Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders Associated with Asperger Syndrome/High-functioning Autism: A Community- and Clinic-based Study
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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.
KeywordsComorbidity CGAS Asperger syndrome Autism Pervasive developmental disorders Autism spectrum disorders
For this study we received financial support from Finland’s Slot Machine Association, awarded to the Finnish Association for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, and from the Eija and Veikko Lesonen Foundation, Oulu, Finland, awarded to the Child Psychiatric Research Foundation, Finland. We also received research grants from the Rinnekoti Research Foundation, Espoo, Finland (Mattila), the Alma and K. A. Snellman Foundation, Oulu, Finland (Mattila, Hurtig, Kuusikko-Gauffin, Jussila), the Child Psychiatric Research Foundation, Finland (Mattila, Kuusikko-Gauffin), the Child Psychiatric Research Foundation, Oulu Area, Finland (Mattila), and the Oulu Medical Research Foundation, Oulu, Finland (Mattila). The research was also supported by The National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) (Pauls), the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Finland (Ebeling), the Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland (Moilanen), and the Jusélius Foundation, Finland (Moilanen). The Graduate School of Circumpolar Wellbeing, Health and Adaptation is acknowledged for their support. Prior oral presentation has been given at ESCAP 2007, 13th International Congress, Florence, Italy, August 25–29, 2007, and at ESCAP 2009, 14th International Congress, Budapest, Hungary, August 22–26, 2009, and prior poster presentation at the Finnish Medical Convention in Helsinki, Finland, January 6–10, 2008. This study will be adapted into a dissertation.
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