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Autism Comorbidities
Sleep & Autism

Examining Co-Occurring Conditions

A study published in the journal of Autism Research explored the intertwining relationships of autism, sleep, and depression. Researchers looked at 114 autistic people aged 15 to 25, and how social well-being and depression are impacted by sleep quality and fatigue. Findings were culled from the following questionnaires:

  • Autism Quotient-Short form
  • Social Well-Being Scale
  • Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index
  • Flinders Fatigue Scale
  • Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale


According to the authors, these “findings have important implications.” Sadly, over a 2 year period, the patients in the study experienced no improvement in sleep, fatigue, and depression. Also, “fatigue and social support likely impact independently on depressive symptomatology in autistic adults. …insomnia is a potentially important intervention target for preventing and treating depression in autistic individuals with co-occurring depression and insomnia. Therefore, our results present new avenues for the exploration of prevention and intervention supports for depression in autism.” Improved social support is called for, along with larger sample sizes for additional studies.

The BRAIN & PAIN Summit (April 27-30) agenda will include sessions on the above topics, such as

  • Matilda’s World: Sensible Pharmacology for Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Things That Go Bump in the Night
  • Narcolepsy: What Lies Beneath
  • Sleep As an Intervention for Neurological Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders


Explore the Summit agenda.