International Meeting for Autism Research: Schizophrenia and ASD – Is It Really a Comorbidity?

Schizophrenia and ASD – Is It Really a Comorbidity?

Thursday, May 12, 2011
Elizabeth Ballroom E-F and Lirenta Foyer Level 2 (Manchester Grand Hyatt)
10:00 AM
P. W. Gorczyca1 and A. Kapinos-Gorczyca2, (1)Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Silesia,, Tarnowskie Góry, Poland, (2)Daily Psychiatric Ward for Children and Adolescents, Gliwice, Poland
Background:   Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia are both neurodevelopmental disorders that are associated with impairments in functional brain connectivity. The two disorders share many similar features, such as perceptual abnormalities, thought disorders or deficiencies in reality testing.

Objectives:  Infantile autism used to be described as the earliest manifestation of infantile schizophrenia, a subtype of infantile schizophrenia, and a syndrome having no relationship to schizophrenia. Identification of psychosis in individuals with ASD supposed to be challenging and controversial. The relationship between ASD and schizophrenia is a matter of continuing debate.

Methods:  In our study we described four patients (one girl and three boys, age from 12 to 18) with present diagnosis of acute schizophrenia; all of them earlier fulfilled the criteria of ASD.

Results:  One boy was diagnosed as Asperger syndrome, the others as high functioning autism (HFA). All of them were treated neuroleptics without full remission. After some years all these patients developed symptoms of schizophrenia with less noticeable symptoms of ASD.

Conclusions:  In our opinion the presence of some neurodevelopmental abnormalities connected with ASD could represent an alternative “entry point” to a final common pathway of psychosis.

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