The History Of The Connection Between Autism & Schizophrenia
The link between schizophrenia and autism goes back many years. Historically, autism was considered a feature or symptom of schizophrenia. It was not until 1943 that it was even considered to possibly be its own disorder.
The negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as flat affect, social withdrawal and detachment, communication difficulties, little interest in other people and preference instead for objects, and rigid and repetitive behaviors were actually autistic traits.
Research in the 1970s showed that hallucinations, which are a common psychotic symptom of schizophrenia, were not common in children with autistic traits that manifested prior to age 3. Instead, these children often turned out to have difficulties with social relationships and language delays.
Finally, in 1980, autism and schizophrenia were recognized as two separate diagnoses with a big distinction age of onset. Children presenting with symptoms around age 4 or earlier were considered to have autism, while those with symptoms that began between the ages of 16 and 30 had schizophrenia.
In the 1990s, research began to shift the landscape again, indicating a potentially greater connection between the two disorders. It is now recognized that it is possible to have both schizophrenia and autism at the same time. This situation is called comorbid disorders.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Link With Schizophrenia And Autism
Deficiencies in certain vitamins and nutrients can cause certain problems, both physical and mental and different vitamins respond to different systems in our bodies and have different functions. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin and it is very important for red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis and many neurological functions. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in certain products but it can also be taken as a supplement for those who do not get enough B12 in their diet. Deficiency in B12 can be linked to many negative consequences, including anemia, vision loss, many behavioral changes and mental problems that could include but arent limited to depression and memory loss.
In order to maintain our energy and health, we need to live a healthy lifestyle which includes our diet and exercise. When we talk about diets, we mean that we need to take in a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients that are essential for maintaining that health. There are many different disputes and variations in the world that argue between different diet versions and which one is the most optimal one for humans.
Many base their arguments on ethical reasons, others health reasons, however, scientists have identified some key elements that are important for our developmentand health maintenance, not only when we grow but even when we arent born yet. That means that whatever our mothers put in their bodies during pregnancies will have an effect on us later on as well.
Affect In Schizophrenia And Autism/aspergers Syndrome
Flattened affect is common in schizophrenia and Autism/Aspergers syndrome. Lewis et al. point out that avolition is similar to apathy, and these may be considered closely related, with avolition identifying a deficit in the ability to act, and apathy a loss of concern for an idea or task. This is very common in Autism/ Aspergers syndrome and schizophrenia. Lewis et al. point out that in schizophrenia the blunting of expression includes deficits in production, facial expression, gestures, and prosody, and understanding these social signals is similarly impaired. This is also typical of Autism/Aspergers syndrome. The DSM-IV- TR glossary points out that affective flattening is the persons face appearing immobile and unresponsive, with poor eye contact and reduced body language. This is typical of Aspergers syndrome. Thaker points out that in schizophrenia one observes a lack of facial expression even while describing the experience of an emotion, lack of tonal inflections of the patients voice, and reduced expression of feelings through gestures and body language which is also observed in Autism/ Aspergers syndrome.
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Intercorrelations Among Panss And Ados Symptom Domains
Table 3 shows intercorrelations between ADOS-Positive, ADOS-Negative, PANSS-Positive, and PANSS-Negative across the entire sample. Of particular interest, there was a strong, significant correlation between ADOS-Negative and PANSS-Negative, r = 0.58, p< .001, suggesting overlapping content between the two scales. In contrast, ADOS-Positive and PANSS-Positive had a low, nonsignificant correlation, r = 0.16, p = .077, suggesting the positive symptom domains from either scale are tapping relatively distinct constructs.
Table 3 Intercorrelations Among ADOS and PANSS Symptom Domains.
Schizophrenic Parents And Autistic Children
A 2008 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study discovered that parents with a preexisting mental illness, such as schizophrenia, are more likely to have children with autism. Researchers examined the medical records of 30,000 children and 1,237 Swedish children who were diagnosed with autism before the age of 10. The researchers also reviewed the parents’ medical records. The study found that children had a 70 percent greater risk of developing autism than the families with no history of mental illness. The risk for autism was twice the average if both parents had mental illnesses. Schizophrenia was the psychiatric disorder that had the highest incidence of autistic children, suggesting a genetic link.
