Autistic traits in epilepsy models: Why, when and how?

Jana Velíšková, Jill L Silverman, Melissa Benson, Pierre Pascal Lenck-Santini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a common comorbidity of epilepsy and seizures and/or epileptiform activity are observed in a significant proportion of ASD patients. Current research also implies that autistic traits can be observed to a various degree in mice and rats with seizures. This suggests that there are shared mechanisms in both ASD and epilepsy syndromes. Here, we first review the standard, validated methods used to assess autistic traits in animal models as well as their limitations with regards to epilepsy models. We then discuss two of the potential pathological processes that could be shared between ASD and epilepsy. We first focus on functional implications of neuroinflammation including changes to excitable networks mediated by inflammatory regulators. Finally we examine mechanisms at the cellular and network level involved in neuronal excitability, timing and network coordination that may directly lead to behavioral disturbances present in both epilepsy and ASD. This mini-review summarizes the work first presented at an Investigators Workshop at the 2016 American Epilepsy Society meeting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy Research
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Behavioral assays
  • Epilepsy comorbidity
  • Excitation-inhibition balance
  • Network coordination
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Novel mechanisms
  • Seizures
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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