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Epilepsy is characterized by periodic states of convulsions and is often found in patients suffering from autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A new study by scientists at the American Epilepsy Society has revealed that autistic patients with epilepsy symptoms are apparently photosensitive too.

Photosensitive epilepsies supposedly led the self-stimulatory actions of autistic children to raise the risk of developing photosensitive seizures. This kind of photosensitivity was presumably observed in about 2 to 14% of children diagnosed with just epilepsy.

For the analysis, data about autistic children was reviewed from December 2010 to May 2011. Also, participants who were exposed to an EEG before or during the search phase were incorporated in the study. The EEG results were scrutinized to gauge the existence or absence of a photoparoxysmal response (PPR) to alternating photic instigation.

“Our study found a high overall incidence of photosensitivity in 25 percent of children over 15 years of age with autism spectrum disorder, and an even higher rate of 29.4 percent in that age group of children who had both epilepsy and autism. This finding has not been previously reported,” cited lead author Jill Miller-Horn.

As per the outcomes, a substantial and surprisingly higher rate of almost 30% photosensitivity was seemingly present in adolescents who encountered epilepsy and autism comorbidity. However, further tests are required to affirm the findings related to pathophysiology of epilepsy in autistic children.

The study was presented at the 65th annual meeting, of the American Epilepsy Society.