Autism-schizophrenia overlap

Thanks to ASDresearchinitiative for pointing out a new article on diseases that are co-morbid with autism. The findings (simplified by me): 19% of ASD patients had epilepsy as compared to 2% in the overall hospital population, 2.4% of ASD with schizophrenia vs. 0.2% in the hospital population, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) 0.8% vs. 0.5%, bowel disorders (without IBD) 12% vs. 5%, diabetes mellitus type I (DM1) 0.8% vs. 0.3%, muscular dystrophy 0.5% vs 0.1%, sleep disorders 1.1% vs. 0.1%. Three of the studied comorbidities increased significantly when comparing ages 0–17 vs 18–34 with p<0.001: Schizophrenia (1.4% vs. 8.8%), diabetes mellitus type I (0.7% vs. 2.1%), IBD (0.7% vs. 2.0%). Most of these findings support prior work, and the schizophrenia overlap with autism is important, given the large size of their population studied. It is particularly striking that they find schizophrenia is 8 times higher in ASD than in the general population when they look just at the adult ASD cohort – it is only in the adults where schizophrenia would be diagnosed anyway, so this 8-fold number is the reliable one. The increases in GI tract problems also reinforces prior work and is of interest in light of my prior post. The muscular dystrophy increase is new to me, although it represents a very small absolute number. But maybe it has to do with inflammation?

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5 Responses to Autism-schizophrenia overlap

  1. JARyan says:

    I don’t have the link handy, but at least one study found a higher prevalence of schizophrenia in populations previously diagnosed with childhood rheumatic fever.

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