Childhood DM1 and autism spectrum disorder: Is there comorbidity?

Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a multisystemic disorder with neuromuscular symptoms and brain dysfunctions. Depending on the phenotypic expression, the degree of cognitive impairment remains heterogeneous, ranging from moderate to severe intellectual disability in the congenital form, to executive, visuospatial and personality dysfunction in the adult-onset form.

Studies exploring the cognitive or psychiatric impairments in the childhood form of DM1, characterized by an age of onset between one and ten years, uneventful pre and post-natal history and normal development the first year of life, are scarce and show conflicting results in regard to a comorbid diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The current review summarises diagnostic criteria and updates the state of the debate regarding comorbidity.

Angeard N, Huerta E, Jacquette A, et al. Childhood-onset form of myotonic dystrophy type 1 and autism spectrum disorder: Is there comorbidity? Neuromuscul Disord. 2017 Dec 15. pii:S0960-8966(17)31337-8. [Epub ahead of print]