The issue of the contribution of subclinical epilepsy to autistic spectrum and developmental and acquired communication and language disorders is one of the most important in clinical developmental neurosciences. We need to know what proportion of these disorders are caused or triggered by epilepsy, to what extent can the process be reversed and what would be the mechanism of such catastrophic selective and global loss of cortical function. The model that has been used in the study reported by Lewine and colleagues in this month's issue is of a disorder that has an onset after a period of normal or near normal early development and their finding of evidence of seizure activity in the majority of these children has to be taken seriously. A recently published French study found a rate of 50% of epileptiform electroencephalogram (EEG) activity in sleep in primary developmental dysphasia and this opens the question...

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