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Childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders in adult eating disorder patients

A pilot study



Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been suggested to be overrepresented in anorexia nervosa. This study aimed to explore the comorbidity of ASD and other childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders (COND) [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) and tic disorders] in a group of severe eating disorder (ED) patients.


Thirty female ED patients from a specialist hospital clinic were examined on measures tapping into COND and personality disorders.


In our group of longstanding ED, 53% had at least one COND diagnosis; 23% had ASD, 17% had AD/HD, and 27% had a tic disorder.


These preliminary data suggest that COND may be common in patients with severe ED and should be kept in mind when treating these patients.

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attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder


anorexia nervosa


bulimia nervosa


childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders


eating disorder


personality disorder


Tourette’s disorder


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Wentz, E., Lacey, J.H., Waller, G. et al. Childhood onset neuropsychiatric disorders in adult eating disorder patients. Europ.Child & Adolescent Psych 14, 431–437 (2005).

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Key words

  • eating disorders
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • AD/HD
  • tic disorders