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J Affect Disord. 2008 Dec;111(2-3):170-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.02.015. Epub 2008 Apr 2.

High prevalence of bipolar disorder comorbidity in adolescents and young adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: a preliminary study of 44 outpatients.

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  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kanazawa University Hospital, Kanazawa, Japan. munesue@med.kanazawa-u.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Psychiatric comorbidity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has not been well examined.

METHODS:

Mood disorders in 44 consecutive outpatients with high-functioning ASD were examined at a university hospital according to DSM-IV. Inclusion criteria were an IQ of 70 or higher on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale and age of 12 years or over.

RESULTS:

Sixteen patients (36.4%) were diagnosed with mood disorder. Of these 16 patients, four were diagnosed as having major depressive disorder, two patients as bipolar I disorder, six patients as bipolar II disorder, and four patients as bipolar disorder not otherwise specified. Bipolar disorder accounted for 75% of cases. Twelve patients had Asperger disorder and four patients had pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. None of the patients had autistic disorder.

LIMITATIONS:

The sample size was small. We could not use Autism Diagnostic Interview - Revised. Referral bias could not be avoided in this study.

CONCLUSIONS:

The major comorbid mood disorder in patients with high-functioning ASD is bipolar disorder and not major depressive disorder. The autistic spectrum may share common vulnerability genes with the bipolar spectrum.

PMID:
18378000
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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