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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017 Jul;56(7):610-617.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2017.05.002. Epub 2017 May 11.

Autism Spectrum Symptoms in a Tourette's Disorder Sample.

Author information

1
University of California, San Francisco.
2
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore.
3
University of Toronto and University Health Network, and Youthdale Treatment Centers, Ontario, Canada.
4
Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.
5
University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
6
Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
7
North Shore/Long Island Jewish Health System, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY.
8
University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen; Utrecht University; and Drenthe Mental Health Institution, Assen, the Netherlands.
9
Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY.
10
University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
11
Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu.
12
Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's Hospitals, Boston.
13
University of Florida, Gainesville. Electronic address: carolmathews@ufl.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Tourette's disorder (TD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) share clinical features and possibly an overlapping etiology. The aims of this study were to examine ASD symptom rates in participants with TD, and to characterize the relationships between ASD symptom patterns and TD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

METHOD:

Participants with TD (n = 535) and their family members (n =234) recruited for genetic studies reported TD, OCD, and ADHD symptoms and completed the Social Responsiveness Scale Second Edition (SRS), which was used to characterize ASD symptoms.

RESULTS:

SRS scores in participants with TD were similar to those observed in other clinical samples but lower than in ASD samples (mean SRS total raw score = 51; SD = 32.4). More children with TD met cut-off criteria for ASD (22.8%) than adults with TD (8.7%). The elevated rate in children was primarily due to high scores on the SRS Repetitive and Restricted Behaviors (RRB) subscale. Total SRS scores were correlated with TD (r = 0.27), OCD (r = 0.37), and ADHD (r = 0.44) and were higher among individuals with OCD symptom-based phenotypes than for those with tics alone.

CONCLUSION:

Higher observed rates of ASD among children affected by TD may in part be due to difficulty in discriminating complex tics and OCD symptoms from ASD symptoms. Careful examination of ASD-specific symptom patterns (social communication vs. repetitive behaviors) is essential. Independent of ASD, the SRS may be a useful tool for identifying patients with TD with impairments in social communication that potentially place them at risk for bullying and other negative sequelae.

KEYWORDS:

Tourette's disorder; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; autism; heritability; obsessive-compulsive disorder

PMID:
28647013
PMCID:
PMC5648014
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaac.2017.05.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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