alexa Autism and other psychiatric comorbidity in neurofibromatosis type 1: evidence from a population-based study.


Autism-Open Access

Author(s): Garg S, Lehtonen A, Huson SM, Emsley R, Trump D,

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Abstract AIM: To investigate psychopathology in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), particularly the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology, using a population-based sampling approach. METHOD: Standard questionnaire screen reports were analysed for ASD (Social Responsiveness Scale, SRS), ADHD (Conners' Parent Rating Scale- Revised, CPRS-R), and other psychiatric morbidity (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, SDQ) from parents and teachers of children aged from 4 to 16 years (112 females, 95 males) on the UK North West Regional Genetic Service register for NF1. RESULTS: Parental response rate was 52.7\% (109/207 children; 59 females, 50 males, mean age 9 y 11 mo, SD 3 y 3 mo). The SRS showed that in 29.4\% (32/109) of children, autism was in the severe, clinical range (T-score>75) and in 26.6\% (29/109) in the mild to moderate range (T-score 60-75). CPRS-R scores showed that in 53.8\% (57/106) of children autism was in the clinical ADHD range (ADHD index T-score>65). Based on their scores on the SDQ total difficulties scale, 41.5\% (44/106) of children were in the abnormal range and 14.2\% (15/106) were in the borderline range. Twenty-five per cent (26/104) of children met criteria for both clinical autism and ADHD. INTERPRETATION: This representative population-based sample of children with NF1 indicates a high prevalence of ASD symptoms associated with NF1 as well as substantial co-occurrence with ADHD symptoms. The findings clarify the psychopathology of NF1 and show the disorder as a potentially important single-gene cause for autism symptoms. © The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology © 2012 Mac Keith Press. This article was published in Dev Med Child Neurol and referenced in Autism-Open Access

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