Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 9, pp 1080-1093

Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders Associated with Asperger Syndrome/High-functioning Autism: A Community- and Clinic-based Study

  • Marja-Leena MattilaAffiliated withClinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, University of Oulu Email author 
  • , Tuula HurtigAffiliated withClinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, University of OuluInstitute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu
  • , Helena HaapsamoAffiliated withClinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, University of Oulu
  • , Katja JussilaAffiliated withClinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, University of Oulu
  • , Sanna Kuusikko-GauffinAffiliated withClinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, University of Oulu
  • , Marko KielinenAffiliated withDepartment of Educational Sciences and Teacher Education, University of Oulu
  • , Sirkka-Liisa LinnaAffiliated withClinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, University of OuluInstitute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu
  • , Hanna EbelingAffiliated withClinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, University of Oulu
  • , Risto BloiguAffiliated withMedical Informatics Group, University of Oulu
    • , Leena JoskittAffiliated withClinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, University of Oulu
    • , David L. PaulsAffiliated withPsychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
    • , Irma MoilanenAffiliated withClinic of Child Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, University of Oulu

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Abstract

The present study identifies the prevalence and types of comorbid psychiatric disorders associated with Asperger syndrome (AS)/high-functioning autism (HFA) in a combined community- and clinic-based sample of fifty 9- to 16-year-old subjects using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children, Present and Lifetime Version. The level of functioning was estimated using the Children’s Global Assessment Scale. The results support common (prevalence 74%) and often multiple comorbid psychiatric disorders in AS/HFA; behavioral disorders were shown in 44%, anxiety disorders in 42% and tic disorders in 26%. Oppositional defiant disorder, major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders as comorbid conditions indicated significantly lower levels of functioning. To target interventions, routine evaluation of psychiatric comorbidity in subjects with AS/HFA is emphasized.

Keywords

Comorbidity CGAS Asperger syndrome Autism Pervasive developmental disorders Autism spectrum disorders