Social impairments in alternating hemiplegia of childhood.
AIM: To evaluate presence and severity of social impairments in alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) and determine factors that are associated with social impairments. METHOD: This was a retrospective analysis of 34 consecutive patients with AHC (19 females, 15 males; mean age: 9y 7mo, SD 8y 2mo, range 2y 7mo-40y), evaluated with the Social Responsiveness Scale, Second Edition (SRS-2). RESULTS: SRS-2 scores, indicating level of social impairment, were higher than population means (75, SD 14 vs 50, SD 10, p<0.001). Of these, 27 out of 34 had high scores: 23 severe (>76), four moderate (66-76). All subscale domains, including social cognition, social communication, social awareness, social motivation, restricted interests, and repetitive behavior, had abnormal scores compared to population means (p<0.001). High SRS-2 scores were associated with the presence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and epilepsy (p=0.01, p=0.04), but not with other scales of AHC disease symptomatology. All nine patients who received formal evaluations for ASD, because they had high SRS-2 scores, were diagnosed with ASD. INTERPRETATION: Most patients with AHC have impaired social skills involving multiple domains. ASD is not uncommon. High SRS-2 scores in patients with AHC support referral to ASD evaluation. Our findings are consistent with current understandings of the pathophysiology of AHC and ASD, both thought to involve GABAergic dysfunction. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Most patients with alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) have impaired social skills involving multiple domains. These impairments are significant compared to population means. Most patients with AHC have high Social Responsiveness Scale, Second Edition (SRS-2) scores. Patients with AHC with high SRS-2 scores are likely to have autism spectrum disorder.
Uchitel, J; Abdelnour, E; Boggs, A; Prange, L; Pratt, M; Bonner, M; Jasien, J; Dawson, G; Abrahamsen, T; Mikati, MA
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