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Acute Inflammation And Characteristics Shared By Schizophrenia And Autism
In line with previous theoretical accounts , maternal infection during critical stages of pregnancy leads to acute cytokine-associated inflammation in the fetal system, including the fetal brain. Acute neuroinflammation during early fetal brain development may negatively affect ongoing neurodevelopmental processes such as neuronal/glial cell differentiation, proliferation, migration, and survival. We propose that acute fetal neuroinflammation, together with its effects on early neurodevelopmental processes, may facilitate the development of psychopathological and neuropathological phenotypes shared by schizophrenia and autism. Hence, acute fetal neuroinflammation may be responsible for aberrant development of neural substrates of social behavior and cognition, emotional processing, sensorimotor gating, and certain executive functions, the disruption of which has been similarly implicated in schizophrenia and autism.
Adhd Autism And Schizophrenia Link
A study out of Great Britain has shown that there is a link between, ADHD, autism, and schizophrenia. Scientists have demonstrated that these diseases have a genetic basis, that there are differences in the brain structure which lead to these developmental disorders. The study published in The Lancet and reported in Science Dailyin September, 2010, found that children with ADHD were more likely to have small segments of their DNA duplicated or missing than other children.
These segments are called copy-number variants. Copy-number variants are defined by Wikipedia as are alterations of the DNA of a genome that results in the cell having an abnormal number of copies of one or more sections of the DNA. Apparently, these segments overlap in ADHD, autism, and schizophrenia, which means that ADHD can now be classified as a genetically based disorder like autism and schizophrenia.
Highly sensitive people often have genetically based diseases caused by abnormal fetal development. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the stress experienced by the mother during pregnancy as the creation of an HSP with genetic disorders. Many genetic diseases have existed for a long time in the human race, and as a result, they can be inherited as well.
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Concerned Your Child May Have Schizophrenia
Take our 2-minute Schizophrenia quiz to see if he or she may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.
Naturally, there is typically a high level of parental distress and confusion when a young child demonstrates what appear to be the symptoms of schizophrenia, says Peter L. Klinger, MD, assistant professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Arizona in Tucson and psychiatrist for the Early Psychosis Intervention Center at Banner University Medical Group.
Schizophrenia Prevalence May Be Threefold Higher In People With Autism
by Bahar Gholipour / 21 November 2018
Autism and schizophrenia co-occur significantly more often than would be expected by chance, according to a new analysis of nearly 2 million people1.
Researchers have long suspected that autism and schizophrenia are related. The two conditions have overlapping traits, including sensory-processing problems and social difficulties, and they share gene-expression patterns in brain tissue. But studies of the prevalence of each condition among people diagnosed with the other have yielded inconsistent results.
Collating data from 11 studies, the new analysis found that schizophrenia is 3.6 times as common in individuals with autism as in controls. Autism likewise occurs more often in people with schizophrenia than in the general population, although the data, taken from six studies, are too variable for a single number to emerge.
Regardless of the way we look at it schizophrenia in autism or autism in schizophrenia the overlap between the two disorders is higher than wed expect, says Jennifer Foss-Feig, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, who was not involved in the work.
The study does not offer clues to the origin of this overlap. Schizophrenia and autism as well as some environmental risk factors, such as in-utero exposure to inflammation.
Childhood Schizophrenia Is A Very Rare Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder That Is Characterized By Hallucinations Disorganized Speech Delusions Catatonic Behavior And Negative Symptoms
Childhood schizophrenia is a schizophrenia spectrum disorder that is characterized by hallucinations, disorganized speech, delusions, catatonic behavior and negative symptoms, such as neglecting personal hygiene or appearing to lack emotion. Childhood schizophrenia is very rare, so when parents see what they believe are the signs of schizophrenia in their child and possibly ask their pediatrician about a child schizophrenia test, its likely that their fears are unfounded.
