Electroencephalograms of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show higher rates of interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs), which are known to have an inverse association with cognitive function in typically developed (TD) children. Nevertheless, that phenomenon has not been investigated adequately in children with ASD. From university and affiliated hospitals, 163 TD children (84 male, 79 female, aged 32-89 months) and 107 children (85 male, 22 female, aged 36-98 months) with ASD without clinical seizure were recruited. We assessed their cognitive function using the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC) and recorded 10 min of MEG. Original waveforms were visually inspected. Then a linear regression model was applied to evaluate the association between the IED frequency and level of their cognitive function. Significantly higher rates of IEDs were found in the ASD group than in the TD group. In the TD group, we found significant negative correlation between mental processing scale scores (MPS) and the IED frequency. However, for the ASD group, we found significant positive correlation between MPS scores and the IED frequency. In terms of the achievement scale, correlation was not significant in either group. Although we found a correlative rather than a causal effect, typically developed children with higher IED frequency might better be followed up carefully. Furthermore, for children with ASD without clinical seizure, clinicians might consider IEDs as less harmful than those observed in TD children.
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- autism spectrum disorder
- epileptiform discharges
- cognitive function