Tuberous Sclerosis and Autism

Tuberous sclerosis, also known as tuberous sclerosis complex, is a rare genetic condition that causes mainly benign (non-cancerous) tumours to develop in different parts of the body.

Tumours can develop on the skin and other parts of the body including the brain, heart, eyes, kidneys and lungs.

The benign tumours that develop from tuberous sclerosis can cause a range of other associated health conditions and complications.

These include:

  • epilepsy - a condition that causes seizures (fits)
  • intellectual impairment, such as below-average intelligence
  • learning disabilities
  • behavioural problems, such as hyperactivity or autism (a developmental disorder that causes problems with language and social interaction)
  • skin abnormalities, such as patches of light-coloured or thickened skin, or red acne-like spots
  • heart, kidney and or lung problems
  • hydrocephalus - a build-up of fluid on the brain

The range and severity of these conditions can vary significantly from person to person, even among members of the same family.

Some people with tuberous sclerosis do not have many symptoms and the condition has no real impact on their quality of life.For others, the condition can severely affect their intellectual development or cause life-threatening complications such as lung failure and they require lifelong care.

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18 Jun 2018