Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Samuele Cortese


Previous versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) did not allow the possibility of diagnosing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, this veto has been removed in the current version of the DSM (DSM-5), highlighting the need for screening and appropriately managing, when present, symptoms of ADHD (i.e., inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity) in individuals with ASD. Evidence from neuroimaging and genetic studies points to shared but also specific neurobiological underpinnings across the two disorders. While there is a large body of research on the pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of ADHD, evidence on the management of ADHD symptoms in individuals with ASD needs further investigation. Future studies should explore pathophysiologically based, rather than symptomatic, intervention strategies for ADHD associated with ASD.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder Diffusion Tensor Imaging ADHD Symptom Cognitive Training 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Developmental Brain-Behaviour LaboratoryUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.IRCCS Stella MarisScientific Institute of Child Neurology and PsychiatryCalambroneItaly
  3. 3.The Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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