[Comorbid psychiatric disorders and differential diagnosis of patients with autism spectrum disorder without intellectual disability]

Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 2014 Jun;64(6):206-13. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1358708. Epub 2013 Nov 14.
[Article in German]


Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) without intellectual disability are often diagnosed late in life. Little is known about co-occurring psychiatric disorders and differential diagnosis of ASC in adulthood, particularly with regard to personality disorders. What kind of comorbid psychiatric disorders occur in ASC? Which are the most prevalent differential diagnoses in a sample of patients who seek autism specific clinical diagnostics? 118 adults who were referred with a presumed diagnosis of autistic disorder, were diagnosed with autism specific instruments and the prevalence of further psychiatric disorders was investigated. 59 (50%) fulfilled the criteria of ASC. 36% of the individuals with ASC fulfilled also criteria for a DSM-IV axis-I psychiatric disorder. Affective disorders (24%) and social phobia (14%) were the most prevalent comorbid disorders. The most frequent differential diagnoses were depression, social phobia, paranoid, avoidant and narcissistic personality disorder.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asperger Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Asperger Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Asperger Syndrome / psychology
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / epidemiology
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • General Practice / statistics & numerical data
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / diagnosis*
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology*
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Personality Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult