Shared Genes May Link ADHD, Autism and Depression

(HealthDay News) — Autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may all share common genetic risk factors, a new study says.

In this largest study of its kind, researchers spotted gene variations governing brain function that may raise the risk for these often devastating mental woes. In the future, these gene variants might become key targets for prevention or treatment, the scientists said.

"This study, for the first time, shows that there are specific genetic variants that influence a range of childhood and adult-onset psychiatric disorders that we think of as clinically different," said lead researcher Dr. Jordan Smoller, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

via Shared Genes May Link ADHD, Autism and Depression.

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Prozac Might Ease Repetitive Behaviors in Some Adults With Autism

HealthDay News — The antidepressant Prozac may help ease repetitive behaviors in some adults with autism, a new study indicates.Researchers randomly assigned 37 adults with autism to take either Prozac fluoxetine or a placebo for 12 weeks. The study participants had difficulties with repetitive behaviors, such as arm flapping, as well as issues with restricted interests or agitation when their routines were disrupted, explained senior study author Dr. Eric Hollander, a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of the Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

via Prozac Might Ease Repetitive Behaviors in Some Adults With Autism.

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ADHD Symptoms May Add to Burden of Autism

(HealthDay News) — Attention and hyperactivity problems worsen quality of life for many children with autism, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 2,000 children and adolescents in the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network’s Registry and found that more than half of them had symptoms of either attention or hyperactivity problems. More than a third had significant symptoms of both.

via ADHD Symptoms May Add to Burden of Autism.

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