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J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Jun;47(6):1595-1604. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3083-7.

A Causal and Mediation Analysis of the Comorbidity Between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Author information

1
Radboud University, Postbus 9010, 6500, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. e.sokolova@cs.ru.nl.
2
Institute for Computing and Information Sciences, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. e.sokolova@cs.ru.nl.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Interdisciplinary Center Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation (ICPE), University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
5
Karakter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
6
Department of Psychiatry, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
7
Institute for Computing and Information Sciences, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are often comorbid. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationships between ASD and ADHD symptoms by applying causal modeling. We used a large phenotypic data set of 417 children with ASD and/or ADHD, 562 affected and unaffected siblings, and 414 controls, to infer a structural equation model using a causal discovery algorithm. Three distinct pathways between ASD and ADHD were identified: (1) from impulsivity to difficulties with understanding social information, (2) from hyperactivity to stereotypic, repetitive behavior, (3) a pairwise pathway between inattention, difficulties with understanding social information, and verbal IQ. These findings may inform future studies on understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms behind the overlap between ASD and ADHD.

KEYWORDS:

ADHD; ASD; Comorbidity; Inattention; Social interaction

PMID:
28255761
PMCID:
PMC5432632
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-017-3083-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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