In physical medicine, the identification of recurring patterns of signs or symptoms suggesting a common pathology and etiology has led to major advances in prevention and treatment of a range of conditions. The “specific disease” model is appropriate and useful in some but not all disorders. A major theme in the history of psychiatry is the ongoing struggle to identify discrete patterns among the variety of symptoms and signs of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral disturbances in order to facilitate research into causes and treatments. The identification of syndromes among the developmental disorders affecting behavior is particularly difficult. Overt behavioral abnormalities in such conditions are the outcome of impairments of psychological functions, resulting from abnormalities of brain functions, caused by biochemical and/or structural neuropathology, produced by the original etiology. Added to this are the effects of individual differences in brain organization, changes with increasing age, individual personality, and environmental influences. Recognizing patterns within this bewildering complexity is akin to classifying clouds.
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Asperger Syndrome
- Autistic Disorder
- Childhood Schizophrenia
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Wing, L. (1998). The History of Asperger Syndrome. In: Schopler, E., Mesibov, G.B., Kunce, L.J. (eds) Asperger Syndrome or High-Functioning Autism?. Current Issues in Autism. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-5369-4_2
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