Possible Basal Ganglia Pathology in Children With Complex Symptoms
J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64:1495-1501
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: Clinical observation of children
presenting with a myriad of motor, behavioral, emotional, and
sensorial symptoms who do not respond to treatment led to the
hypothesis that these children may constitute a unique
population, perhaps even a new clinical entity. The literature on
child and adolescent psychopathology does not specifically
address the phenomenological, diagnostic, and etiological factors
that make these children unique. For this reason, a preliminary
study was conducted to identify additional symptoms and features
that make these children different.
Method: Data were collected in 2001 on 7
children with complex symptomatology using the Behavior
Assessment System for Children, the Anxiety Disorders Interview
Schedule for DSM-IV, and a neurological illnesses and symptoms
questionnaire designed by the authors.
Results: On average, these children met full
DSM-IV criteria for 1 to 5 diagnoses. The most prevalent
diagnoses were attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder,
obsessive-compulsive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and
pervasive developmental disorder. These children also exhibited a
high incidence of sensory hyperarousal, aggressiveness,
hypersexuality, and neuroethological behaviors. Almost all of the
children also had indications of a history of bacterial or viral
Conclusion: The specific symptoms identified and
the biological factors found in many of the children seem to
suggest basal ganglia involvement.