Cerebral palsy, autism, and epilepsy may overlap in older children. The study that uncovered the findings looked at over 700,000 children from Norway and revealed that autism, and epilepsy had significant occurrences by 11 years of age. Cerebral palsy was also found in high occurrence in children over the age of four. Lastly, boys had a higher risk of these conditions compared to girls.A considerable overlap was seen among all the conditions. Seventeen percent of autistic children also had ADHD, over 11 percent of autists had epilepsy, and nearly 13 percent of epileptic children had this disorder.

Lead investigator Pål Surén wrote, “The findings demonstrate the significant burden of disease associated with neurologic and neurodevelopmental disorders in children, and that this burden is disproportionately skewed towards boys.”The researchers only examined data from 2008 to 2010, and suggest that prevalence may be higher if they would examine the data previous to 2008.The researchers wrote, “Validation studies of these diagnoses would strengthen the research value of NPR [Norwegian Patient Register] data and will be undertaken in the years to come.”

Autism more common in cerebral palsy children

An alternative study found that autism is more common in children with cthis disorder. Children with cerebral palsy were screened by the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, which is a cerebral palsy monitoring system within four parts of the U.S. Autism prevalence among this disorder children was determined among eight-year-olds in 2008.

Prevalence of this disorder at the time was found to be 3.1 per 1,000 eight-year-olds. Nearly 58 percent of children could walk properly, as measured by Gross Motor Function Classification System level and walking ability. Co-occurring autism was 6.9 percent and much more frequent, compared to children with non-spastic cerebral palsy.The study noted that prevalence of autism in this disorder children has remained constant since 1996, and that the higher prevalence of autism in non-spastic cerebral palsy requires further investigation.

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