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Presse Med. 2008 Sep;37(9):1268-73. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2008.01.020. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

[Schizophrenia or Asperger syndrome?].

[Article in French]

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Centre Ressources Autisme PACA, Service de pédopsychiatrie, Hôpital Sainte-Marguerite, F-13009 Marseille, France.


Patients with Asperger syndrome are often diagnosed late or are wrongly considered to have schizophrenia. Misdiagnosing Asperger syndrome creates serious problems by preventing effective therapy. Several clinical signs described in Asperger syndrome could also be considered as clinical signs of schizophrenia, including impaired social interactions, disabilities in communication, restricted interests, and delusions of persecution. A number of clinical features may facilitate the differential diagnosis: younger age at onset, family history of pervasive developmental disorder, recurring conversations on the same topic, pragmatic aspects of language use, oddities of intonation and pitch, lack of imagination, and incomprehension of social rules are more characteristic of Asperger syndrome. Accurate distinction between Asperger syndrome and schizophrenia would make it possible to offer more treatment appropriate to the patient's functioning.

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