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An Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Heterogeneity and Treatment Options
Pages: 183-193
Year: Issue:  2
Journal: Neuroscience Bulletin

Keyword:  Autism Spectrum DisorderDiagnosisHeterogeneityTreatment;
Abstract: Since the documented observations of Kanner in1943, there has been great debate about the diagnoses, the sub-types, and the diagnostic threshold that relates to what is now known as autism spectrum disorder(ASD).Re?ecting this complicated history, there has been continual re?nement from DSM-III with ‘Infantile Autism’ to the current DSM-V diagnosis. The disorder is now widely accepted as a complex, pervasive, heterogeneous condition with multiple etiologies, sub-types, and developmental trajectories. Diagnosis remains based on observation of atypical behaviors, with criteria of persistent de?cits in social communication and restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior. This review provides a broad overview of the history, prevalence, etiology, clinical presentation, and heterogeneity of ASD. Factors contributing to heterogeneity, including genetic variability, comorbidity, and gender are reviewed. We then explore current evidencebased pharmacological and behavioral treatments for ASD and highlight the complexities of conducting clinical trials that evaluate therapeutic ef?cacy in ASD populations.Finally, we discuss the potential of a new wave of research examining objective biomarkers to facilitate the evaluation of sub-typing, diagnosis, and treatment response in ASD.
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