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Res Dev Disabil. 2010 Nov-Dec;31(6):1659-68. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2010.04.010. Epub 2010 May 26.

Adults with autism spectrum disorders and ADHD neuropsychological aspects.

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Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Kungsgatan 12, 411 18 Göteborg, Sweden.


The purpose of the present study was to assess which types of neuropsychological deficits appear to be most commonly associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults. The effect of the combination of ASD with ADHD (ASD/ADHD) was also studied. One hundred and sixty-one adult individuals (≥18 years of age) were included in the study. None had full scale IQ less than 71. The neuropsychological investigations included measures of intellectual ability, learning and memory, attention/executive function and theory of mind. The three diagnostic groups showed reduced performance in most cognitive domains. However, within these domains differentiating distinct features could be seen. The dysfunctions of the ASD/ADHD group cannot be seen as a summary of the dysfunctions found in the ASD and ADHD groups. The ADHD seemed to have the most severe neuropsychological impairments of the three groups. No domain-specific deficit typical of any of the diagnostic groups was found.

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