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Diseases » Autism » Associated Diseases

Associated Conditions for Autism

Excerpts on associated medical conditions for Autism:

Autism Research: NIMH (Excerpt)

In addition to cognitive impairments, individuals with autism often suffer from multiple and severe mental and emotional problems. These include impulse-control disorders, psychoses, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mood and anxiety disorders, and mental retardation. Such co-existing problems start early in life, are chronic, and account for a substantial portion of outpatient, inpatient and residential services. (Source: excerpt from Autism Research: NIMH)

Autism: NIMH (Excerpt)

Of the problems that can occur with autism, mental retardation is the most widespread. Seventy-five to 80 percent of people with autism are mentally retarded to some extent. Fifteen to 20 percent are considered severely retarded, with IQs below 35. (A score of 100 represents average intelligence.) But autism does not necessarily correspond with mental impairment. More than 10 percent of people with autism have an average or above average IQ. A few show exceptional intelligence.

Interpreting IQ scores is difficult, however, because most intelligence tests are not designed for people with autism. People with autism do not perceive or relate to their environment in typical ways. When tested, some areas of ability are normal or even above average, and some areas may be especially weak. For example, a child with autism may do extremely well on the parts of the test that measure visual skills but earn low scores on the language subtests. (Source: excerpt from Autism: NIMH)

Autism: NIMH (Excerpt)

About one-third of the children with autism develop seizures, starting either in early childhood or adolescence. Researchers are trying to learn if there is any significance to the time of onset, since the seizures often first appear when certain neurotransmitters become active. (Source: excerpt from Autism: NIMH)

Autism: NIMH (Excerpt)

There is also some relationship between autism and Tuberous Sclerosis, a genetic condition that causes abnormal tissue growth in the brain and problems in other organs. Although Tuberous Sclerosis is a rare disorder, occurring less than once in 10,000 births, about a fourth of those affected are also autistic.

Scientists are exploring genetic conditions such as Fragile X and Tuberous Sclerosis to see why they so often coincide with autism. Understanding exactly how these conditions disrupt normal brain development may provide insights to the biological and genetic mechanisms of autism. (Source: excerpt from Autism: NIMH)

Unraveling Autism: NIMH (Excerpt)

Individuals with autism often have symptoms of various co-occurring mental disorders, including ADHD, psychoses, depressive disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other anxiety disorders. 3 About one-third of children and adolescents with autism develop seizures. (Source: excerpt from Unraveling Autism: NIMH)

List of associated medical conditions for Autism:

The list of conditions mentioned by various sources as associated with Autism includes:

About associated conditions for Autism:

Associated conditions are those which appear statistically related, but do not have a clear cause or effect relationship. Whereas the complications are caused by Autism, and underlying causes may be causes of Autism, the following list shows associated conditions that simply appear with higher frequency in people who have Autism. In some cases, there may be overlap between this list and risk factors for Autism. People with Autism may be more likely to get a condition on the list of associated conditions, or the reverse may be true, or both. Whether they are causes of, caused by, or simply coincidentally related to Autism is not always clear. For general information, see Associated Condition Misdiagnosis.


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