Autism and ADHD are often accompanied by further illnesses

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New study on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Syndrome presented
For some time, physicians have suggested that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also suffer from mood swings and anxiety disorders. A recent study confirms this assumption.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are at an increased risk of being diagnosed and treated for anxiety and mood disorders. A study now presented by the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) is one of the largest comparing comorbidities of patients with ASA to those of patients with ASD and ADHD alone.

Risk more than twice that: Children with ASD and ADHD are 2.2 times as likely to have an anxiety disorder and 2.7 times more likely to have other mood disorders compared to unaffected peers. The researchers also found that these conditions were more common in older children.

According to research director Eliza Gordon-Lipkin, anxiety and mood disorders are very common in patients with ASD. “However, this study goes a step further and provides insights into the differences in children suffering from ASA only and those suffering from ASD and ADHD.”

For the study, researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute examined data from a network-based cross-sectional survey of children between the ages of six and 17 years old with ASD who were participants in the autism network between 2006 and 2013. Of the 3,319 children, 1,503 (45.3%) had ADHD. The survey data were analyzed in view of the parents’ diagnosis and the treatment of ADHD, anxiety disorder and mood disorders.

Causes still unclear: What exactly causes in the human brain that children with ASD also suffer from other mental disorders is not really researched yet, admits the expert. However, the researchers hoped that the research results published in “Pediatrics” will encourage other scientists to pursue this issue further.

According to current statistics, one out of 68 children in the US is affected by ASA. ADHD occurs in one in ten children.

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