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J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(5), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7050102

The Relationship between Sleep Problems, Neurobiological Alterations, Core Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Psychiatric Comorbidities

1
Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, System Medicine Department, Tor Vergata University Hospital of Rome, Viale Oxford 81, 00133 Rome, Italy
2
Brain and Body Integration Mental Health Clinic, 6000 East Evans Ave, Denver, CO 80222, USA
3
Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, Biomedicine and Prevention Department, Tor Vergata University Hospital of Rome, Viale Oxford 81, 00133 Rome, Italy
4
PHD Student in Experimental Medicine-Neuroscience, University of L’Aquila, Via Giovanni di Vincenzo, 16/B, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 30 April 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Pathergasiology & Psychology)
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Abstract

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are at an increased risk for sleep disturbances, and studies indicate that between 50 and 80% of children with ASD experience sleep problems. These problems increase parental stress and adversely affect family quality of life. Studies have also suggested that sleep disturbances may increase behavioral problems in this clinical population. Although understanding the causes of sleep disorders in ASD is a clinical priority, the causal relationship between these two conditions remains unclear. Given the complex nature of ASD, the etiology of sleep problems in this clinical population is probably multi-factorial. In this overview, we discuss in detail three possible etiological explanations of sleep problems in ASD that can all contribute to the high rate of these symptoms in ASD. Specifically, we examine how neurobiological alterations, genetic mutations, and disrupted sleep architecture can cause sleep problems in individuals with ASD. We also discuss how sleep problems may be a direct result of core symptoms of ASD. Finally, a detailed examination of the relationship between sleep problems and associated clinical features and psychiatric comorbidities in individuals with ASD is described. View Full-Text
Keywords: sleep problems; Autism Spectrum Disorder; etiology; behavioral problems; comorbidities sleep problems; Autism Spectrum Disorder; etiology; behavioral problems; comorbidities
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Mazzone, L.; Postorino, V.; Siracusano, M.; Riccioni, A.; Curatolo, P. The Relationship between Sleep Problems, Neurobiological Alterations, Core Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Psychiatric Comorbidities. J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7, 102.

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