Schizophrenia in children is quite uncommon, although it can be present, says Victor Fornari, MD, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, New York and Cohen Childrens Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York.
In fact, childhood-onset schizophrenia is rare.1 With an estimated prevalence rate of around 1 in 10,000 children, it tends to be diagnosed more often in males than females. With schizophrenia, the prodrome phase, or early signs of concern, generally begin in adolescence, he says, and the age of full onset is late adolescence to early adulthoodbasically from ages 18 to 25, Dr. Fornari says.
Neuroimaging And Genomic Dimensions Across Diagnostic Boundaries
Neuroimaging traits and genetic factors specific to a psychiatric diagnosis have yet to be identified. The field has, however, progressed in characterizing neural substrates and genomic variants common across disorders.
In one of the first large transdiagnostic efforts, anterior cingulate area and anterior insula were among the top regions to demonstrate shared anatomical alterations across schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, addiction, OCD, and anxiety., Shared alterations were the highest between psychotic disorders and minimum with anxiety and OCD. A neuroanatomical investigation of ASD, schizophrenia, and ADHD has suggested that shared dimensions may arise through alterations in functional networks responsible for processing complex cognitive traits. Patterns associated with ASD and ADHD were distributed within the DMN, while ADHD and schizophrenia patterns were preferentially observed in the ventral attentional network . The remaining components of the ASD and schizophrenia alteration profiles were distributed within the frontoparietal and limbic networks. Interestingly, thickness and surface alterations were observed within the same network, but not necessarily with the same directionality across conditions. Identifying overlap between these three conditions was difficult possibly because of the small neuroimaging effect size in ASD and ADHD, and the lower correlation between schizophrenia and these two earlier onset conditions.
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Bilateral Functional Connectivity Is Impaired In Cyfip1+/ Mice
Many neuropsychiatric disorders are characterized by impaired brain connectivity. To investigate whether and how Cyfip1 haploinsufficiency could affect brain networks in vivo, we analysed functional connectivity in several brain regions using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging . Cyfip1+/ adult mice showed decreased FC compared to wild-type . Brain areas that presented significant difference between WT and Cyfip1+/ mice are the cingulate cortex and the thalamus . FC networks are characterised by midline symmetry, and correlations between homotopic regions are particularly strong. To analyse bilateral FC, seed-based analysis was performed across brain areas . Remarkably, FC with the contralateral side of the seed region was particularly affected in the hippocampus, somatosensory and motor cortices . In conclusion, our results show significant defects in functional connectivity, especially of the bilateral connections.
In sum, we gathered compelling electrophysiological, anatomical, functional and behavioural evidence, which all demonstrate defects in callosal connections of the adult Cyfip1+/ mouse brain. Furthermore, the Cyfip1+/ haploinsufficiency mouse model recapitulates several behavioural endophenotypes of ASD and SCZ.
Diagnostic And Behavioral Assessments
ASD symptoms were measured using the ADOS-2 . The ADOS-2 is a gold-standard assessment tool used to assist clinician judgment in making decisions about a possible ASD diagnosis. It is commonly used in ASD research to confirm diagnoses in a standardized manner and to estimate the severity of ASD traits . The ADOS-2 was administered by trained, research-reliable clinicians and consists of semistructured activities and conversations meant to sample a participants real-world social behavior and core autistic characteristics related to language and communication, reciprocal social interaction, imagination and creativity, stereotyped behaviors and restricted interests, and other atypical behaviors. The ADOS-2 algorithm sums across a subset of scored items in order to categorize participants into autism , autism-spectrum , and non-spectrum.
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Prodromal Schizophrenia And Autism/ Aspergers Syndrome
Thaker points out that in relation to schizophrenia the negative symptoms, and cognitive, neurophysiological, and functional impairments prece- de psychosis onset by several years. The big issue here is of the difficulty during this period of differentiating Autism/Aspergers Syndrome from these prodromal phenomena of schizophrenia. The old concept of simple schizophrenia of course completely overlaps with Autism/Aspergers Syndrome . The subtype of schizophrenia that is most likely to be confused with Autism/Aspergers Syndrome is the paranoid type.
