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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2019 May;28(5):615-624. doi: 10.1007/s00787-018-1225-x. Epub 2018 Sep 14.

Electroencephalogram (EEG) for children with autism spectrum disorder: evidential considerations for routine screening.

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Electro-Neuro Analysis Research, Tarnow Center for Self-Management, 1001 West Loop South, Suite 215, Houston, TX, 77027, USA.
Behavioral Neurology Division, The Saint Luke's Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute, Kansas City, MO, USA.
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA.
Tarnow Center for Self-Management, Houston, TX, USA.
Department of Clinical Psychology, Saybrook University, Oakland, CA, USA.


Routine electroencephalograms (EEG) are not recommended as a screen for epileptic discharges (EDs) in current practice guidelines for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, a review of the research from the last three decades suggests that this practice should be reevaluated. The significant comorbidity between epilepsy and ASD, its shared biological pathways, risk for developmental regression, and cognitive challenges demand increased clinical investigation requiring a proactive approach. This review highlights and explains the need for screening EEGs for children with ASD. EEG would assist in differentiating EDs from core features of ASD and could be included in a comprehensive assessment. EEG also meets the demand for evidence-based precision medicine and focused care for the individual, especially when overlapping processes of development are present.


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD); Electroencephalography (EEG); Epilepsy; Epileptic discharges; Evidence-based medicine; Screening

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