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A study presented at the 26th ECNP Congress

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

BARCELONA, Spain -Approximately 20% of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have comorbid autistic traits (ATs), according to a study presented by Dr Biederman and colleagues at the 26th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) Congress. This subgroup with both ADHD and ATs had significantly more psychopathologic, neuropsychological, and interpersonal deficits, as well as more emotional dysregulation. "We have been aware for a long time that some of those with ADHD have behaviors that look differently than what you would expect. They do not have a lot of social wisdom and have difficulties interacting, even though they do not fulfil criteria for autism,"said Dr. Biederman. An earlier study published by researchers from Baltimore, Maryland, showed that nearly one third of the kids studied who had ASD also met diagnostic criteria for ADHD.

According to Levinson and others, these results are crucial for implementing early intervention. However, two additional points require highlighting. This ADHD-AT subgroup was more clumsy than controls. Since clumsiness is often of a cerebellar-vestibular origin, and the latter Impairment was found to characterize both ADHD and ASD, it seems that those with both disorders would have greater degrees of dyscoordination. The fact that ATs and those with ASD have similar qualitative symptoms varying primarily in degree, and are similarly comorbid with ADHD, suggests that the diagnostic cut-off points for these impairments may be more arbitrary than recognized. In other words, ATs may just be less severe forms of ASD.

About Harold Levinson, M.D.

Formerly Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Medical Center, Dr. Harold Levinson is currently Director of the Levinson Medical Center for Learning Disabilities in Great Neck, New York. He is a well known neuropsychiatrist, clinical researcher and author. His "highly original" research into the cerebellar-vestibular (inner-ear) origins and treatment of dyslexia and related learning, attention-deficit/hyperactivity and anxiety or phobic disorders has evolved over the past four decades. Levinson's concepts encompass the collective insights derived from the examinations, follow-up and successful treatment of over 35,000 children, adults and even seniors and have led to new methods of screening, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. His expanded theories appear capable of encompassing and/or explaining all reported symptoms as well as most other concepts and experimental data, thus resulting in a truly holistic perspective.

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