Send to

Choose Destination
Semin Pediatr Neurol. 1995 Dec;2(4):278-85.

Autistic regression and disintegrative disorder: how important the role of epilepsy?

Author information

Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.


At least a third of autistic toddlers regress in language, sociability, play, and often cognition. Many fewer children undergo a similar, unexplained regression after language is fully developed (disintegrative disorder [DD]). Epilepsy or a paroxysmal electroencephalogram (EEG) with/without clinical seizures, including electrical status epilepticus in slow wave sleep (ESES), may be associated, in occasional children, with either selective loss of language (Landau-Kleffner syndrome [LKS]) or with pervasive autistic regression. Fluctuation in language and behavior deficits should raise the suspicion of epilepsy. Review of the literature and of the author's experience suggests that epilepsy probably plays a relatively minor, although non-negligible, pathogenetic role in autistic regression. Multidisciplinary, possibly multi-institutional, longitudinal studies that encompass the regression are needed to sharpen diagnostic criteria to devise more effective therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center