OJPsych  Vol.3 No.3 , July 2013
Clinical and therapeutic implications of psychiatric comorbidity in high functioning autism/Asperger syndrome: An Italian study
ABSTRACT
The present study describes the occurrence of psychiatric comorbid disorders in a cohort of 86 high functioning autism (HFA)/Asperger syndrome (AS) patients, examined at Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit of Tor Vergata University. 38 patients out of 86 (44.2%) presented one or more psychiatric comorbidities, such as mood disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Tourette syndrome (TS), anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and psychotic symptoms. We compared our sample with the evidences from the scientific literature on psychiatric comorbidity in ASD patient, in particular in HFA/AS. In this paper we focus on the high frequency of comorbid psychiatric disorders in HFA/AS patients, such as mood disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Tourette syndrome (TS), anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and psychosis, including schizophrenia. We analyzed rates of all psichiatric comorbidities diagnosed in a sample of HFA/AS subjects and we compared findings from our study with the evidences from the scientific literature on psychiatric comorbidity in ASD patients, in particular HFA/AS. We point out that comorbid psychiatric symptoms can be hardly diagnosed, because they could present atipically in ASDs then in general population. Furthermore, they could be masked by ASD core symptoms.

Cite this paper
Giovinazzo, S. , Marciano, S. , Giana, G. , Curatolo, P. and Porfirio, M. (2013) Clinical and therapeutic implications of psychiatric comorbidity in high functioning autism/Asperger syndrome: An Italian study. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 3, 329-334. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.33034.
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