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Thursday, December 7 • 3:55pm - 4:10pm
The Connection Between Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disease and the Importance of Gaining Collateral

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It has been established that schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) share many symptoms, with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) requiring only a month of active hallucinations to diagnose someone with schizophrenia if they have a history of ASD. ASD is characterized by a level of social dysfunction that can include; deficits in social communication, reciprocity and maintaining relationships. These symptoms can classified as negative symptoms in the setting of evaluating for schizophrenia. It is important to know the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia when a patient already has a history of ASD due to the significant overlap of symptoms and the possible distress that can occur due to delay in treatment. It also shows the importance of gathering collateral of a patient’s baseline level of functioning in order to judge whether they are experiencing an increase in dysfunction or not. This is especially important in the emergency department where boarding rates for people with ASD are significantly higher than neurotypical individuals. While research has been done to show a connection between the two diseases, it has not been conclusively shown. Some research has shown that rates of schizophrenia are increased among those with a previous history of ASD. This presentation will use case-based discussion to serve as an illustration to highlight some of the important aspects needed while evaluating a patient with ASD, including obtaining collateral, understanding nuanced DSM criteria for both ASD and schizophrenia, and the need for appropriate medical clearance.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Discuss the associations between schizophrenia and autism spectrum disease.
  2. Know how the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia is changed when a patient has a previous history of autism spectrum disorder.
  3. Understand the importance of gathering collateral when assessing for baseline level of function.

avatar for Jacob Diaz, MS3

Jacob Diaz, MS3

Medical Student, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Jacob Diaz is a 3rd year medical student from Orange County, California. He attended Brandeis University from 2016 to 2020 where he triple majored in Health Policy, Biology and Classical Studies. During his time at Brandeis University, he pursued many different extracurriculars including... Read More →
avatar for Meghan Schott, DO, FAPA

Meghan Schott, DO, FAPA

Medical Director of Psychiatric Emergency Services, Children's National
Meghan Schott, DO, FAPA attended Oberlin College and University of North Texas-Health Science Center for medical school. She completed residency training at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and Northwestern University/Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for her child psychiatry... Read More →

Thursday December 7, 2023 3:55pm - 4:10pm PST
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