Revealing undiagnosed autism

Posted by vm64 at May 05, 2011 10:50 AM |
According to a Leicester-led study most adults with autism or Asperger’s syndrome go undiagnosed.

The first ever general population survey on autism in adulthood has made an important contribution to the field by presenting new findings on the hidden cases.

Led by Dr Terry Brugha, Professor of Psychiatry in our Department of Health Sciences and a consultant psychiatrist with Leicester Partnership NHS Trust, the study was based on interviews with 7,461 adults (aged 16 or over) of whom 618 were then selected to be assessed for autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

The results confirmed the existing figure that approximate 0.98% of adults have some form of ASD. However, none of the adults surveyed had been officially diagnosed with ASD.

This supports the currently accepted theory that the apparent rise in the prevalence of ASD is actually due to changes in the way the condition is diagnosed rather than an actual increase in cases.

As well as Dr Brugha, the team included Dr John Bankart, Dr Howard Meltzer and Jane Smith, together with colleagues from King's, UCL, Cambridge and the National Centre for Social Research.

The paper has been published in the Archives of General Psychiatry but only the abstract is currently accessible.