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Aspergers and comorbid conditions

Children with Aspergers syndrome are known to have several comorbid conditions. Comorbid conditions are those conditions or diseases that go along with having Aspergers syndrome. One of these conditions is known as ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Sometimes, these children can be misdiagnosed as only having the more common ADHD, with the Aspergers syndrome being missed.

Obsessive compulsive disorder can be a comorbidity with Aspergers syndrome. In some cases, this doesn’t show up until the Aspergers syndrome individual is an adult. What both conditions have in common is the need for order, and the presence of compulsive, sometimes irrational, repetitive behaviors. Some scientists believe that there is a neurological relationship between the two conditions.

Because those with Aspergers syndrome know they are different and have difficulty relating to others, they often suffer from acute or chronic depression. Others can have anger or violent symptoms out of frustration for being “out of place”. There have been reports of suicide and suicide attempts among those with Aspergers syndrome. The symptoms of depression can respond to antidepressant therapy and also to psychological therapy, aimed at helping the Aspergers syndrome patient feel more accepted and acceptable to others.

Seizures are a common comorbidity of Aspergers syndrome with some researchers believing that up to 30 percent of Aspergers syndrome children also have a seizure disorder. Medication can work in some cases, while other sufferers require specialized brain surgery to be free of seizures. While the Aspergers syndrome itself has no known cure or medications specifically designed for it, many of the comorbidities can be treated effectively. Not only can seizures and depression be treated, but the ADHD and obsessive compulsive symptoms have known medical therapies directed at helping them. Using these medications can often make the Aspergers syndrome symptoms more tolerable and increases the functioning of the individual who is experiencing it.

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