Although now believed to be two distinct disorders, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) share multiple phenotypic similarities and risk factors, and have been reported to co-occur at elevated rates. In this narrative review, we give a brief overview of the phenomenological, genetic, environmental, and imaging evidence for the overlap between ASD and SSD, highlighting similarities and areas of distinction. We examine eight possible alternate models of explanation for the association and comorbidity between the disorders, and set out a research agenda to test these models. Understanding how and why these disorders co-occur has important implications for diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, as well as for developing fundamental aetiological models of the disorders.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Professor Andrew Whitehouse from Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, for his helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. The work was supported by the Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust through a grant to SJW. AL is supported by an NHMRC fellowship (#1072593).
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience