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Polysubstance and Behavioral Addictions in a Patient with Bipolar Disorder: Role of Lifetime Subthreshold Autism Spectrum.

Case Rep Psychiatry. 2018;2018:1547975

Authors: Dell’Osso L, Conversano C, Corsi M, Bertelloni CA, Cremone IM, Carpita B, Carbone MG, Gesi C, Carmassi C

Abstract
This case report draws attention to the potential relevance of undetected autism spectrum symptoms in a bipolar patient with high work functioning showing a peculiar addictive profile with impulsive and antisocial behaviors. A 23-year-old man with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder (BD) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) was hospitalized at the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Pisa for diuretics and β-2 adrenergic agonist abuse in a remission phase of benzodiazepines and substance abuse. He reported a history of behavioral addictions in the framework of a global high work functioning with particular skills in computer science. When assessed for adult autism spectrum symptoms, despite not fulfilling a DSM-5 diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), he reported a score of 93/240 at the Ritvo Autism and Asperger Diagnostic Scale (RAADS-r) and of 88/160 at the Adult Autism Subthreshold Spectrum (AdAS Spectrum), both indicative of ASD. We argue the possible role of adult subthreshold autism spectrum features, generally disregarded in adult psychiatry, in the peculiar addictive profile developed by this patient with BD that may deserve appropriate treatment.

PMID: 29682383 [PubMed]

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