Houston Area Pediatric Specialists

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Fever + Mitochondrial Disease May cause Autistic Regression

Fever + Mitochondrial Disease May cause Autistic Regression

Autistic spectrum disorders encompass etiologically heterogeneous persons, with many genetic causes. A subgroup of these individuals has mitochondrial disease. Because a variety of metabolic disorders, including mitochondrial disease show regression with fever, a retrospective chart review was performed and identified 28 patients who met diagnostic criteria for autistic spectrum disorders and mitochondrial disease. Autistic regression occurred in 60.7% (17 of 28), a statistically significant increase over the general autistic spectrum disorder population (P < .0001). Of the 17 individuals with autistic regression, 70.6% (12 of 17) regressed with fever and 29.4% (5 of 17) regressed without identifiable linkage to fever or vaccinations. None showed regression with vaccination unless a febrile response was present. Although the study is small, a subgroup of patients with mitochondrial disease may be at risk of autistic regression with fever. Although recommended vaccinations schedules are appropriate in mitochondrial disease, fever management appears important for decreasing regression risk.

Editor's Note - This is a startling observational summary of children in one mitochondrial clinic. ask your neurologist if your child should be evaluated for mitochondrial disease.

Make sure tests are sent to standardized labs and collected appropriately. Would you live in a house built with "nonstandard" engineering methods?


Dr. Rotenberg 713-464-4107


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