Subjective face recognition difficulties, aberrant sensibility, sleeping disturbances and aberrant eating habits in families with Asperger syndrome

Wendt, Taina Nieminen-von; Paavonen, Juulia E.; Ylisaukko-Oja, Tero; Sarenius, Susan; Källman, Tiia; Järvelä, Irma; von Wendt, Lennart
January 2005
BMC Psychiatry;2005, Vol. 5, p20
Academic Journal
Background: The present study was undertaken in order to determine whether a set of clinical features, which are not included in the DSM-IV or ICD-10 for Asperger Syndrome (AS), are associated with AS in particular or whether they are merely a familial trait that is not related to the diagnosis. Methods: Ten large families, a total of 138 persons, of whom 58 individuals fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for AS and another 56 did not to fulfill these criteria, were studied using a structured interview focusing on the possible presence of face recognition difficulties, aberrant sensibility and eating habits and sleeping disturbances. Results: The prevalence for face recognition difficulties was 46.6% in individuals with AS compared with 10.7% in the control group. The corresponding figures for subjectively reported presence of aberrant sensibilities were 91.4% and 46.6%, for sleeping disturbances 48.3% and 23.2% and for aberrant eating habits 60.3% and 14.3%, respectively. Conclusion: An aberrant processing of sensory information appears to be a common feature in AS. The impact of these and other clinical features that are not incorporated in the ICD-10 and DSM-IV on our understanding of AS may hitherto have been underestimated. These associated clinical traits may well be reflected by the behavioural characteristics of these individuals.


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