A Look At Schizophrenia and Autism

A new article published at Psychiatric Times examines the relationship between childhood-onset schizophrenia and autism, two disorders that have long had a blurred line of distinction. In fact, the DSM-II categorized autism under childhood-type schizophrenia. The disorders have had separate diagnoses since the DSM-III, but studies of childhood-onset schizophrenia show that many schizophrenic individuals with who experience psychosis before age 13 also have an autistic spectrum disorder.

Shared Genes & Brain Changes

There have not been many studies of the genetic relationship between schizophrenia and autism, but reports indicate that certain genetic mutations and deletions are associated with both disorders. Schizophrenia and autism sufferers also both have accelerated brain development around the time their symptoms begin, and lower volumes of gray matter in their brain.

Are Autism and Schizophrenia Distinct?

The disorders have similarities and can manifest in similar symptoms, especially autism and childhood-onset schizophrenia. The main point of this article is that autism and childhood-onset schizophrenia aren't always distinct--there are some people who may have both, and mental health professionals should be trained to diagnosis both disorders. Adults with schizophrenia may benefit from greater diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders, and children with autism may also have psychotic disorders that would benefit from treatment.

Read the entire article at http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/schizophrenia/content/article/10168/1822823

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