Autism and Asperger syndrome: coexistence with other clinical disorders

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2000 Nov;102(5):321-30. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2000.102005321.x.


Objective: : To provide a clinically useful analysis of the extent to which autism and Asperger syndrome coexist with other disorders.

Method: Selective review of the literature detailing data pertaining to symptoms and disorders sometimes encountered in connection with autism or Asperger syndrome.

Results: A large number of medical conditions, psychiatric disorders and behavioural and motor dyscontrol symptoms are associated with autism and Asperger syndrome.

Conclusion: Comorbidity is to be expected in autism spectrum disorders -directly or indirectly. Comorbid conditions may be markers for underlying pathophysiology and suggest a more varied treatment approach. There is a great need for in-depth research into this area, meaning that the exclusion criteria of current diagnostic manuals, i.e. those that rule out a diagnosis of autism in some disorders, and a diagnosis of certain other disorders in autism may have to be revised.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Asperger Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Asperger Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Asperger Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / physiopathology
  • Brain Diseases / epidemiology
  • Brain Stem / physiopathology
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Hyperkinesis / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Motor Skills Disorders / epidemiology