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Somatosensory evoked potentials in children with autism

Author(s): Azouz HG, Khalil M, El Ghani HMA, Hamed HM

Abstract

Introduction: Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder in the category of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), which is characterized by widespread abnormalities of social interactions, communication, and severely restricted interests and highly repetitive behavior. Children with autism show sensory and perceptual abnormalities. They have either hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity to sensory, auditory, and visual stimuli. Objectives: The aim of this work was to study somatosensory evoked potential (SSEPs) changes among children with autism, and their relation to somatosensory manifestations and severity of autism. Subjects: Thirty children with autism aged 2–12 years were included in the study, all of them fulfilling criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–IV–TR). Methods: All cases were subjected to thorough history taking including autistic symptoms and sensory abnormalities, comprehensive medical examination, psychiatric assessment according to DSM–IV–TR criteria for diagnosing autism, assessment of severity of autism using Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and measurement of somatosensory evoked potentials elicited by median nerve stimulation at wrist. Results: Themajority of the cases were males (86.7%), according to CARS 53.3% were classified asmild to moderate autism, while 46.7% were severe. Sensory abnormalities were present in 56.7% of cases.

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