INTRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterised by the alteration of three basic areas of behaviour, qualitative alterations in reciprocal social interaction, qualitative alterations in communication and patterns of behaviour, and stereotyped, repetitive and restrictive activities and interests. Specific language impairment (SLI) is a disorder in which language is slow and retarded with respect to the patient's chronological age, and which is not related to a sensory-auditory or motor deficit or to a pervasive developmental disorder. In both disorders, epilepsy has an important role. Dr. Muñoz Yunta's researches were focused in studying ASD and SLI using magnetoencephalography in order to look for epileptiform activity in precise cerebral areas. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with ASD showed specific epileptiform activity predominantly distributed in the perisylvian areas. In patients with Asperger's syndrome, epileptiform activity was mostly found in the right hemisphere. In patients with autism, no lateralized epileptiform activity was observed, although there was predominant activity in the left hemisphere. Subclinical epileptiform activity was found in the perisylvian areas in patients with ASD. Patients with SLI displayed epileptiform activity in the frontal and middle temporal regions of both hemispheres. Magnetoencephalography can be used to distinguish between patients with ASD and patients with SLI.
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