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Affective disorders in people with autism: A review of published cases

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Abstract

The presentation of affective disorders in people with autism and autistic-like disorders is discussed based upon a review of 17 published cases. Half of the patients were female and almost all of the patients had IQs in the mentally retarded range. 35% of the patients had the onset of affective disorder in childhood. Of the cases mentioning family history, 50% had a family history of affective disorder or suicide. Changes in mood, self-attitude, and vital sense were rarely reported by the patients. A change in mood, attitude toward self and others, and vegetative changes were inferred based on the observations of others. Difficulties in diagnosing affective disorders in autistic people are presented and suggestions are made for diagnosis, treatment, and research.

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This review was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grant RO1 MH39936-04. The authors are grateful to Peggy Butler for her assistance in its preparation.

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Lainhart, J.E., Folstein, S.E. Affective disorders in people with autism: A review of published cases. J Autism Dev Disord 24, 587–601 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02172140

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