Autism Symptoms in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Familial Trait which Correlates with Conduct, Oppositional Defiant, Language and Motor Disorders

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, .
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.34). 03/2009; 39(2):210-211. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-008-0640-0
Source: PubMed


Erratum in J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Feb;39(2):210-1. It is hypothesised that autism symptoms are present in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), are familial and index subtypes of ADHD. Autism symptoms were compared in 821 ADHD probands, 1050 siblings and 149 controls. Shared familiality of autism symptoms and ADHD was calculated using DeFries-Fulker analysis. Autism symptoms were higher in probands than siblings or controls, and higher in male siblings than male controls. Autism symptoms were familial, partly shared with familiality of ADHD in males. Latent class analysis using SCQ-score yielded five classes; Class 1(31%) had few autism symptoms and low comorbidity; Classes 2-4 were intermediate; Class 5(7%) had high autism symptoms and comorbidity. Thus autism symptoms in ADHD represent a familial trait associated with increased neurodevelopmental and oppositional/conduct disorders.

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Available from: Michael Gill, Jun 20, 2014
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    • "The distinction between internalizing and externalizing psychopathology has been replicated and extended in clinical and general populations samples for both childhood (e.g., Lahey et al. 2008, 2012) and adult psychopathology (Krueger 1999; Markon 2010; Vollebergh et al. 2001). A number of studies have shown the relevance of dimensional representations of autism related problems in clinical and general population samples (Constantino et al. 2006; Constantino and Todd 2003; Frazier et al. 2010, 2012; Mandy et al. 2012; Mulligan et al. 2009; Reiersen, Constantino, Grimmer, Martin, and Todd 2008) as well as their genetic independence (Constantino, Hudziak, and Todd 2003; Hoekstra, Bartels, Hudziak, van Beijsterveldt, and Boomsma 2007). From this perspective, autism-related problems constitute a general dimension of individual differences rather than a specific dimension only relevant for a subsample of patients, similar to how internalizing and externalizing problems are conceived of. "
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    ABSTRACT: Problems associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) occur frequently in the general population and often co-occur with problems in other domains of psychopathology. In the research presented here these co-occurrence patterns were investigated by integrating a dimensional approach to ASDs into the more general dimensional framework of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. Factor Analysis was used to develop hierarchical and bi-factor models covering multiple domains of psychopathology in three measurement waves of a longitudinal general population sample (N = 2,230, ages 10-17, 50.8 % female). In all adequately fitting models, autism related problems were part of a specific domain of psychopathology that could be distinguished from the internalizing and externalizing domains. Optimal model fit was found for a bi-factor model with one non-specific factor and four specific factors related to internalizing, externalizing, autism spectrum problems and problems related to attention and orientation. Autism-related problems constitute a specific domain of psychopathology that can be distinguished from the internalizing and externalizing domains. In addition, the co-occurrence patterns in the data indicate the presence of a strong general factor.
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    • "In another study by Gadow et al. (2004), PDD and non-PDD clinic groups showed equally severe ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder symptoms. As measured by parent and teacher referenced rating scale (ECI-4), Mulligan et al. (2009) compared autism symptoms in 821 ADHD probands, 1050 siblings, and 149 controls by using the Social-Communication Questionnaire (SCQ). Latent class analysis yielded five classes; class 1 (31%) had very few autism symptoms and low comorbidity; classes 2–4 were intermediate; class 5 (7%) had high autism symptoms and comorbidity. "
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    • "Heritability of each of these disorders is substantial (Freitag, 2007; Pamploma et al., 2009; Reiersen, Constantino, Grimmer, Martin, & Todd, 2008; Reiersen, Constantino, & Todd, 2008), and evidence for shared liability, shared heritability, and shared familial transmission is intriguing. Specifically, twin (Lichtenstein, Carlstrom, Rastam, Gillberg, & Anckarsater, 2010; Nijmeijer et al., 2009; Reiersen et al., 2007; Reiersen, Constantino, Grimmer et al., 2008; Reiersen, Constantino, & Todd, 2008; Rommelse , Franke, Geurts, Hartman, & Buitelaar, 2010; Ronald, Simonoff, Kuntsi, Asherson, & Plomin, 2008; Smalley, 1997) and small, family-based studies (Mulligan et al., 2009; van Steijn et al., 2013) have suggested shared genetic overlap, while genome wide association studies have identified both unique and overlapping candidate regions (Bakker et al., 2003; Rommelse et al., 2010; Smalley, 1997; Weiss, 2009). Furthermore, ADHD and ASD have yielded some overlapping findings in regard to brain (MRI) and cognitive correlates (Brieber et al., 2007; Nyden et al., 2010; Rommelse, Geurts, Franke, Buitelaar, & Hartman, 2011). "
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