic accidents in individuals with epilepsy.

Materials and methods: The studies are all historical observational population- based cohort studies with prospectively collected data from national registers. The risk of ASD was analysed in 85,201 individuals with epilepsy and compared with 425,760 controls as well as for their firstdegree relatives. In a cohort of 1,248,178 singleton births, 314 births to women with EDS, 2,072 births to women with ASD, and 770 births to women with CP, pregnancy outcome was explored. The risk of traffic accidents was estimated in 29,220 individuals with epilepsy and 267,637 matched controls.

Results: There is an increased risk of; ASD in individuals with epilepsy and their relatives, moderately preterm birth and pre-eclampsia in maternal ASD, of preterm birth in maternal CP and transport accidents in individuals with epilepsy. There is no increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcome in women with EDS.

Conclusions: This thesis found proofs of a bidirectional association between epilepsy and ASD, that ASD and CP have consequences for pregnancy outcome and epilepsy is a risk factor for traffic accidents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2017. p. 81
Series
Örebro Studies in Medicine, ISSN 1652-4063 ; 163
Keywords
antiepileptic drugs, autism, cerebral palsy, child, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, epilepsy, obstetric, pregnancy, traffic accidents
National Category
General Practice
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-58056 (URN)978-91-7529-199-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-09-08, Örebro universitet, Campus USÖ, Hörsal C3, Södra Grev Rosengatan 32, Örebro, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-06-15 Created: 2017-06-15 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, HenrikLudvigsson, Jonas F.

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