Autistic spectrum disorder, epilepsy, and vagus nerve stimulation.
In individuals with a comorbid autistic spectrum disorder and medically refractory epilepsy, vagus nerve stimulation may offer the potential of seizure control and a positive behavioral side effect profile. We aimed to examine the behavioral side effect profile using longitudinal and quantitative data and review the potential mechanisms behind behavioral changes.
We present a case report of a 10-year-old boy with autistic spectrum disorder and epilepsy, who underwent vagus nerve stimulation subsequent to unsuccessful treatment with antiepileptic medication.
Following vagus nerve stimulation implantation, initial, if temporary, improvement was observed in seizure control. Modest improvements were also observed in behavior and development, improvements which were observed independent of seizure control.
Vagus nerve stimulation in autistic spectrum disorder is associated with modest behavioral improvement, with unidentified etiology, although several candidates for this improvement are evident.
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