Carpenter 2009 used the term risk syndrome for psychosis. David 2011 notes a large US cohort with 35% conversion or transition rate within 2. 5 years to full blown psychosis . David 2011 also noted that transition rates decline over time. David 2011 notes the wish to prevent psychosis but that the benefit to harm ratio of a given intervention will be tilted towards harm as false posi- tive rate goes up. There is clearly more research to be done in this area before we can avoid the problems of false positive rates. Autism/Aspergers Syndrome should always be part of the differential diagnosis of Schizophrenia.
Indeed when you look at Eugen Bleulers four key symptoms of schizophrenia all these can occur in Autism/Aspergers Syndrome. Bleuler E. .
Factors Associated With Schizophrenia And Autism/aspergers Syndrome
Van Os and Allardyce point out that there are a large number of published studies demonstrating some relationship between pregnancy and birth complications and the development of schizophrenia. Pregnancy and birth complications are also quite common in persons with Autism/Aspergers Syndrome. They also point out that there is strong evidence linking advance paternal age to the risk of schizophrenia in offspring. The same is so in Autism/Aspergers Syndrome. Maternal malnutrition, other antenatal factors, and viruses have been linked to schizophrenia. Certainly epigenetic factors are playing a part in Autism/ Aspergers Syndrome and schizophrenia. Both schizophrenia and Autism/Aspergers Syndrome have multifactorial aetiologies with the Autism/Aspergers Syndrome having a much higher genetic underpinning. There are some overlapping genetic factors in schizophrenia and Autism. Aspergers Syndrome .
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Differences Between Schizophrenia And Autism Aspergers Syndrome
Autism and Aspergers Syndrome have an early childhood onset while schizophrenia comes on much later. Patients with Schizophrenia have small brains while persons with Autism/ Aspergers Syndrome often have larger brains .
Of course the difference between schizophrenia and Autism/Aspergers Syndrome is that in schizophrenia if you can get an accurate history there is loss of these phenomena while in Autism/Aspergers Syndrome they are consistently there often from onset of the clinical features. Persons with Autism/Aspergers Syndrome are very rigid on inpatient units. They therefore did not fit in with the routines of inpatient units in the same way that persons with schizophrenia can.
In my clinical experience clear or first rank symptoms of Schizophrenia do differentiate Schizophrenia from Autism.
Can Children Outgrow Schizophrenia
COS is not likely to go away without treatment and is generally a chronic condition. But the right combination of medication and mental health services, particularly early identification and intervention, can help, Dr. Klinger says. The goal is to get the person diagnosed early and involved in an out-patient program that offers individual therapy, medical management, and group therapy with peers as well as with multiple families facing the challenges together, he says.
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The Commonality Of Schizophrenia & Autism
People with autism are more likely to also have schizophrenia, and vice versa.
Rates of comorbidity are highly variable, but they range from 3.5% to just over 50%. This large range can be related to the fact that one disorder is commonly mistaken as the other. Since the symptoms can be so similar, it is also common for both disorders to be present but only one is diagnosed.
Typically, schizophrenia does not manifest until late adolescence to early adulthood. A severe form of the disorder that is also more rare, called child-onset schizophrenia , shows up prior to age 13. This form regularly co-occurs with autism spectrum disorder as well. When schizophrenia occurs earlier in life, it is more likely that the person already has autism as well.
Overlapping symptoms for schizophrenia and autism can include:
- Trouble relating socially.
- Occupational therapy practitioners.
- Speech-language pathologists.
A treatment plan will often include a combination of both medication and therapy. Treatment should be based on the specific symptoms of a person and not solely on the diagnosis of one or both disorders. Individual cases can be best managed by treating each person with a specialized care plan that focuses on the direct symptoms.
Usually, medications will be used to manage psychosis, and therapy will be used to regulate moods, emotions, and social communication deficits.
Treatments can include: