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Study finds that a subset of children often considered to have autism may be misdiagnosed
Date:9/17/2013

ved in our study no child actually met strict diagnostic criteria for an autism spectrum disorder," said Kathleen Angkustsiri, study lead author and assistant professor of developmental-behavioral pediatrics at the MIND Institute.

"This is very important because the literature cites rates of anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of children with the disorder also have an autism spectrum disorder. Our findings lead us to question whether this is the correct label for these children who clearly have social impairments. We need to find out what interventions are most appropriate for their difficulties."

The disorder's name also describes its location on the 22nd chromosome as well as the nature of the genetic mutation, which is associated with a variety of anatomical and intellectual deficits. It has previously been known as Velocardiofacial Syndrome and Di George Syndrome, for the pediatric endocrinologist who described it in the 1960s.

The risk of 22q is about 1 in 2000 in the general population. The condition is seen in individuals of all backgrounds. Notably, people with 22q are at significantly heightened risk of developing mental-health disorders in adolescence and young adulthood. A person with 22q has a 30 times greater risk of developing schizophrenia than individuals in the general population.

"Because of the high rates of psychiatric disorders in childhood and adulthood, 22q is a very special population for prospective study looking at what's happening throughout childhood that might either increase risk or provide protection against some of the later developing serious psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia, that are associated with the disorder," said Tony J. Simon, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the chromosome 22q11.2 deletion program at the MIND Institute.

The study was conducted among individuals recruited through the website of the Cognitive Analysis and Brain Imaging Laborat
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Contact: Phyllis Brown
phyllis.brown@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9023
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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