Epilepsy/Autism Link Identified

According to a study that was published in the May 2nd online edition of PLoS ONE, the basis for the belief that epilepsy and autism are linked has been found — and that the epilepsy might be reversible with the right medication.

Researchers for Boston’s Children’s Hospital are claiming that almost 40 percent of all autistic people also have epilepsy. This new study was led by Frances Jensen, MD, and suggests that seizures over-activate a biochemical pathway (mTOR pathway) that has already been linked to autism, changes the baby’s brain circuitry during development.

Researchers decided to use a rat to show that the early seizures did not only result in late life epilepsy, it produced autistic behavior as well. The researchers also displayed proof that disabling the mTOR pathway with rapamycin (already proven safe for babies) before and after a seizure stopped the abnormal patterns from developing connections in the brain cells, which helped to reduce autism and late life seizures.

“In children, there is overlap between epilepsy and autism, and epilepsy early in life has been linked to later autism,” Jensen said. “Our findings show one of probably many pathways that are involved in this overlap — importantly, one that is already a therapeutic target and where treatment can reverse the later outcome.”

Epilepsy is a condition that affects people of all ages all across the country. Most are treated with anti-seizure medications like Topamax. Some of the side effects linked to Topamax include birth defects in babies exposed to the drug in-utero. Some of those birth defects linked to Topamax include PPHN, oral clefts, neural tube defects and heart, lung and brain defects.

If your baby was born with any of these birth defects after being exposed to Topamax during gestation, contact Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your baby’s injuries.

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