Background: Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is a diagnostic term covering a group of neuropsychiatric disorders marked by a core triad of impairments consisting of qualitative disturbances in social interaction and communication, and by stereotypical behaviour. Some children diagnosed with PDD also suffer from disturbed thinking and anxiety. Studies have shown that 78% of a group of adolescents with PDD and disturbed thinking meet the criteria for ARMS (At Risk Mental State). ARMS is defined as a preliminary stage of schizophrenia with a high risk of developing schizophrenia within 6 to 12 months. Schizophrenia is characterised by disturbances in the brain’s processing of information. One example of information processing is the brain’s ability to gate or filter out stimuli, the so-called “filter function”. Psychophysiological studies have shown, that patients with schizophrenia have reduced sensory motor gating measured by”P50 suppression” and reduced”pre-pulse inhibition of the startle reflex” (PPI). Aims: 1. To compare basic information processing in children with PDD and a group of healthy controls. 2. To investigate whether it is possible, on the basis of outcomes of the psychophysiological tests, to differentiate sub-groups within the spectrum of PDD. 3. To compare potential subgroup within the spectrum of PDD with known schizophrenic subgroups. Material and methodology: A case-control study consisting of two groups of children 8-12 years old matched as to age and gender: 1. Children diagnosed within the PDD spectrum (n=40) 2. Normally developed children (n= 40) Both groups will be diagnostically clarified and both patients and healthy controls will take the PPI test and P50 suppression test. Results and Conclusion: Data collection is still going on, results and conclusions can there for not yet be presented. We hope this study will generate new insights about the background for PDD, as well as early detection of schizophrenia and its serious consequences.
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14th International Congress of ESCAP; European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2011