Purpose of the Review
To provide an overview of the concept of comorbidity, research that supports the common co-occurrence of neurodevelopmental disorders and directions for future research.
Neurodevelopmental disorders including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, developmental coordination disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and learning disorders co-occur more commonly than would be expected by chance. The potential causes for this comorbidity suggested in the research literature are genetic, epigenetic, neurobiological, and environmental.
Directions for research such as imaging genetics and epidemiological studies examining prenatal environmental exposures could increase our understanding of the mechanism underlying the high rates of symptom comorbidity among neurodevelopmental disorders. This in turn could lead to improvements in diagnosis, a better understanding of the course of these disorders, and the development of more effective treatments.
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Conflict of Interest
The author declares that there are no competing interests.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
These studies were approved by the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board of the University of Calgary and informed consent was obtained from study participants.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Comorbidities
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Dewey, D. What Is Comorbidity and Why Does It Matter in Neurodevelopmental Disorders?. Curr Dev Disord Rep 5, 235–242 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40474-018-0152-3