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Do Schizophrenia and Autism Share the Same Root?


The article discusses about children having autism means that their chances of developing

schizophrenia later in life are diminished. This was after a study was conducted on children that

had deletions on chromosome 23. However, having a deletion at 22q11.2 was actually linked

with a 25-fold increase of developing psychotic condition for instance schizophrenia and autism.

There are some researchers that have suggested that there is a relatively high number of autism

prevalence within the population due to misdiagnosis of the early signs of schizophrenia

(Jalbrzikowski et al 3).

These findings were published on the Schizophrenia Research which does support an alternate

theory which indicates that schizophrenia and autism are considered as independent outcomes in

the same genetic syndrome. The lead investigator had indicated that if there were any correlation

among the two conditions, then, it can only be a very small with a negligible effect. Another

assistant professor Opal Oulsey states that this new finding well contribute towards the clinical

guide in the care of these conditions. What can be done is having prenatal testing which will pick

the deletion of chromosome 22q11.2 and this will be discussed by clinicians at an early age with

the parents about the risk s of both schizophrenia and autism (Daisy 1).

However, the period of the 1970s majority of clinicians are noted to have interchangeably used

child onset schizophrenia and autism. It is recognized that these conditions today are considered

as being separate though they do have similarities such as the social difficulties that are present

in autism are considered to mimic the social withdrawal of schizophrenia.

Individuals that have autism are considered as to be more likely diagnosed with a psychotic

condition and vice versa. A medical review indicated that there was a prevalence of autism on
people that had some type of psychosis and this was higher than in the general population with

no clear reasons. A group of scientists maintained that this was so due to people that had

psychotic condition being wrongly diagnosed as well as having autism also. This new study in

this journal questioned this theory since it did suggest that the same deletion occurred

independently leading to both schizophrenia and autism.

When the researched after assessing adolescents that had deletion of 22q11.2 syndromes and

diagnose with autism, a review after 6 years did found out that a quarter of the individuals that

had been diagnosed with autism were also diagnosed with psychotic condition while another

third of the participants had developed some form of psychosis (Daisy 1). Though the differences

on the two groups was not statistically significant, the results suggested that being diagnosed

with autism had actually nothing bearing the psychosis risk on the individuals.

These results were in tandem with another study that had been done on 2015 which had found

out that individuals with 22q11.2 deletions and had autism did show a different pattern in gene

expression when compared with those with schizophrenia. The findings of this research did also

fit with the other findings that had been done by another team of Vortman whereby the parents

that had 22q11.2 deletion syndrome as well as schizophrenia did recall in their children as early

as 4 years. There was also no relationship between the features of autism in childhood with those

that are observed in schizophrenia in adulthood (Fiksinski et al. 4).

Work Cited

Daisy Yuhas, Spectrum. "Do Schizophrenia And Autism Share The Same Root?". Scientific

American. N.p., 2017. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.

Fiksinski, A.M. et al. "Autism Spectrum And Psychosis Risk In The 22Q11.2 Deletion

Syndrome. Findings From A Prospective Longitudinal Study". Schizophrenia

Research (2017): n. pag. Web.

Jalbrzikowski, Maria et al. "Transcriptome Profiling Of Peripheral Blood In 22Q11.2 Deletion

Syndrome Reveals Functional Pathways Related To Psychosis And Autism Spectrum

Disorder". PLOS ONE 10.7 (2015): e0132542. Web.