The relationship between Asperger’s syndrome and schizophrenia in adolescence.
Eteva the Joint Municipal Authority for Disability Services, Kokontie 18, 04200, Kerava, Finland.
Asperger’s syndrome (AS), a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), has nowadays been widely advocated in media. Therefore, psychiatrists treating adolescents frequently meet patients as well as their families reporting of symptoms resembling those of Asperger’s syndrome.
It is known that symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome have some overlap with those of schizophrenia, but less is known about comorbidity between these two syndromes. We describe a sample of 18 adolescents with early onset schizophrenia. Diagnosis of schizophrenia was based on assessment with Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia. The diagnostic interview for Social and Communication Disorders version 11 was used to assess autism spectrum disorders. Ten adolescents fulfilled symptom criteria of Asperger’s syndrome after the onset of schizophrenia, while only two persons had Asperger’s syndrome before the onset of schizophrenia, a prerequisite for diagnosis.
44 % of the adolescents fulfilled the diagnosis of some PDD in childhood. Most of them were, however, unrecognized before the onset of schizophrenia. On the other hand, all 18 patients had one or more symptoms of PDDS in adolescence. Adolescents with schizophrenia have often symptoms consistent with AS, although only few of them have fulfilled the diagnostic criteria in their childhood, a prerequisite for the diagnosis of AS. There is a risk for misdiagnosis of adolescents with autistic symptoms if detailed longitudinal anamnesis is not obtained.
Paul Patterson CalTech
Infectious Behaviour – Brain Immune connections in Autism , Schizophrenia and Depression
n Infectious Behavior, neurobiologist Paul Patterson examines the involvement of the immune system in autism, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder. Although genetic approaches to these diseases have garnered the lion’s share of publicity and funding, scientists are uncovering evidence of the important avenues of communication between the brain and the immune system and their involvement in mental illness. Patterson focuses on this brain-immune crosstalk, exploring the possibility that it may help us understand the causes of these common but still mysterious diseases. The heart of this engaging book, accessible to nonscientists, concerns the involvement of the immune systems of the pregnant woman and her fetus, and a consideration of maternal infection as a risk factor for schizophrenia and autism. Patterson reports on research that may shed light on today’s autism epidemic. He also outlines the risks and benefits of both maternal and postnatal vaccinations.
In the course of his discussion, Patterson offers a short history of immune manipulation in treating mental illness (recounting some frightening but fascinating early experiments) and explains how the immune system influences behavior and how the brain regulates the immune system, looking in particular at stress and depression. He examines the prenatal origins of adult disease and evidence for immune involvement in autism, schizophrenia, and depression. Finally, he describes the promise shown by recent animal experiments that have led to early clinical trials of postnatal and adult treatments for patients with autism and related disorders.
About the Author
Paul H. Patterson, a developmental neurobiologist, is Anne P. and Benjamin R. Biaggini Professor of Biological Sciences at the California Institute of Technology and a Research Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. He is the coauthor (with Alan Brown) of The Origins of Schizophrenia.