Epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) share many primary and comorbid symptoms. The degree of clinical overlap is believed to signify a 'spectrum of vulnerability' that arises out of an early common dysfunction in central nervous system development. However, research into the underlying, and potentially shared, etiopathological mechanisms is challenging given the extensive comorbidity profiles. Adding to the degree of difficulty is the frequently evolving recompartmentalization of diagnostic criteria within each disorder. This review discusses potential preclinical strategies that, through the use of animal models, are designed to gain insight into the biological basis of the overlap between epilepsy and autism and to foster a rapid clinical translation of the insights gained.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "The Future of Translational Epilepsy Research".
- Autism spectrum disorder