Autism spectrum disorders in children affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Sabina La Grutta, Lucia Parisi, Maria Stella Epifanio, Michele Roccella, Pasqualino Glorioso, Teresa Di Filippo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most frequent and severe form of the dystrophinopathies. The literature shows that about 30-40% of DMD subjects have intellectual disability. In males with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, neuropsychiatric disorders have also been observed: attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, autism spectrum disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is not just a muscle disorder, but also a disease that affects the brain. The aim of the present study was to describe a case series of children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy that have also the presence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). They have been assessed by means of standardized autism scales and the most appropriate psycho-educational treatment is herein discussed. METHODS: In order to evaluate and identify the presence and intensity of autistic symptoms have been used the Childhood Autism Rating Scale and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule tools. Moreover, in order to assess the intelligence of subjects and their lower limb function, Wisch-R intelligence scale and Vignos function scale were used, respectively. RESULTS: Atypical behaviors included a preference for being alone, and selective interest in privileged objects used in a stereotyped manner, motor fretting, and attention instability were present in all children. By the administration of these scales was confirmed the presence of an autism spectrum disorders in all subjects. CONCLUSIONS: It is important for clinical practice to consider this association increased.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-239
Number of pages7
JournalMinerva Pediatrica
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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